Pride Month: Jessica Herzing
Jessica Herzing, Walser F&I Sr. Specialist
The LGBTQIA+ community is full of powerful stories, and throughout Pride month, we’ll be celebrating stories of Walser Automotive Group employees.
This week, we’re spotlighting Jessica Herzing (she/her/hers). Jessica is an F&I Sr. Specialist and a founding Board Chair of Drive With Pride, Walser’s LGBTQIA+ Employee Resource Group. In fact, Jessica was a key driver in helping to establish the group’s existence back in 2019.
“It’s almost surreal because I remember the email that I sent,” she said. Jessica said she felt the need for an employee-based LGBTQ group was big. “I thought, ‘we have Women of Walser. Why don’t we have an LGBT group, too?’ I sent an email, and my voice was heard. It was just a really awesome thing to come out of a company,” she said.
Jessica, who identifies as pansexual within the LGBTQIA+ community, said gender doesn’t play a role in attraction for her. That fluidity has been a major part of her life. Jessica’s husband Leo identifies as a transgender man.
“We actually met on OkCupid and just hit it off right away,” Jessica laughed. “At the time, he actually identified as a woman. So, I actually married a woman and then he decided to come out to me and tell me how he felt,” she said. Jessica said despite the challenges of the physical transition, it was an easy decision to support him.
Jessica said she’s open to sharing these parts of her life at work, and that reciprocated allyship can make it easier.
“Just be mindful. And open-minded in general. If somebody tells you something you don’t understand, don’t deny it. Just say, ‘I don’t know what that means, or I want to learn more.’ It might feel really awkward from an ally perspective, but to me, I really like to teach people. I like to educate people on different topics that they might not understand whether it’s math or it’s something about the LGBTQ+ community,” she said.
Jessica, who started at Walser in 2013, has experience across all areas of F&I, warranty, funding, service advising, CORE management, and front desk reception.
“I personally strive for growth in myself, but I will also strive for growth in others if I can assist it,” she said. “Pride month is just like any other month, but it’s about celebrating and not being afraid.”