By connecting with a new generation of drivers on social media, the youngest member of the ProFormance family is building the brand and ensuring the future of Northwest motorsports.
You might not have spoken with Siena Kitch on track days, but chances are you’ve gotten her message. The daughter of ProFormance Racing School’s founders Don Kitch, Jr. and Donna Porada-Kitch, Siena has thrown herself into the family business, applying her talents and industriousness to widening the ProFormance audience. The school’s professional and engaging Instagram and Facebook feeds are her doing, and her plans go far beyond that.
Chip Off the Engine Block
Since childhood, Siena has been surrounded by cars and racing. She can remember sitting on her dad’s lap and steering a golf cart, feeling as if she’d hit the automotive big time. At six she competed at Le Mans at a special kids’ event called Little Big Mans. “I was the only girl, and the youngest one there. I remember being terrified, but I wanted to make my parents proud.”
It’s All Horsepower
For a decade or so horseback riding was Siena’s sport. She was riding at seven and competing at nine. “A lot of skills are transferable from performance riding to performance driving,“ she notes. “You have to be perfect, hitting the same exact spot each time, in order to get the best outcome. You need to stay composed and face external factors that are out of your control. Just as a horse might have an attitude one day, a car might not be perfectly tuned, and there might be other people on the track you have to deal with.”
Taking On ProFormance
With Covid came a reassessment and a change: it was time to concentrate on the family business and work for ProFormance in an official capacity. Siena found the first few months daunting. “I knew a lot about the racing world, but now I had to apply it. There was a huge learning curve.” Her strategy was to surround herself with successful and knowledgeable people, whose presence pushed her to excel as well. Siena’s mantra: “If you’re the smartest person in the room, you need to leave the room.”
Siena put in her time with flags, cones, and other tasks. But over time she found her true place in the ProFormance organization, a place where she could make a difference. Though her mom and dad took great care of clients, she felt that ProFormance needed to nurture a new generation of drivers. That meant catering to the interests of younger people and communicating in ways they hadn’t tried.
The online world, it turned out, was where Siena was the smartest person in the room. “I discover a lot of things through social media; since I’m constantly on my phone, it’s an area I understand.” These days Facebook and Instagram are the two main channels through which people find out about ProFormance.
Connecting Early and Often
Communicating is a two-way activity for Siena Kitch. She spends a good amount of time listening to clients to make sure ProFormance is giving them what they’re looking for. “At the track, I ask them for feedback and get their thoughts. Some of the younger instructors have helped me tune the message.”
Keeping a consistent, professional tone is important for social media, but so is having fun. Anyone following the feeds can see that clients are having the time of their lives. They send in photos of their cars and enjoy seeing them online. “And when someone contacts us, I make an effort to respond right away.”
New Drivers on Board
Better social media presence doesn’t just mean more clients — it means younger clients, who are not always easy to reach these days. “In high school, a lot of my friends didn’t want to get their driver’s license right away. Now more of them are enjoying driving. It’s rewarding when someone tells me they found out about us on social media.”
Don, Donna, and Siena have all been working successfully to bring more women to sport driving as well, sponsoring women’s events and track days. “And the staff is reflecting that,” Siena notes. “We’re introducing two new female instructors this year, and they’re going to do great things.”
Greenlighting a New Agenda
One area that Siena will spearhead is environmental stewardship. “I want us to move more toward sustainability, to give back to the community in environmental areas. That sustainability path is what I’ll be working on for the next five to ten years.” That ambitious program won’t even take her to mid-career, as she hasn’t yet turned 20.
These days Siena Kitch, like a lot of people, works remotely: she’s attending Villanova University on the East Coast, studying finance and international business. And while she isn’t flagging or moving cones these days, her presence is felt every day online. Siena’s formidable marketing skills help ProFormance thrive and keep drivers connected, informed, and dedicated fans of the organization that is as much her home as her business.
Top Photo: Siena Kitch at Dirtfish Rally School in Snoqualmie, WA.