Scott Wiseman has been around the block in this industry. He shares his journey from toga partying student teacher to National Key Account & OEM Manager at Axalta Coating Systems.

How did you get started in the industry ?

By chance! I’ve been in and around the industry since I was born. My father, Ken, established a smash repair business at Aspley, on the north side of Brisbane, around the time I was born (let’s just say it was the ‘70s)! He had plenty on his plate at that early stage.

After high school, I embarked on the journey to become a primary school teacher, but after 6 months of studies (and toga parties), I decided the timing wasn’t quite right.

After some part-time jobs and a crashed car, I started spending nights repairing said car in dad’s workshop. This opened my eyes, and I saw how hard dad worked and the effort he went to so he could provide for his family. I concluded that, while fixing cars was fun, there was a bigger opportunity at play – learning how to manage and run the family business so I could take the reins from dad and give him an opportunity to pursue his passions...which I did. One thing led to another, and 35 years later, here I am, still in the industry.

What do you do now?

My role title is ‘National Key Account & OEM Manager’ at Axalta Coating Systems. Relationship management is a big focus for me, but most importantly, I make sure I am supporting our customers, our strategic partners, and our Axalta teams in whatever positive way that I can.

What do you most like about the industry?

The diverse opportunities for a career path. With the skills shortage such as it is, as an industry we can always be improving our messaging to highlight those opportunities. Organisations like ACIA, the MTAs, and many other stakeholders are working hard on that.

In my case, I literally started sweeping floors and washing cars, did a trade, went on to own, manage and expand our business, worked for an MSO, worked for dealerships, worked in the insurance industry, did some consultancy work, and am now working alongside some of the best and brightest the industry has to offer…and learning all the way.

If we can keep promoting that longer-term vision and the positive career opportunities for school kids (and their parents), I’m sure we will be able to attract more candidates to the industry.

What do you most dislike about the industry?

Closed minds, and people who aren’t open to change. Not just in the industry but in life as well.

Who do you most admire in the industry?

I really admire family businesses that have a go at making it work. Small to medium enterprises are the backbone of our economy. Adding the family dynamic to that presents unique challenges that make them complex to manage. Knowing first-hand how tricky it can be, I take my hat off to the ones that do it well.

Hot tip: Communication is critical! Also, my partner Nicole…just for the brownie points!

Cars! tell us - first car, current car, dream car?

First car – HQ Kingswood in olive green with a three-speed floor shift and bench seat.

Current car – my trusty steed, an Axalta-provided Toyota Camry hybrid.

Dream Car – Aston Martin Valkyrie. It’s a perfect example of F1 design and tech filtering down to ‘road’ cars and saying ‘Valkyrie’ sounds cool!

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