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Penske Automotive Group

Women's Initiatives

Penske 2022 Women In The Driver’s Seat: Sammi Ly

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To conclude, we hope you enjoyed this year’s Women in the Driver’s Seat segment, and were inspired by our female leaders from around the globe. Please stay tuned for a new group of amazing trailblazers for 2023!


 

MEET THIS WEEK’S LEADER: SAMMI LY, GENERAL SALES MANAGER, AUDI SOUTH COAST

“Don’t sweat the small stuff… it’s all small stuff.”

First Automotive Job: Inside the Finance Department

PAG Tenure: 11 years

What attracted you to the automotive industry? I recognized that the world has a heavy reliance on vehicles and that this industry drives the pursuit of advanced technology – simultaneously fulfilling a modern day need while at the same time inspiring innovation. The competitive environment and rapid pace of change is unyieldingly exciting and just inconsistent enough to keep you guessing!

Most satisfying part of your job: One of the things I love most about this industry is the customer connection. There is nothing quite like a returning customer that remembers how amazing their experience was even years later, and every time they bring their car in for service, taking the time to catch us up on what’s happening in their lives.

Proudest professional achievement: I am most proud of the record breaking numbers our team has achieved during my time as General Sales Manager, we are fiercely competitive, pushing out more units than ever before while holding gross and maintaining exceedingly high customer service scores.

Who was the biggest influence in your career? Those that have encouraged and inspired me to be the best version of myself professionally include, Patricia Lindseth, Regional Finance Director. Gary Stone, my current GM at Audi South Coast and Paul Liu, OC Area VP for Penske Automotive.

Looking back on the last decade, how have you seen the automotive industry landscape change and evolve to engage more women? I was fortunate to work with supportive and skilled industry veterans that saw my potential and gave me opportunities to prove myself. I quickly came to realize that the harder I worked, the faster I learned; and the more I learned, the more success I was able to achieve. This industry, and sales in particular, embraces talented individuals – there is tremendous potential for women to thrive in this environment.

What hobbies do you enjoy? Tennis, Hiking, Going to the beach, and Spending time with family.

Where do you see yourself in the next five years? I hope to continue proving myself as a competent and capable leader of my team. Eventually I hope to oversee a dealership of my own as the General Manager after learning as much as I can from my current mentors.

What advice would you give to young women considering a career in the automotive industry? I recommend taking the leap! I can only speak from my experience in sales; but gaining mastery over your mind and learning to navigate negotiations effectively are vital to success in business and in life. It is often said that life is about the journey, so let this industry be your vehicle to tremendous personal growth and professional success!

What is the best career advice you’ve ever received? “Don’t sweat the small stuff… It’s all small stuff.”

 

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Women's Initiatives

Women’s Wellness Week

Young people giving high five closeup focus on stacked palms

Penske Automotive Group will kick-off Women’s Wellness Week in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

What is Women’s Wellness Week and why does it matter?

Women’s Wellness Week is a week-long program aimed to unite women, to encourage them on their individual journeys, and to nurture mind, body, and spirit through a variety of daily events and activities held on-site. The program also supports women in surrounding communities by spotlighting local women-owned businesses and through charitable outreach.  Clothing donations will be collected throughout the week to support local based charities.

Additional activities planned for the week include mindfulness webinars and health sessions on functional medicine and nutrition.

Women’s Wellness Week has also been celebrated in other regions throughout Penske Automotive Group with the purpose to unite and inspire women.

We look forward to sharing more on the success of these initiatives.

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Women's Initiatives

Penske 2022 Women In The Driver’s Seat: Jackie Estep

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Throughout 2022 we feature a new female leader from around the globe, highlighting their career achievements, biggest influences, and the advice they would give to other young women considering a career in the automotive industry.


MEET THIS WEEK’S LEADER: JACKIE ESTEP, FLORIDA AREA CONTROLLER, PENSKE AUTOMOTIVE GROUP

“Always finish your work as quickly and accurately as possible, then volunteer to help others so you can get experience in their positions which gives you an edge when seeking a promotion.”

First Automotive Job: Lot Porter

PAG Tenure: 36 years

What attracted you to the automotive industry? I was attracted to the automotive industry by family members that were in the industry.

Most satisfying part of your job: The most satisfying part of my job is completing projects.

Proudest professional achievement: Becoming the Florida Area Controller for Penske Automotive Group, which at the time only included seven dealerships.

Who was the biggest influence in your career? My biggest influence was Kathy Parkkonen, a former controller. She encouraged me to try new positions within the accounting office, always affirming that she knew I could do it.

Looking back on the last decade, how have you seen the automotive industry landscape change and evolve to engage more women? Penske Automotive Group encourages women to grow in the automotive industry. Today, I see more women in sales manager and general manager roles and more women are being promoted at the corporate level.

What hobbies do you enjoy? I enjoy spending time with my son and granddaughters, my three dogs, and reading.

Where do you see yourself in the next five years? I see myself continuing to enjoy my position as Controller and any new challenges and/or new dealerships that come our way.

What advice would you give to young women considering a career in the automotive industry? The automotive industry can be extremely fast paced, with a diverse group of coworkers, numerous types of jobs and ever-changing technology.

What is the best career advice you’ve ever received? Always finish your work as quickly and accurately as possible and volunteer to help others, so you get experience in their positions as well to give you an edge when seeking a promotion.

 

 

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Women's Initiatives

Penske 2022 Women In The Driver’s Seat: Micaela Testoni

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Throughout 2022 we feature a new female leader from around the globe, highlighting their career achievements, biggest influences, and the advice they would give to other young women considering a career in the automotive industry.


MEET THIS WEEK’S LEADER: MICAELA TESTONI, ADMINISTRATION AND SITE MANAGER, MERCEDES-BENZ ITALY

Never forget to listen to others, through real and active listening.”

First Automotive Job: Administration Manager

PAG Tenure4 years

What attracted you to the automotive industry? I was attracted by the complexity of the automotive industry, with administration and accounting having different rules with respect to my previous experience. I thought it was the right time to take on new challenges in a completely different field, in a newly established company with new processes to be developed, and an administration team to be set up.  Finally, I felt the need to continue with the growth of my career path and so I accepted with enthusiasm.

Most satisfying part of your job: Managing people, without a doubt. A company is a complex organizational system that requires competence, effective communication skills, aptitude for teamwork, and proactivity. To work every day to develop these skills in people, to see them grow in their roles, to see them advance in their career paths, and to see them rewarded for the work they do daily – that brings me satisfaction.

Proudest professional achievement: Being able to balance the most important things in my life; work and family. It has not been easy to raise three daughters with a full-time job and responsibilities. But it was possible thanks to my determination, and I could not have done it without my husband’s invaluable support.

Who was the biggest influence in your career? There is no one person; all the managers, collaborators, and consultants I have met along the way have given me with something that has made a difference. Certainly, my parents were an important influence. They taught me the value of work, and that nothing is achieved without commitment and effort; the easy way never leads you far.

Looking back on the last decade, how have you seen the automotive industry landscape change and evolve to engage more women? I don’t believe there are male and female roles. There is only a personal aptitude for certain roles and jobs that transcends gender. This is also true in automotive, where women are in the roles of sales, service, car pre-delivery, and managers at various levels, for example.

What hobbies do you enjoy? I love running, and as soon as I can put on my shoes I go out. Running surrounded by nature recharges me after a workday.

Where do you see yourself in the next five years? I hope to still be on my team, providing the same motivation and enthusiasm as today.

What advice would you give to young women considering a career in the automotive industry? The same advice I would give to a male colleague: identify your goal, step on the accelerator, and go for it. There is no role you cannot fill as a woman in the automotive industry. The only things that are valuable and will be recognized over time will be your skills, your accomplishments, and how hard you have worked.

What is the best career advice you’ve ever received? Never forget to listen to others, through real and active listening.

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General

8 Ways to Make a Gallon Go Further

Pumping gas at gas pump. Closeup of man pumping gasoline fuel in

1. Get the Lead Out.

If you’re like us, you carry things in your trunk you might have forgotten about. A set of weights for that workout session you went to last month. Or, on top of the car, maybe there’s a bike rack you almost never use. All of that adds up.

2. Inflate Your Tires.

When tires are underinflated, you use more gas — about .4 percent more for every pound of pressure you’re below the manufacturer’s recommendation. Check your owners’ manual for the ideal pressure and check your tire pressure regularly. Some cars can show you your PSI right on the dash — you may have that setting. If not, try an inexpensive gauge you can get at any auto parts place.

3. Drive Sensibly.

The harder you accelerate, the more fuel your car consumes. Coasting to a stop when you see a red light ahead also helps save gas. And gas mileage is just another reason to adhere to local speed limits — most vehicles are made to operate most efficiently between 30 and 50 miles an hour.

4. Use Your Air Conditioning Less.

Air conditioning can increase fuel consumption by up to 20%. While it may be an absolute necessity on a 120–degree day in Scottsdale (or a 95 percent humidity day in Hatfield, PA) on nicer days, try using the flow–through option when you’re on the highway. When you do use air–conditioning, the re–circulate option might be a good alternative.

5. Use Your Cruise Control More.

Varying speeds up and down can increase your fuel use drastically. A study found that accelerating and slowing 10 miles an hour every 18 seconds on the highway upped fuel use by a whopping 20%.

6. Track Your Fuel Consumption.

Trying to better your MPG is a fun game, and it keeps you conscious of how efficiently you’re driving. Gas receipts give you the fuel you pump down to the hundredth of a gallon, and if you write down the odometer reading every time you stop for gas, it’s easy to calculate your actual mileage by dividing gallons into miles with your cell phone calculator.

7. Use the Oil the Car Manufacturer Recommends.

If you’re someone who changes your own oil, be conscious of the grade you’re using. Using the exact oil grade specified by the manufacturer will reduce inefficiency.

8. Keep Your Car Serviced Regularly.

Improper tuning can rob you of 4% of your gas mileage, and a clogged air filter can retard mileage even more.

(Credit: Carshop.com)

 

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Women's Initiatives

Penske 2022 Women In The Driver’s Seat: Maggie Nightingale

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Throughout 2022 we feature a new female leader from around the globe, highlighting their career achievements, biggest influences, and the advice they would give to other young women considering a career in the automotive industry.


MEET THIS WEEK’S LEADER: MAGGIE NIGHTINGALE, HEAD OF CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE, CARSHOP UK

“FIND OUT WHAT YOU LIKE DOING BEST AND THEN GET SOMEONE TO BELIEVE IN YOU ENOUGH TO PAY YOU TO DO IT.”

First Automotive Job: Personal Assistant

PAG Tenure: 9 years

Most satisfying part of your job: Helping people. I am exceptionally passionate and believe the customer experience can be our differentiator from our competition. Many dealerships can offer a broad selection of cars, competitive pricing and offer products and services that capture the customer’s interest, but second-to-none, the customer experience can achieve customer retention. This allows you to build your customer base through referrals, and places you above the competition. I love making a difference, however small to our customers, and I look for an example of where I have achieved that every day. 

Who was the biggest influence in your career? My operations director who I reported to during my first leadership position has influenced my career the most. When I started as an operations manager, I had a customer service/call center background and while I was confident in those skills, I lacked confidence in how I could apply those skills to my new role. I learned that problem solving is a very transferrable skill and approaching an operational or process issue with the end user or customer in mind would achieve the most effective result. I also learned how to constructively challenge ideas and processes with data and insight, which reminded me often to believe in myself. I now focus on building the new rather than fighting the existing, alongside consistent hard work, helps me to achieve everything I have hoped. I now make sure to remind myself! 

Looking back on the last decade, how have you seen the automotive industry landscape change and evolve to engage more women? As an industry we are moving to a place where we are making an impact, regardless of gender. There’s still a way to go in closing the equality gap, and the automotive industry has had some negative associations as being an environment that it’s difficult to succeed in if you are a woman. Looking around the room at industry events today versus eight years ago is quite different. There are women in positions throughout the industry that are achieving massive success, and while we may still be underrepresented, it’s changing. Seeing female head of business achievements, alongside best in class customer experience metrics within the Sytner Group at our recent conference was inspirational. There are fantastic initiatives, awards and events across the industry that really celebrate women and their contributions and seeing men in the room cheering them on and supporting this evolution is fantastic! 

What hobbies do you enjoy? I love to run – there’s nothing better than taking your frustration out on your sneakers! 

Where do you see yourself in the next five years? I am extremely ambitious and there is a lot I would like to accomplish in the next five years! I hope to be leading a growing, best-in-class customer experience operation that is evolving and adapting to changing customer behaviors. I have my sights set on a directorship and I know that when the time is right, that will be ticked from the goal board! 

What advice would you give to young women considering a career in the automotive industry? Once you join, you won’t want to leave! The industry is full of exceptionally talented individuals who LOVE to talk and share their experiences as well as training and tools to help with your success. It’s fast-paced, exciting and dynamic – the landscape is changing, come and be a part of it! 

What is the best career advice you’ve ever received? “Find out what you like doing best and then get someone to believe in you enough to pay you to do it.” I am incredibly grateful that I have a role that I love, and I can’t wait to continue to build my career in the customer experience arena within the automotive industry!

 

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Women's Initiatives

Penske 2022 Women In The Driver’s Seat: Amanda Kloepfer

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Throughout 2022 we feature a new female leader from around the globe, highlighting their career achievements, biggest influences, and the advice they would give to other young women considering a career in the automotive industry.


MEET THIS WEEK’S LEADER: AMANDA KLOEPFER, DIRECTOR OF WARRANTY, PREMIER TRUCK GROUP

“STAY TRUE TO YOU.”

First Automotive Job: Part of the Fleet Services Team, Premier Truck Group

PAG Tenure: 16 years

What attracted you to the automotive industry? I was obtaining a business administration degree and my only work experience was as a cosmetologist, managing a local salon. With my last year of college left, I applied at Premier Truck Group to work part time in the accounting department. My goal was to get hands-on experience and broaden my horizons.

Most satisfying part of your job: I love looking at a process and seeing how we can make it the most efficient. I think of processes like a puzzle. Each step of a process is a piece of a puzzle, and we can rearrange them until they create the perfect picture.

Proudest professional achievement: Taking our fleet services and warranty teams from paper to paperless. It allowed us true visibility in tracking our progress and the ability to work remotely which allows us to assist dealerships across the country.

Who was the biggest influence in your career? My first manager when I joined the fleet services team. I was young, almost out of college and had lots of ideas. No matter how crazy or off the wall my ideas were, I was always listened to. Throughout the years, I was a part of several large projects and learned that there is always a solution if you just look at the problem from a different angle and include your team around you. I learned, while in a leadership position, how important it is to get to know your team and find out what is important to them, not just professionally but personally.

Looking back on the last decade, how have you seen the automotive industry landscape change and evolve to engage more women? My perspective has been more with the commercial trucking side of the dealerships than automotive, but it is similar. It is a male dominated industry; however, more and more women are joining the leadership teams.

What hobbies do you enjoy? I love being outdoors. It doesn’t matter what I’m doing as long as there is sunshine, and my family is around.

Where do you see yourself in the next five years? I have enjoyed the growth that Penske has offered me, and I am open to any future opportunities.

What advice would you give to young women considering a career in the automotive industry? Do not be shy about your interests and goals. You would be amazed by the resources and development opportunities available to you, but people must know your interests. Let those around you know so they can offer support.

What is the best career advice you’ve ever received? Stay true to you. There are going to be challenges along the way but stay true to who you are, and it will make all the difference.

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Women's Initiatives

Penske 2022 Women In The Driver’s Seat: Judith Parra

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Every Thursday for the next few months, we will feature a new female leader from around the globe, highlighting their career achievements, biggest influences, and the advice they would give to other young women considering a career in the automotive industry.


MEET THIS WEEK’S LEADER: JUDITH PARRA, GENERAL MANAGER, LEXUS DE SAN JUAN

“BELIEVE IN YOURSELF, DEVELOP YOURSELF, BE THE BEST YOU CAN BE. THINK POSITIVE NO MATTER WHAT AND STRIVE FOR GREATNESS.”

First Automotive Job: Greeter

PAG Tenure: 25 Years

Most satisfying part of your job: Developing great professionals and sharing in their success. I’m very passionate about what I do, and I have been blessed with 75 wonderful professionals who are responsible for what we have accomplished through the years.

Who was the biggest influence in your career? My parents taught me about integrity, morals, and ethics. Stay true to yourself and work hard. Respect, loyalty, and trust is earned.

Looking back on the last decade, how have you seen the automotive industry landscape change and evolve to engage more women? Yes, it has changed for the better. I have met great ladies that are involved in all areas of the automotive industry, from sales to service managers. I have been blessed through the years to have great mentors that have given me the opportunity to gain experience and develop. But most importantly of all, they have believed in me and supported me. Women have demonstrated that they can see themselves in this industry.

What hobbies do you enjoy? I’m a pet lover, and I enjoy spending time with my horses and with my family.

Where do you see yourself in the next five years? Continuing to grow, learning more about the business and putting Lexus in the first position in our market.

What advice would you give to young women considering a career in the automotive industry? Look for companies that encourage diversity in all areas. Embrace all opportunities to gain experience and grow, and do not fear change.

What is the best career advice you’ve ever received? Believe in yourself, develop yourself, be the best you can be. Think positive no matter what and strive for greatness.

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