When Jesika Towbin-Mansour graduated college a decade ago, she had her eye on the jewelry business. She liked diamonds and money, she jokes in hindsight, and wanted to surround herself with them. Despite an internship under her belt and certification just ahead, it never happened, because her dad put a stop to it.
An astute businessman, Daniel Towbin could spot talent, and he wanted her at one of his car dealerships. An astute father, he knew to take a soft approach with his daughter. Come spend a summer surrounded by the jewels of the car business, then go for those certifications. He started her in customer service at Towbin Automotive, his Rolls-Royce and Bentley dealership, and it wasn’t long before Jesika was sold on the family business.
He worked her through all aspects of the business, and the two started planning their ideal high-end showroom. Then he died, at age 54, in 2009. Jesika had to suddenly step up her role. Now 33, she co-owns the Towbin Motorcars dealership. She’s added Aston Martin to its Bentley and Rolls-Royce brands, making it the only Las Vegas dealership to offer all three luxury brands.
She’s also director of operations for all four Towbin locations, which together represent eight car brands. That includes overseeing human resources for 400 employees and a marketing budget of about $5 million a year. Her mother, Carolynn, came back to helm the organization. Her brother, Josh “Chop” Towbin, runs the family’s high-volume dealerships.
In October, Towbin-Mansour opened that showroom she and her dad had long talked about, and it’s more of a gallery. Its soaring walls include paintings by renowned local artist Tim Bavington. Outside, a sculpture by Troy Pillow is dedicated to her dad. It stands in place of the massive flagpole that once gained national attention for bothering the neighbors along West Sahara Avenue.
“This store was his and mine together; it was our little baby. So when we opened the new showroom it really hit me,” she says. He was gone, and she had earned her way past her “The Owner’s Daughter” title. “It had been a challenge to figure out how to continue the business while grieving, and to do that during a recession. I feel like we’ve come out from all that—my family and the city.”
Next she plans to balance her business and family life (her nearly 2-year-old son is named for her father) by teaching negotiation seminars for women. “I think women are bad negotiators because we worry about what other people think. But it’s just business. My dad taught me that. Just ask, and keep asking.”