Born into a legacy that is Knudtsen Chevrolet, Eve is a third generation owner. In her own right, she is a powerhouse who has carried the family torch forward by improving and growing the business she and her brother inherited. In any conversation, one would quickly realize how passionate she is about her business and her commitment to excellence.
“I believe that we make the Coeur d’Alene and Post Falls area the best place on earth to live, work and raise a family.” That impart is “because of the way that we give back to the community.”
When asked how she instills that belief of excellence down through the employees, she states, “first and foremost is our relationships and our relationships start with each other because how we treat each other is how we treat our customers and how we treat the customer is how it looks like to the community.”
“I could have horrible customer service and give a whole bunch of money to the community and that’s not nearly the impact than if I have great customer service, happy employees and put money back into the community. That’s how we make this the best place to live.”
“Every negative review I get, I take extremely personally because I failed to instill the message (excellence in customer service) into the employee that engaged with the customer and that customer left disappointed. A lot of people don’t know that. I try first to understand what the customer experienced and what did that look like to the customer.”
Her sensitivity for customer service is refreshing. Given the size and success of Knudsten Chevrolet, one might assume that the occasional disappointed customer would have little impact on the owner; after all, it’s all about the numbers. But Eve takes it serious and she instills the message of “what did that look like to the customer” throughout her organization. This is an insight best considered by any business that wishes to grow and is mindful of how they’re perceived by the community. Branding can either be negative or good. Eve chooses great.
Aside from the natural beauty, there is a reason people find living in the greater Coeur d’Alene region so attractive. Not only is there a strong sense of community and a giving culture, we are also blessed to enjoy a great number of localized programs and services that are customized to fit the needs our community. We don’t always think about who makes this all possible for us or what it takes to keep these programs funded and maintained.
In large part it’s our small business community that works tirelessly behind the scenes to make these programs a reality. There are a myriad of causes that are supported and sponsored by businesses of every size. Eve strongly believes that if you own a business that it is your responsibility to give back to the community and often leads the charge.
Giving back is not just a responsibility for Eve but a passion. Her love for community, education, health care and economic development has led to the development of some amazing organizations. Working with other business leaders in our region she has created, developed or participated in a number of organizations that give strength to the communities in our region.
Keep in mind that participation in these various causes is strictly voluntary. Then imagine how much commitment is needed because much of your spare time is consumed in planning, endless calls, meetings, public speaking, capital campaigns and politics. This being said, Eve willingly gets involved because of her deep and abiding love of community and a passion to give back.
A few examples of her involvement would include her interest in the economic development of our region, where she serves as a board member and past chair of the Coeur d’Alene EDCO often referred to as Jobs Plus. She is deeply concerned with the balance of a living wage and the rising cost of housing and the impact that has in our region. She is also fully engaged in the Kootenai Health Foundation for much needed operating rooms and emergency services.
She is most passionate about education and the quality of it because our future depends on it. She was involved in the development of the KTEC program that provides technical career education. This program has the highest rate of graduation and job placement anywhere.
Continuing in the Knudtsen legacy of giving back, Eve’s commitment and passion for community involvement has made our region a much better place to live. Because of her desire to serve and taking action, it’s likely that some aspect of what she has achieved has touched your life. Now that is a legacy.
Eve will be our guest speaker at the Heart of Business Luncheon on May 17th at the Greenbriar Inn starting at 11:30am for lunch and noon to 1pm for her presentation. The fee is $15.00 in advance or $20.00 at the door, if seating is still available. Her subject is “Why I and our employees get up in the morning”
- Eve Knudtsen