NSME Workshop - September

"It's Never About the Car: Empowering Customers through Human Connection" by Katie O’Toole Smith, Katie the Carlady


  1. The True Need Behind Car Buying
  2. Empowering Customers
  3. Being Your True Self
  4. The Power of Collaboration
  5. The Evolution of the Sales Industry
  6. Navigating Change
  7. Humanizing the Sales Strategy
  8. The Power of Conversation


Katie O’Toole Smith, also known as Katie the Carlady, has been redesigning the car buying process for her clients for 29 years. Her journey began in 1994, opening her first leasing company Alternative Auto Lease. She went on to help multiple individuals start and nurture their companies as well. In 2019 established Katie the Carlady LLC, which fueled her entrepreneurial fire to open a brick-and-mortar in Lyndhurst in 2023.  A woman-owned independent dealership focusing on education and empowerment. Establishing a brand that has become well known through blog and podcast Carlady Talk.  From car repair to indirect lending, Katie has worked tirelessly to acquire a well-rounded understanding of the auto industry.  Connecting being a superpower, she has served on the Board of NAWBO Cleveland as Membership Attraction Chair, WIN Cleveland, Taste of Hudson, Recovery Resources of Cleveland (Associate board and Board of directors), Chair and founder of the Circle of Strength, and Edna House for Women. Focusing on networking, fundraising, connecting communities, and helping the underserved community of addiction and mental health. She was awarded the Women of Strength award in 2019.  Katie also left her mark by creating and facilitating the Luxury Auto Show for Taste of Hudson, showcasing her passion for the automotive world for 5 years.  Katie is driven to help others find solutions through fostering a greater understanding of different perspectives.

Katie The Carlady

Katie OToole Smith



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