Southern roots serve manager well

Good customer relations are all about bringing customers back and about sending them away happy. At Findlay Toyota, Gay Otey is the person most responsible for making sure customers are satisfied.

Upon meeting Otey, it is clear why she is the customer relations manager: She really cares and genuinely wants to get things right. Her Southern hospitality is disarming and makes her seem like a lifelong friend.

Growing up in a little country town in eastern Tennessee where everyone knew each other shaped Otey's personality, making her the outgoing and friendly person she is today.

Otey's first marriage to her high school sweetheart, who was in the Air Force, took her on a voyage to many places, including Texas, Michigan, England and South Dakota before landing in Las Vegas. During that time, her son, Doug, was born.

Otey worked in banking for a number of years before she joined the Findlay Automotive group in 1997. Otey was one of the original employees that helped Rich Abajian open Findlay Toyota in 1998. She has had many responsibilities at the dealership, including customer service, new-car delivery and business-development manager.

She still has all of those responsibilities, plus the responsibilities that go with her current job title. Otey is affectionately referred to as "mama" at the dealership because she does so much to help people.

"Otey is one of our most valuable employees," said Abajian, general manager at Findlay Toyota. "She is the one we go to when we need something done. She makes people feel special, treats people like she wants to be treated and is a tireless worker. We wouldn't have had the success we've had without her."

Today, Otey and her husband, Keith, who she describes as "the most wonderful country boy I have ever met," have two sons: Peyton, who is 7 years old and practically grew up in the dealership, and Vince, who came to live with the couple about 7 years ago.

When she is not at the dealership directing employees, she is at home making sure the boys are tending to chores and getting homework done.

Findlay Toyota is located at 7733 Eastgate Road in the Valley Automall in Henderson. Call 566-2000 or visit