Adaptability, the one word that springs to mind when you say the name Joelene Accatino, senior executive manager at Pitstop Karting.
It is the business of fuel injected adrenaline, but more importantly it involves a certain tenacity for overcoming tremendous adversity.
Pitstop Karting first opened its doors in 2015 with Joelene providing support off the side of a full time teaching career. In August 2019, she bought into the business, trading chalk dust for burnt rubber, and continues to gain traction as each day passes.
Joelene wears many hats within the small family business, manging HR, customer service, social media, marketing and bookkeeping.
“You get to understand a business that way, and understand the role, then when you are looking to pass that role on you know what you are looking for,” she says.
As the business overcame floods and break ins, Pitstop Karting was under immense pressure to keep its doors open, eventually moving to an outdoor facility in Garbutt in 2019.
“It was a struggle, even through covid we were told that we had to close, that we weren’t an essential workplace, then there was the uncertainty as to when we could open again,” she continues.
“When we did open, I made sure I did every reading possible, every checklist ticked to ensure we could open the doors safely to the public. A lot of those practices are still in place, they are just more vigorous now.”
As the post-covid era grips the region’s businesses, Joelene once again proves adaptability is key to success. While still receiving out of state visitors, Pitstop Karting has had an influx in local clientele seeking experience over commodity.
With that in mind, Accatino continues to expand her business with her network of support by her side, which she believes is a crucial part of the small business landscape.
“Small businesses are the heart and soul, if we don’t have small businesses, what makes a town?”
As for future business managers, she does supply some humbling advice.
“Just do it, there is a lot of fear of not knowing, but get a support network and find likeminded people,” she explains.
“If you don’t learn from mistakes, you never will learn, but you have to experience those hardships too, otherwise you’ll never know how to adapt.
“At the end of the day, you have to slide those boots on and keep moving forward.”