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Jenell Ross celebrates 50 years at the helm of the nation’s only black woman-owned Buick, GMC, and Mercedes-Benz Dealership

The Bob Ross Auto Group, founded by Robert P. Ross Sr. in 1974, is a family-owned business that has accomplished much in the automotive industry. Following Robert’s passing, his wife Norma and their children, Jenell and Robert Jr., continued his legacy, expanding the dealership and receiving awards for business excellence and community service. Today, Jenell Ross, the President of Bob Ross Auto Group, leads the only Buick, GMC, and Mercedes-Benz dealership owned by an African American woman. In this episode of Women Driving the Industry, we explore Jenell’s personal journey as a leader in the automotive industry and her active role in her Ohio community.

Key Takeaways

1. Jenell Ross highlights the significant role of her family’s legacy in the automotive industry. Her narrative emphasizes family values and business continuity through her leadership following her father and mother. This highlights the broader theme of generational leadership within family-owned businesses in the automotive sector.

2. As an African-American woman leading a major automotive dealership, Ross has faced numerous challenges and barriers. Her story is a testament to her resilience and determination to break through gender and racial stereotypes in a predominantly male-dominated industry. Her journey inspires other women and minorities and encourages them to pursue leadership roles.

3. Throughout the interview, Ross emphasizes the crucial role of supportive mentors and family members who have been instrumental in her professional growth. Her experience underscores the immense value of mentorship and supportive networks in achieving success, particularly in challenging industries. This highlights the importance of community and collaboration in personal and professional growth.

4. Ross’s commitment to the community through her dealership and her personal advocacy for breast cancer awareness and prevention is not just a contribution but a significant impact. Her actions demonstrate the pivotal role of businesses in supporting and enhancing their communities beyond mere economic contributions. This highlights the potential of companies to make a real difference in the lives of community members.

5. The narrative also discusses the need for continuous learning and adaptation within the rapidly changing auto industry. Ross’s approach to incorporating educational projects related to the industry throughout her life and her strategic role in customer relations reflect the importance of innovation and staying current with industry trends.

"My parents are the legacy, but I was fortunate enough to grow up in this wonderful industry from the time I was four." – Jenell Ross

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Jaelyn Campbell
Jaelyn Campbell
Jaelyn Campbell is a staff writer/reporter for CBT News. She is a recent honors cum laude graduate with a BFA in Mass Media from Valdosta State University. Jaelyn is an enthusiastic creator with more than four years of experience in corporate communications, editing, broadcasting, and writing. Her articles in The Spectator, her hometown newspaper, changed how people perceive virtual reality. She connects her readers to the facts while providing them a voice to understand the challenges of being an entrepreneur in the digital world.

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