We had the good fortune of connecting with Teresa Bacal and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Teresa, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I started my business over 20 years ago because I was traveling extensively and putting in long hours for my employer. After six years of long hours, I decided to work that hard under my own company. I was also fortunate enough to have relationships with clients who encouraged me to go out on my own and said they would support me if I started my own business. One of those clients was Toyota, a client I still work with today.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
JTGrey Unlimited, LLC is a meeting and event planning company that focuses mainly on the automotive industry. Working in the automotive industry, which was primarily a man’s world 20 years ago, meant I had to have thick skin. Being a woman in a man’s industry meant my knowledge and abilities were challenged initially but I did my job and earned respect from those I worked with over the years. My philosophy is that we are only as good as our last event or project so resting on our laurels is not an option. JTGrey Unlimited created a reputation as a company with integrity, experienced and knowledgeable team members and a company who truly partners with their clients to achieve successful events and projects. Our work ethic and consistent project success has garnered us Fortune 500 clients such at Toyota and Lexus. Running a small business has been challenging as our business can be dependent on automotive cycles. This means if an automotive company has a lot of new products coming out in a particular year, then events, marketing and PR ramp up. If there are not new products being introduced then business can be slow, so there is a constant ebb and flow in event planning. To combat some of this, we added a professional driving team to our company, which is run by my husband and pro driver, Joe Bacal. The pro driving team allows us to offer another service when coordinating automotive events, or to support client’s additional needs. The pro driving team offers ride and drive support, auto show support, training, racing support or drivers for commercials, videos, stunt work and film. The drive team experience is extensive from off-road to on-road with professional race car drivers, driving and racing instructors and top stunt drivers. With the current state of things we are pivoting again and offering more video content that can be used for online or social media marketing. We offer turn-key production services for our clients and have race tracks and great Arizona roads at our disposal. During times like this, dealing with a pandemic and events being at a standstill, I definitely wonder if it is worth it or if it time to move on. I enjoy being able to choose the clients we work with, employing and working with great people and the challenge of new projects so for now, I think we will continue to hang on.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
We are an active family who travels extensively so exploring Arizona is always on our list. If we are staying in the city, we like to hang out in the Cave Creek, Carefree area. The town is unique and offers great shopping, eating and exploring. We like to wander in and out of the various pottery shops, Frontier Town and stop in Local Johnny’s for a bite. Spur Cross Ranch is a great place to get a hike in before or after visiting the town of Cave Creek. The Prickly Pear Inn sits right in the middle of Cave Creek and it is the perfect boutique hotel to hang your hat, if you are looking to stay a night or two. We tend to head out of the local area when we can and enjoy Sedona where you can hike, bike and off-road. The Enchantment Resort is always a great place to grab lunch and a beverage or stay overnight. Sedona is known for it’s red rock and stunning views so bring a camera! Flagstaff is another great place with a plethora of outdoor activities. In Flagstaff you can again hike or bike, but also has a number of camping options and offers snowboarding or skiing in the winter at Snowbowl. The Flagstaff Adventure Zipline is located at Tuthill Country Park and offers ziplines for beginners or the more adventurous. If you are up for it, Bearizona Wildlife Park is 30 minutes from Flagstaff and is a unique experience. Downtown Flagstaff has an abundance of eateries and casual is the name of the game so stop in one of the many breweries to grab a juicy burger and cold beverage at the end of your day.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
John Hanson with Toyota Motor Sales was my first client and I worked with him for over 20 years until he retired. He gave me the courage to venture out on my own and start my own business.
Greyson Bacal, GreyMedia