Penske Automotive Group is proud to have female leaders at every level of the organization. From Service Advisors and Sales Managers to General Managers and Fixed Operations Directors, the retail automotive industry offers women an exciting place to forge a career. Beyond the numbers, this is about unleashing the power of our people and utilizing their unique talents, experiences, and backgrounds to create an engaging work environment and world-class operation. Every Wednesday for the next two weeks, we will feature a female leader from the Penske organization who is empowering women in the automotive industry and paving the road for the next generation of female leaders. From their earliest interest in the industry to their proudest moments, you’ll learn how these women got their start, who influenced them the most, and how they are helping change the face of the industry in positive ways. Check back next week as we add another Featured Female Leader to the series.
Featured Female Leader: Michelle Petrenko – General Manager
“If you want something, go get it.”
Michelle Petrenko has worked in the automotive industry for 20 years and is the General Manager of a Honda dealership. Michelle tells everyone her job is “to keep the ball out of the net” – people laugh but it’s true. “I am here to remove any obstacle that keeps my team from succeeding and eliminate anything that prevents my customers from having a world-class experience.” When asked who has had the biggest influence on her career, Michelle recalled several people. “My first GM taught me that no one person was bigger than the entire team and that every single person from the valet to the General Manager were equal partners in the success of the business.” When she first came to Penske, Michelle said her fellow managers, supported her and taught her the things she needed to be successful. “Someone asked me once, what was the best thing, my then GM, ever gave me and I said a fair chance. He was tough on me when needed, celebrated my victories, and supported my vision to become a General Manager. And of course, Roger Penske. He has built a world-class organization that has allowed me to make all my dreams come true.” Michelle once attended a lecture where Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister of the UK, spoke on her experiences and obstacles that she faced in her career. She said “no matter what happens – don’t be afraid and don’t give up.” Michelle was 31 at the time but the speech had a lasting impact on her. When asked what advice she would give to a young woman considering a career in automotive: “My license plate says “GO GET IT” for a reason. I always say if you want something go get it, and don’t let your fears overtake your dreams.” Michelle believes the automotive industry has evolved to empower all people and offers a lot of opportunity and flexibility. “Whether you have an interest in accounting, sales, management, customer relations or automotive repair, it truly is an exciting and rewarding career path.”
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