Ally Financial and the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers (NAMAD) have recognized Filipina dealership general manager Gabrielle Abinion for her inspirational leadership and work ethic.
Abinion received the “Ally Sees Her” award during NAMAD’s yearly conference earlier this month. “Gabrielle is a trailblazer in automotive retail, becoming a general manager at 25 years old and an inspiration to the next generation of minority dealers,” noted senior director of auto sales at Ally Financial Juan Niebles.
To honor Abinion’s dedication toward helping her community, the company will be splitting $10,000 in donations between Cal’s Angels, a nonprofit supporting cancer research and patient welfare, and Naomi’s House, a charity providing aid to victims of sex trafficking.
Abinion leads the family-owned Fox Valley Volkswagen of St. Charles dealership in Illinois. “Growing up in the automotive industry, I always admired my mentors and coaches, most of whom were men,” she remarked. However, during her first job as a sales representative, she learned “the importance of having women in our industry and how by challenging traditional masculine norms, we can create a culture of diversity that inspires innovation, growth and meaningful change.”
Abinion, who attributes her success to the mentoring she received from co-workers such as African American saleswoman Alicia Houston, has completed courses such as the Ally Financial Leadership Academy for dealers and is part of the General Motors Dealer Development National Candidate Pool.
Recognizing the hard work and talent of women and minority dealership employees is crucial to ensuring that the industry can continue to grow and provide an excellent experience for consumers. Partnerships such as the one between Ally Financial and NAMAD help bring attention to under-represented groups in the industry.
However, to truly affect large-scale change, dealers must take matters into their own hands by searching for women and minority employees. Doing so not only repairs the industry’s reputation but also makes operations more effective and efficient. By attracting a workforce of diverse employees, not only can the retail automotive sector reach a wider audience, but it can also gain new perspectives on the business of selling cars. To learn more about the importance of supporting diversity in the dealership community, visit NAMAD’s website here.