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HER OWN WAY

The drivers behind Dara Carpenter’s success

BY JULIA LLOYD

“Mistakes have the power to make a great leader,” — Dara Carpenter, CEO and founder of E.L.C. Dispatch Solutions

Dara Carpenter has made a name for herself as a leading voice in the field of automotive tow and storage.

In 2015, Dara founded E.L.C Dispatch Solutions to help manage the logistics, mediate between the tow operators and insurance companies and the management of a tow truck throughout Canada and the U.S., for insurance companies, repair facilities and auto recyclers within the automotive industry on towing and storage matters.

But where did Dara’s drive for success originate? The men in her life have always been hardworking and successful—her grandfather was a respected businessman in Toronto building restaurants, property development projects and clothing brands. Her father developed custom horse ware apparel for the equestrian world. Growing up, Dara looked up to them and told herself that she could do anything the men in her family could do. She wanted to do whatever she could to prove it.

Dara recalls feeling like the odd one out in her youth—which only heightened her drive to work hard and not accept handouts. Eventually, Dara decided that, for her to be successful, she would have to give up her dreams of pursuing the arts and focus on the goal of providing for her family. As a member of a family that made their success through business, Dara followed suit.

“My brother and I were very fortunate in life, but I didn’t want to continue watching what my parents went through and what they struggled with as business owners. I learned from a young age that success didn’t come because someone helped you, but in learning from what is going on around you.”

As she finished high school, she entered the insurance industry by fluke. Going to College part-time, Dara began working at a friend’s insurance brokerage learning about insurance processes and types of policies available. Soon entering the auto claims side with a Canadian insurance company, she became an influential figure in the field and expanded her expertise working with recyclers and towing companies. After being in the insurance industry for over 20 years both as a license broker and as an expert in towing and storage matters within claims departments for three insurance companies, Dara decided it was time to make life decisions to support her children and her ambition to do more.

In her time working alongside all industries associated with the motor vehicle sector being and insurance company, auto recycler, collision repair facility and tow company, Dara decided to take all her years of experience and expertise and start ELC Towing Dispatch Solutions. Dara had already been specializing in towing and storage matters since 2000 when she had built a name that resonates with in the industry throughout Canada.

To gain respect, knowledge and experience, as a young, ambitious female, Dara had no problem walking into a room sharing her experiences or opinion. People watched her every move, successes, or failures.

“Success doesn’t come because someone helped you, but in learning from what is going on around you.”
— Dara Carpenter

“It can be hard to be successful in a male-dominated industry. I am so proud of my woman peers with the strides they have made with the many successes that were once a dream and are now reality.

“There were definitely days I felt doubted, but I was not going to be ignored. I think everyone’s capabilities are doubted to an extent—it just depends on how you perceive it and how you work with it.”

“I love what I do, and I love to listen,” said Dara “I think I’ve been able to learn how to balance all of that, to become the person that I am.” As a female, as a human being I learned to stand on my own two feet and provide my opinion to make a process or idea be most effective.”

Dara is the only person in Ontario small claims court to be qualified as an expert within the insurance industry as representative on towing and storage matters. Dara has testified in multiple small claims court proceedings as an expert witness. She has become a top female expert as well as owning and running a company that has made a difference in the industry. Sometimes being doubted by family and friends to follow her dreams, she has made the best of her situation by making a name for herself and becoming the top expert in Ontario for the insurance industry.

“We are not born leaders; leaders are people that take the time to learn how to lead or learn about the people they are working with. So, I think all in all the challenge is just growing, learning, and understanding. In school, you are taught how to manage certain aspects of business, but we are not taught how to run the entire business,” explained Dara. “Mistakes are what make a good leader.”

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