How Ellena Woodhams Stepped Up the COVID Response Across her Family’s 4 Dealerships

Ellena Woodhams

Up until the COVID-19 virus hit the state of California this past March, Ellena Woodhams’ job as the compliance and outreach director for Stevens Management Co., had been relatively straightforward. The company oversees Stevens Dealership Group, comprised of four dealerships including Mercedes-Benz of Modesto, Modesto Subaru, Fresno Acura, and Marin Acura.

Once the pandemic hit, Ellena says it immediately changed the way all four of their dealerships did business. While the service and parts departments we deemed essential businesses, sales were not, and because each of the four dealerships was located in a different county, Ellena and her team had to contend with four times the amount of regulations.

However, she developed a system of communication that allowed her to stay in contact with the dealerships and provide them with up to the hour changes. In fact, she worked with the CNCDA to lobby the California state government in favor of getting sales operations back up and running. The challenges didn’t stop there though. The group had to shut down two of their four dealerships due to a COVID-19 outbreak. They ended up doing a massive 48-hour long decontamination process. Ellena says has done all she can to maintain compliance as well as the health and safety of her customers and staff. It has paid off because May, June, and July were strong months for sales.

In addition to her role as the compliance and outreach director, Ellena is an Automotive News 40 Under 40 honoree for 2020, and a NextGen Committee member for the California New Car Dealers Association. To hear more from Ellena about COVID-19 and the dealerships’ many charitable initiatives, be sure to watch our full interview above.

Did you enjoy this interview with Ellena Woodhams? Please share your thoughts, comments, or questions regarding this topic with host Jim Fitzpatrick at

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