August 2015 Speakers

Linda Barnette

Founder of Fifth Gear Sales

Now founder of Fifth Gear Sales, Linda Barnette continues as a prominent dignitary in the Automotive Industry who is teaching proven methods to a select group of NADA and SEMA vendors whose target market is the Dealer Principal or CEO of an Automotive Group.

Known as one who “reaches the unreachable” in the Auto Industry, she has developed relationships with top leaders such as Sonic, Asbury, DCH, Lehman Automotive, Chrysler Realty, CarMax, Lithia, Garber Automotive, Atlantic Automotive Group, Celebrity Motorcars along with a comprehensive roster of other key leadership figures. Many of those relationships helped Linda to achieve record sales for AutoBuilders. Her success with the company prodded CEO Bob Rawe to champion Linda’s Fifth Gear Sales venture. During her term as a VP with AutoBuilders, Rawe witnessed Linda grow his business with her systematic giving approach and testifies Fifth Gear Sales will influence and transform businesses pursuing to make significant gains in their efforts to generate more revenue.
Considering the success of her methods, it is not surprising Linda is a nationally acclaimed public speaker and lecturer on how to shift your sales to 5th gear and generate revenue in the Automotive Industry. Linda is also a contributor to Bloomberg news as part of their Automotive Expert team.
With experience as a flourishing executive at Greta Schulz Sales Training and serving as Vice President of National Accounts at AutoBuilders, Linda is a true authority on business relationships in her field.

Linda Bartman

Chief Marketing Officer

Linda Bartman serves as Global Chief Marketing Officer of CDK Global. With ~$2 billion in revenue, CDK Global — formerly ADP Dealer Services — was spun off from ADP in October 2014 and is the largest global provider of integrated information technology and digital marketing solutions to the automotive retail industry. Linda was brought in as the Global CMO to build a global brand for the newly spun-off business. Linda also drives the strategic positioning, packaging, and commercialization of CDK solutions, partnering with product development to bring applications to market that drive results for CDK’s dealer and manufacturer clients.

Linda came to CDK after spending four years with, an online third party automotive research site, where she was Chief Marketing Officer. Bartman was responsible for growing the company’s revenue through multi-faceted B2C and B2B marketing programs that drive site traffic and advertising sales. Particularly adept at managing change while delivering on aggressive goals, Bartman transformed the company’s marketing function after taking the helm as CMO in 2012. site traffic and brand awareness hit an all-time high, a direct result of Bartman’s strategic shift to a more integrated, targeted consumer media and traffic acquisition strategy.
A 15-year marketing veteran, Bartman has devoted her career to driving marketing strategies and brand strength for global businesses – including BP, GE and AAR. Navigating through one of the biggest brand and marketing challenges in her career, Bartman was the director of marketing communications for BP’s U.S. Fuels business, representing 10,500 BP retail sites during the Gulf of Mexico crisis. Bartman was charged with developing the division’s overall brand in the U.S., as well as the marketing communications strategy and programs for its B2B and B2C channels. When the crisis hit in 2010, Bartman led the company’s communications response for the Fuel’s business creating the “locally owned and locally operated” campaign platform to help retail distributors educate the public on their locally-owned status and mitigate the crisis’ business impact.
Bartman frequently shares her marketing expertise at industry conferences, including those hosted by the Business Marketing Association (BMA), American Marketing Association (AMA) and Association of National Advertisers (ANA). She is an active member of the CMO Club and BMA. Marketing programs under Bartman’s direction have garnered numerous accolades, including a Golden Trumpet Award and more than a dozen Publicity Club of Chicago honors.

Anne-Marie Baumann

COO & Partner – Automark

Anne-Marie Baumann, COO & Partner – For over 20 years Anne-Marie has applied her background in Automotive Sales Management and Strategic Automotive Marketing to help Auto Dealers connect with buyers and to sell more cars, month in and month out. Fifteen of those years were spent in a leadership/ management role within an 11 store automotive group in the Los Angeles area. Her leadership at a high-volume (high gross) dealership along with an extensive knowledge of the digital marketing space gives Anne-Marie a unique perspective to help dealers make the most out of their vital marketing decisions.

Marc Bland

Vice President, Diversity & Inclusion – IHS Automotive

As the Vice President of Diversity & Inclusion for IHS Automotive, Marc is responsible for the development and enhancement of IHS Automotive business opportunities within the growing and diverse automotive market. In this role, Marc works across the IHS Automotive organization to ensure their broad suite of products and custom solutions address the unique marketing needs of those seeking to reach the African American, Asian, Hispanic, Women, Military and LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual & Transgendered) automotive communities.

Marc is a highly sought-after speaker and his thought leadership has been published in the following books: The 85% Niche: The Power of Women of All Colors – Latina, Black, and Asian by Miriam Muley, Black Is the New Green: Marketing to Affluent African Americans by Leonard E. Burnett & Andrea Hoffman and Black Still Matters in Marketing by Pepper Miller along with other highly respected publications including: Advertising Age, Automotive News, Black Enterprise, Hispanic Business Magazine, The Michigan Chronicle, and Marc has also received National and Global recognition for his efforts in the growing diverse market including: 2011 Emerging Leader award from Rainbow Push, 2012 Michigan Chronicle Man of Excellence, 2012 National Research Executive of the Year from Target Market News in Chicago, 2013 Diversity Executive of Distinction by Diversity Global Magazine, 2013 Corp Magazine Salute to Diversity Award winner, 2013 and 2014 Global Diversity Innovation award recipient by Diversity Journal Magazine and most recently was recognized by the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers (NAMAD) with the prestigious 2015 National Diversity Advocate Award.

A proud graduate of Frank Cody High and the Detroit Public School system, Marc holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Grand Valley State University and a Master of Science degree from Central Michigan University.

Danielle Bowler

Internet Director and Business Development Manager for the Jim Curley Auto Group

Danielle Bowler is the Internet Director and Business Development Manager for the Jim Curley Auto Group. In this role, she oversees all digital activities at the dealerships, including web design, website optimization, ecommerce advertising, and analyzing each store’s eBusiness progress/performance.

Danielle also manages a Business Development team, and is responsible for the development and training of all lead/phone/chat handling, customer follow-up, and implementation of new process strategies for the dealerships. Danielle has been with the Jim Curley group for 5 years.

Celeste D. Briggs

Director – Women’s Retail Network, General Motors Company

As one of the founding members of the GM Women’s Retail Network (WRN) 14 years ago, Celeste D. Briggs has been at the forefront of increasing the female presence in the automotive industry by attracting women into the GM retail organization and making the dealership environment attractive to female customers and employees. Briggs was named director of the WRN, the first and only network of its kind, in January 2011. She is responsible for the profitability, growth and retention of the network and leveraging its resources to increase GM’s market share among women consumers.

During her 30-year distinguished career in the automotive industry, Briggs has served in sales, service, network planning and distribution positions throughout the country. She is the architect of a variety of innovative, cost saving retail initiatives and is well-acquainted with the daily workings of a dealership and the customers and communities they serve. This experience has given her special insights into the enormous influence of today’s female consumers and the importance of GM’s dealer network in reaching them.

Looking ahead, Briggs is executing several programs to more closely align and leverage women dealers in the GM product design process and attract more women into automotive retail through initiative such as Women’s Retail Network “Drive to Succeed” scholarship.

A native of Detroit, Briggs earned a bachelor’s degree from Spelman College in 1981. An active participant and driving force in the communities in which she lives, Briggs is a life member of the Girl Scouts of America, NAACP, public service sorority Delta Sigma Theta, Detroit Alumnae Chapter, and winner of the 2015 Women’s Automotive Association International (WAAI) Spirit of Leadership award. Briggs and her husband, Wade, make their home in Detroit and are the proud parents of the couple’s five daughters.

Jennifer Briggs

E Commerce Director for Feldman Automotive

A certified business intelligence designer, accidental “Car Guy” Briggs has used statistics and data to build the digital presence and sales penetration of Feldman Automotive, an eight-store group in suburban Detroit. Taking the group from a 12% Internet Sales Penetration to a 28% Internet Sales Penetration – while nearly doubling the groups unit volume in 2 years. Her work at Feldman Automotive and never ending drive to get to the next level earned Briggs a spot on this year’s Automotive News 40 Under 40 Retail list.

Lisa Copeland

Managing Partner, Fiat of Austin

One of the most respected faces in automotive leadership, Lisa Copeland is a dedicated pioneer in the field of automotive marketing and management with over 25 years of proven success. As a member of the National Chrysler Dealer Council, she now represents the North American pulse of the Italian brand Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino which was founded in 1899 and is popularly known as FIAT.

Named one of the Five Most Powerful Women in Austin by the Austin Business Journal in 2012, and recognized for her innovative marketing techniques, Copeland continually raises the bar on North American FIAT sales by developing processes and systems designed to strategically increase sales growth and revenue.

As the Managing Partner of FIAT of Austin the number FIAT retailer in NAFTA since the brand’s return to North America, Copeland was also recently honored by Chrysler Group Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne for record-breaking FIAT 500 sales. This was truly a defining moment in her automotive career. Under her management, FIAT of Austin became the first FIAT studio in North America to sell 100 FIAT 500’s in a single month.

Co-author of New York Times best seller “Succeeding Against All Odds,” a book described as the ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ for entrepreneurs, Copeland share the story of “The Bet.” “The real premise of the story was not about record breaking sales,” said Copeland. “It was more about the fact that women in life and in business are often afraid and intimidated to ask for what they truly want or deserve. Therefore, by sharing my story, I believe women will be encouraged to ‘lean in’ and go for what they truly deserve.”

With extensive knowledge of acquiring, training and retaining diverse candidates Copeland earned FIAT of Austin recognition as #6 Best workplace in North America by Automotive News in 2013., in March of 2014 was appointed to the Dealer Advisory Council for and In 2014 Northwood University named Copeland “Outstanding business Leader 2014” . Positioned as an expert in sales and management, her success story has been featured in prominent publications including the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Marie Claire and Automotive News.

Copeland is also the co-founder of Women Impacting the Nation and The Project 19 Foundation, non-profit organizations that are dedicated to advancing leadership roles for women. In 2012, she was named “Women of Distinction” by the Girl Scouts of Central Texas, and as the creator of, she empowers women as consumers by offering inside information to female consumers.

Jenni Crenshaw

Executive Director at Jabian Consulting

Jenni Crenshaw is an Executive Director at Jabian Consulting and the 2011 Woman of the Year in Technology for Women In Technology’s Small and Emerging Business category. She is seen as a generous visionary and thought leader who can adapt tools for success from one environment to another, bringing extraordinary value to both her company and its clients. “Jenni simply excels at client satisfaction! She is perhaps one of the best consultants I’ve known in 30 years of technology experience”, as stated by one of her clients.

Jenni is responsible for account management, project delivery, and internal growth areas. Together her teams are delivering game-changing technology and process enhancements for her clients. She is also considered an industry expert in CRM, specifically CRM integrations and transformations.

Jenni holds others to the same high standards to which she holds herself and shows her confidence in them by being willing to help them make good decisions and achieve their best work. Her relationships are built on honesty, trust, loyalty, and shared respect and she personally believes in cultivating best talent, as well as motivating the best work from each employee – a strategy that not only attracts new businesses, but delvers on the promise of guaranteed success for each client project.

David Cribbs

Lead Trainer for Auto Dealer University and the Co-Host of Auto Dealer Live

David Cribbs is the Lead Trainer for Auto Dealer University and the Co-Host of Auto Dealer Live. David began his career in 1989 selling new Toyotas and rose through the ranks becoming the BDC Internet Manager and New Car Manager with Toyota. In 2001 David left Toyota and assisted in the opening of a very successful staffed event direct mail company. David traveled for approximately 5 years as a Closer and Trainer at staffed events across the country. In 2006 David accepted a position as a New/Used Car Manager for Nissan. In 2010, David partnered as an owner/operator of an independent automobile and motorcycle dealership. In February of 2014 David joined Imperial Press Direct as the Corporate Trainer and Lead Trainer of Auto Dealer University and also serves as the Co-Host of Auto Dealer Live “The Show Where Dealers Go”.

Tammy Darvish

Tamara Darvish is Executive Vice President of PenFed Credit Union, the 3rd largest Credit Union in the world, serving over 1.3 million members and assets in excess of $20 Billion. Her responsibilities including overseeing all Business Development, Branding, Marketing, Member Experience, Government and Community Affairs globally. She joined the PenFed Credit Union’s Executive Team having recently left her 30 year post as Executive Vice President of the DARCARS Automotive Group, which includes more than 30 franchises in the Greater Washington DC Community and was one of the top 20 groups in the U.S.

She has also served on the Board of National Automobile Dealers Association representing over 17,000 franchised automobile dealerships across the country and is a graduate of Northwood University where she earned an Honorary Doctorate Degree, a Bachelor’s in Business Administration and an Associate’s Degree in Automotive Marketing and Management.

Jody DeVere

Jody DeVere is a internationally recognized speaker, trainer, often quoted industry pundit and spokesperson for the automotive industry on the women’s market. She has been featured by the New York Times, NPR, Wall Street Journal, CNN, Fox Business, Forbes Women, Oprah Magazine and Parenting Magazine to name a few. As CEO of, she provides automotive education to women consumers and an interactive online Certified Female Friendly® certification training program for automotive retailers on how to attract, sell, retain and market to women.

In her role as marketing to women expert, automotive journalist, car care expert and safety spokesperson her goal is to educate women car buyers and owners, the automotive industry at large and promote, mentor and support careers for women in the automotive industry.

Jody DeVere is a champion for women in the automotive industry, and her company, Inc. serves as the first point of contact for many women who are seeking the very best experience to buy a car and service by visiting Certified Female Friendly® automotive retail locations across the United States and Canada.

Maria Espinoza

National Sales Director, Dealer E-Process

▪ Over sixteen years’ experience in the automotive sector, including retail and digital.
▪ Dealer E-Process employee since inception of company (2006).
▪ Internet/BDC Director for the #1 Pontiac Dealership in the U.S.
▪ Specializes in large dealer groups, including Top 100 Groups.
▪ Automotive Website Award Recipient for Customer Service
▪ Dedicated to learning about each individual business and connecting dealers to the right solution for their dealership.
▪ Runs dealer advisory board, a small group of dealers that give feedback and mold future development projects for Dealer E-Process.
▪ Featured Speaker at AutoCon, Digital Dealer Canada, Digital Marketing Strategies Conference, 20 Groups, and Chicago LMA.
▪ Google-Certified Strategist

Allyson Estes

Senior Director, Industry Marketing and Events, Cox Automotive
Allyson Estes leads Industry Marketing & Events for Cox Automotive. This team is responsible for cultivating and maintaining key industry partnerships, educational content strategy and delivery, enterprise strategy and activation at industry trade shows and events, and the production of high-impact employee and customer events across Cox Automotive companies including Autotrader, Kelley Blue Book and Manheim.

Estes joined Autotrader in 2007 and has leveraged 20+ years of automotive marketing experience to drive innovative platforms and solutions to improve customers’ marketing and operational efficacy. Previously, she served as Autotrader’s Senior Director of B2B brand and product marketing.

Prior to joining Autotrader, Estes was a Vice President at Leo Burnett where she managed all retail marketing efforts for the Goodwrench Service brand and oversaw the advertising of General Motors’ Southeast Region Saab brand while managing the local retail marketing of over 20 GM dealer advertising associations for Cadillac, Hummer and Saab. Her automotive experience also includes marketing positions with NAPA AUTO PARTS and Western Auto Supply Company. Estes earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas.

BreAnna Fisher

VP Business Development, AutoMotion
BreAnna Fisher is the VP Business Development for AutoMotion, the leading mobile app provider for automotive dealerships. AutoMotion powers thousands of apps nationally including all Group 1 dealerships. A strategic thinker and accomplished entrepreneur, BreAnna leads the initiative to help dealers capitalize on their mobile traffic. As an Operation Iraqi Freedom Veteran and US Delegate for the G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance, she has built a formidable reputation for mentoring teams and individuals focused on achieving strategic goals both on and off the battlefield.

BreAnna has been recognized internationally for her work in entrepreneurship. She was named top five student entrepreneur in the world at the Entrepreneurs Organization (EO), Global Student Entrepreneurs Award. BreAnna was selected to represent the United Sates as a US Delegate for the G20 Young Entrepreneur Alliance. The alliance is responsible for delivering a communiqué to the G20 leaders focused on promoting entrepreneurship as a powerful driver of economic renewal, job creation, innovation, and social change at a global level.

BreAnna’s eight years as an Information Analyst in the military gave her a solid grounding in software and the skill set for effective team building and communication. BreAnna was responsible for training over 5,000 soldiers in advance software platforms on the battlefield. In 2006, during her time in Iraq she built her first technology company connecting soldiers to their loved ones while they were serving in Iraq.

Following her time in the service, BreAnna was involved with multiple entrepreneurial ventures including building her own brand, DoDrinks, which focused on helping hospitality brands connect with consumers using mobile, working with Fortune 500 brands including Heineken.

Her knowledge and leadership in the rapidly expanding mobile app marketplace brought her to the attention of AutoMotion and their focus on automotive dealerships. BreAnna has since helped AutoMotion grow their company footprint in the dealership market. BreAnna believes that it requires a strong team focused on lifting each other up to be successful. #TogetherToTheTop

Kate Frost

President of Kate Frost Inc.
Entrepreneur | Social Media Nut | Contributor | Educator | Speaker | Doer

For more than a decade, Kate Frost has specialized in automotive digital marketing, with an emphasis on social media. She currently serves as President of Kate Frost Inc., an award-winning Digital Marketing service provider. During the nearly six years at Kate Frost Inc., Ms. Frost has been an important voice in the field of social media. She has conducted hundreds of social media campaigns designed to brand businesses, drive traffic and generate sales and service leads. Prior to Kate Frost Inc., Ms. Frost spent two and a half years at Toyota of Orlando, where she was the Director of Strategic Marketing and Business Development (2006-2009) and three years at Who’s Calling, as an Account Executive calling on more than 150 dealerships across Florida and North Carolina (2003-2006).

Ms. Frost received her B.A. in Advertising and Public Relations, from the University of Central Florida. As a frequent attender of Digital Dealer, Driving Sales Executive Summit, NADA, PubCon, AutoCon and trips to Google and Facebook headquarters she has continued to learn about emerging trends and best practices. Among her recent projects, Ms. Frost was recognized as Dealer Marketing Magazine’s 2014 Technology Leader in Social Media; presented at the Innovative Dealer Summit in Denver, CO; a three time host for DealerOn webinar series attended by more than 200 automotive professionals; contributed to Auto Dealer Monthly’s Training for Success magazine; lectured at numerous 20 Group Associations and Digital Dealer conferences held across the country.

Dennis Galbraith

Chief Marketing Officer for Dealer E-Process

Dennis Galbraith is the Chief Marketing Officer for Dealer E-Process. He is the author of two marketing books, Sales Integration and Online Automotive Merchandising, and produces a weekly video series for dealers, Automotive Marketing Facts. Dennis ran the automotive internet division of J.D. Power and Associates and was Vice President of Advertising Products and Training for He owned several successful companies, Dennis Galbraith Marketing Services and Revenue Guru. He earned an MBA from University of Southern California and taught marketing for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and NADA Academy.

Tara Gallone

Director of Talent Acquisition at AutoNation

Tara Gallone is the Director of Talent Acquisition responsible for building and executing recruitment strategies that align with the business needs at AutoNation. This includes positioning AutoNation as the employer of choice through brand messaging, recruitment programs (college, Tech School, employer referral programs), building recruitment tools (system training, interview guides) and driving standardization and consistent recruitment processes across the regions. Prior to AutoNation, she was the Head of Talent Acquisition at Equinox Fitness and before that she was leading recruiting at Reebok

Mercedes Garcia-Bancroft

National Recruiting Manager for Asbury Automotive Group (NYSE: ABG)

Ms. Mercedes Garcia-Bancroft serves as the National Recruiting Manager for Asbury Automotive Group (NYSE: ABG), a Fortune 500 company, with 90 dealerships, 25 collision centers and over 8,500 employees. Ms. Garcia is responsible for developing and implementing recruitment resources, initiatives and programs across the company to further Asbury’s business strategy. Her priorities include formulating recruitment strategies to procure new talent and to standardize it across all Asbury regions. She is also responsible for all employer branding strategies and messaging on Asbury’s career website and third party websites. Mercedes also serves on the team that built and develops “ATI” Asbury’s Technical Institute in Atlanta, GA.

Prior to Mercedes role as the National Recruiting Manager, she’s held several other positions within Asbury Automotive Group; Sales Consultant, BDC Manager, Internet Sales Manager, Finance & Insurance Manager and Used Car Manager. She also has experience working in the service drive.

Mercedes holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Fashion Merchandising and a Master’s in Management & Marketing from Lasell College, Boston MA. Mercedes is also a member of Society of Human Resources Management and a Notary Public.

Kathy Gilbert

Director of Sales and Business Development for CDK Global, Inc

Kathy is the Director of Sales and Business Development for CDK Global, Inc (formerly ADP Dealer Services). She has management responsibility for the CDK Minority and Women Dealer Business(es) which includes 1,500 clients across the United States with roughly $60M in revenue. Kathy has over 20 years with CDK, where she has held positions in Product Marketing, Field Sales – Northeast, Sales Operations & Support and Competitive Intelligence. Kathy is an advocate for all clients, especially our minority and women dealers. Kathy continues to partner with internal and external stakeholders to deliver unique, personalized experiences for our clients and to showcase our products and services.

Subi Ghosh

Marketing and E-Commerce Director

Subi Ghosh has been working in the automotive industry for the past 7 years. She spent her first 6 years in the Automotive Industry as an Internet Manager, Sales Director, and most recently Marketing and E-Commerce Director. Subi is a respected speaker at the major Automotive Events including NADA, Driving Sales, Digital Dealer, and more.

Subi’s passion for the industry and drive to be an advocate for dealers serves as a perfect match as Executive Vice President at Dealer Authority, a digital marketing company that works with dealerships who want a custom-tailored Social and Search Strategy. Subi keeps actively involved in the automotive community as a blogger on all the automotive forums, as a guest blogger on DealerKnows, and on her own creative blogging site to share her knowledge, grow within her profession, and be a small part in improving the way the industry sells and markets cars.

Cyndi Guillot

Training Solutions Specialist – Service Group
Cyndi Guillot began her nearly 20 years in the automotive industry as a dealership receptionist while studying Business Management at the University of Texas-Pan American. Her emphasis on good communication skills and building strong relationships helped her move quickly to finance assistant, and then to finance director at the only dealership in the area with both a female general manager and a female finance director. There she was highly involved in leading and training the sales team, inventory selection for the pre-owned department, advertising, and promoting community involvement.

In 2008 Cyndi joined Service Group as a Training Solutions Specialist, training dealership personnel on the F&I and sales process, product knowledge, and compliance. After being promoted to Territory Manager, her duties expanded to include dealership acquisition and F&I product development. As Training Solutions Field Manager, Cyndi now helps grow and manage the training division of Service Group. She is responsible for mentoring and coaching Service Group trainers, developing curriculum, and co-teaching workshops.

Cyndi is senior certified with the Association of Finance and Insurance Professionals.

Cyndi lives with her husband, Kris, and two children, Kristopher & Kasyn in Georgetown, TX.

Bobbie Herron

Digital Director – Garber Automotive

Bobbie Herron’s love for this Industry began when she was hired as an “assistant” to the Variable/Fixed Operations Departments at a Ford store in a small town. She credits many successes to the time she spent in that store. She was moved between departments taking on a front of the house porter style role in each one. From photographing vehicles to calling every customer who visited the service department to make sure they were “completely satisfied”. She learned the best of each role. Throughout her career she sold vehicles, lead sales teams to success as their manager and created, managed and built successful BDC’s. She has been a Finance Manager, a GSM and now a Digital Sales and Marketing Director for a 16 franchise group. In 2014 she served on both the VinSolutions Dealer Partnership Council, Autotrader’s Annual Dealer Panel and recently he was named a 2014 “40 under 40” by Automotive News.

Shea Holbrook

Shea Holbrook is a 25-year-old professional female racecar driver, business woman and co-owner of Shea Racing, spokeswoman and entrepreneur with a passion for motorsport, marketing, and mentorship. She is also an advocate for Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

At just 25 years of age, Shea Holbrook has a professional motorsports career, and co-owns and operates Shea Racing, her family and minority-owned business. She is a spokeswoman for a variety of corporations, mentor to women in motorsport, and a Duchenne muscular dystrophy advocate.

Her first mark in history was when she won the Long Beach Grand Prix in 2011 becoming the first female to win a major Touring Car race at the venue. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and a minor in Marketing from the University of Central Florida in May of 2012. That same year she became a part of the TRUECar Racing Women Empowered Initiative.

She’s been a featured athlete on, Teen Vogue, NBC Sports Motor Sports Talk, CNN Live, and Autoweek, among others. A recipient of the Lyn St. James Foundation Cooper Tire & Rubber Company Scholarship and the Women’s Sports Foundation ‘Women in the Winners Circle’ Project Podium Grant, she takes her role as a female in motorsport seriously. She’s spoken during charitable events, corporate organizations, and to the Girl Scouts.
Recently, Shea battled for the 2014 Pirelli World Challenge TCA Championship where she finished second and was the featured personality in TRUECar’s national television commercial.

“Fear is a state of mind, will is an action taken.” Shea lives by this quote and believes through commitment and determination, anything is possible. Shea has raised tens of thousands of dollars and awareness for her charity of choice, Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD), which benefits Duchenne muscular dystrophy, an illness that has affected her own family. She also created #SteelOvaryNation, a social media movement representing women in motorsports.
She is currently competing in the Pirelli World Challenge as well as piloting a jet dragster in the IHRA Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series at speeds approaching 300mph.

· Featured personality in TRUECar’s 2015 national TV commercial
· 2nd Place in the 2014 Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car A Championship
· Recipient of the Women’s Sports Foundations Project Podium Grant
· Winner of the Fireball Run Adventurally (Sedan Class)
· 4th Place in the 2012 Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car Championships
· Recipient of the “Living Legend Honoree Award”
· Honored at the “Women in Motorsports” SuperCars Super Show Exhibit
· Member of the all-female TRUECar Racing Women Empowered Initiative from 2012-2013
· Winner of the 2011 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car – first female driver to win a Touring Car race
· Champion of the 2009 H1 Division in the SCCA Central Florida Region
· Recipient of the Women in the Winners Circle (Lyn St. James Foundation) received Cooper Tire & Rubber Company Scholarship
· First female alternate for the 2008 VW Jetta TDI Cup
· Sobre Rodas Talent of the Year 2007 Award

To contact Shea Holbrook for a personal appearance, keynote speaker, brand spokesperson, interview, or charitable event please E-Mail: and visit

Theresa Hordge

Internet Sales Director at Greenway Ford

Born and raised in Tampa, Florida, Theresa Hordge is a results-oriented leader with a proven track record of success. She joined the automotive industry in 1998, shortly after graduating summa cum laude from Howard University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. Originally recruited by Ford Motor Company she has enjoyed a 17 year automotive career, and has established a reputation known for integrity, innovation and implementation.

During her time at Ford Division, Theresa applied her expertise in a number of positions including as a Distribution Analyst, Market Representation Specialist, and Metro Market Zone Manager. Her success in these positions can be attributed to her sharp expertise in marketing including local dealer advertising, distribution of vehicles, sales promotions, market studies and business management consultation. Known for her ability to provide tailored reporting, analysis and action plans that are innovative, effective, and able to be implemented quickly and efficiently, she quickly gained dealer credibility, while also increasing dealer profitability by 12% and market share by 6% among the dealers in her market.
Theresa joined the Greenway Automotive Group in 2003, as the Director of Business Development, where she established and refined training and recruiting strategies, fine-tuned daily operations and processes, customer handling policies, word tracks, and performance metrics. During her tenure in this position, Theresa grew the department from 13 employees supporting 2 dealerships, to 31 employees supporting 13 stores, and responsible for generating over $1,200,000, in revenue for the group on a monthly basis. Her robust implementation plan led to the department becoming globally recognized as a “best in class” in business development center by industry leaders.
Seeking to further develop her business acumen and a testament to her commitment to competitiveness, while leading the organization’s Business Development Center during the day, Theresa attended Florida A&M University’s School of Law at night. In 2009, she graduated with honors with a juris doctorate degree and became a member of Florida Bar after taking the exam for the first time in 2010. In addition, Theresa is also a graduate of the National Automobile Association’s Dealer Academy in 2011.
Today, as the Internet Sales Director at Greenway Ford, the group’s flagship store, Theresa uses the expertise that she has accumulated over 16 years managing a team of 22 Sales Consultants and support staff to maximize internet sales and profits, by promoting transparency and implementing innovative strategies throughout the retail purchase process and establishing relationships built on trust. After two years, under her leadership, monthly internet sales have increased 120% to 220 units, generating an average of $425,000 in sales gross on a monthly basis. Transparency, customer-education, and fostering relationships built on trust are at the core of her customer handling philosophy.
In addition to customer satisfaction, Theresa believes that employees are critical stakeholders. She believes that the Sales Consultant and Service Advisor positions must be viewed as long-term career positions, and filled by team members who are given the resources to take an entrepreneurial approach in investing their time into the team. This begins by establishing a professional, positive, work environment where individuals enjoy coming to work and are able to foster and develop their talents – attitude and energy starts from the top. In recognizing this, Theresa who enjoys assisting employees in achieving their financial goals through training, coaching, constructive criticism and positive reinforcement in the retail automotive business.
The eldest of six children, born and raised in the inner city of Tampa, Florida, Theresa has proven that through hard work, determination, and a positive attitude one can overcome challenges and reach their goals. Today this mother of two, serves as a motivational speaker, role model and mentor for youth from impoverished areas similar to where she grew up, emphasizing the importance of dreaming big, work ethic and positive thinking. An advocate for those who lack access to resources, Theresa assists in two to three pro-bono cases per year. She volunteers on a regular basis and has participated in several community outreach programs including Race for the Cure, Habitat for Humanity and the Great American Teach-In. Due to her work-life balance and commitment to her community, she was nominated for the “City of Orlando’s Woman of Magic Award.” Today, Theresa seeks opportunities that will bring her closer to realizing her goal of becoming a successful automotive dealer, positioned to make a positive difference in the lives of employees, customers, partners, stakeholders and members in the community.

Mindy Howe

Senior Director Sales, Strategic Accounts
Autobytel Inc.

As Autobytel’s senior director of sales, strategic accounts, Mindy Howe works directly with OEMs headquartered on the East Coast. She also works closely with the Autobytel sales team in the Eastern U.S., and is responsible for sales and account management of large dealer groups including directly managing the Sonic, Asbury and AutoNation relationships.

Mindy is also instrumental in assisting with Autobytel business development initiatives, such as the company’s recent Autobytel Mobile and SaleMove integrations.

Mindy began her career as a management trainee for International Harvester and has held various positions in purchasing, sales and marketing. Past employers include ICI Americas, Argus Associates, Gage Marketing, R.L. Polk, and Cadillac Electric.

Throughout her tenure at Autobytel, Mindy says her biggest achievements have been the relationships she’s nurtured and cultivated, and how the company’s partners turn to her as a sounding board for advice about how best to serve the needs of today’s car buyers.

Mindy earned her BS from Indiana University and a Master’s in Marketing from Webster University.

Renita Hunt

Board President of Dress for Success

Renita Hunt is the 2015 Board President of Dress for Success Greater Orlando. Renita has been with the organization for over 3 years and has held such roles as: Personal Shopper, Event Director, Vice President, and now President. She has been instrumental on re-­‐launching the organization’s:career development and networking series-­‐Professional Women’s Group, Internship program, networking efforts, and individual donor giving.

Renita has a 15-­‐year professional background in marketing communications. Through the course of her career, Renita has worked with such brands as: Home Depot, Ford, Coca-­‐Cola, McDonald’s just to name a few. Renita is extremely passionate about giving back, women empowerment,and all things fashion. When Renita is not giving her time and talent to the community. She is spending time at home in her most important roles a wife to her husband and mother to 2-­‐year-­‐old son, Sheppard.

Kristin Huntley

Director of Content & Marketing for MotoFuze

Kristin Huntley serves as the Director of Content & Marketing for MotoFuze, a company that provides cutting-edge technology solutions for the automotive industry. With an emphasis on creating moments of authentic connection with brand audiences, she directs a team of writers, designers and digital innovators who have contributed to the growth and success of MotoFuze. Her passion for digital and content marketing strategy provides valuable leadership to executives in the automotive industry and beyond.

Kristin brings more than a decade of experience consulting with executives in multiple industries, developing content marketing plans and social media engagement strategies while coaching their teams toward personal branding success. Kristin’s clients have received top business honors, including her home state’s entrepreneur of the year. Her writing and photography have been featured in various professional publications, including AutoSuccess magazine. In addition, Kristin has been invited to speak at several top colleges and universities on the topics of personal branding strategy and social media best practices for college graduates. She has donated her time to various local non-profit organizations, serving both as a guest speaker and marketing consultant.
An in-depth knowledge of digital trends and technology resources, and the ability to empower business leaders to connect with the story of their customers, sets Kristin apart from other marketers. Demonstrated thought leadership in the areas of digital marketing best practices, campaign strategy, and content creation, combined with her warmth and aptitude for turning big ideas into do-able next steps, win her audiences over.
A graduate of Missouri State University, Kristin holds a B.S. in Communications Management. When she’s not creating stellar content or developing strategy with her team at MotoFuze, you will find her behind the camera lens, downloading the latest social media apps, spending time with her kids or playing with her adopted dog, Buddy.

Gena Jankowski

Vice President of Human Resources for Brumos Automotive

Gena Jankowski has more than 19 years of Human Resource experience; the majority of those years have been in the automotive industry. Her areas of responsibility include benefits, employee relations, recruitment and staffing, interviewing, counseling and career development.

Gena is an active, long term member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). She presented at Frank H Peterson Academy, Jacksonville University and University of North Florida. She is a member of the Program Advisory Committee (PAC) for Universal Technical Institute Orlando for over 13 years.

Gena serves her community by volunteering in her free time with Clay County Animal Care and Control, Habitat for Humanity, United Way, The Children’s Christmas Party, Wounded Warriors, MaliVai Washington Youth Center and many others.

Gena was born and raised in Toledo, Ohio. She has been married to her husband, Ron, for over 32 years. Together they raised a son and a daughter who they are very proud of. Gena had served as the Southeast Regional Command Ombudsman for over nine years while her husband served in the United States Navy for over 21 years.

Karen Klees

EFG’s Certified Consumer Credit Compliance Specialist

With a background in sales, F&I, field operations, and business management, Karen Klees brings more than 40 years of experience to her leadership position at EFG Companies. As EFG’s Certified Consumer Credit Compliance Specialist, Karen facilitates compliance training and provides EFG’s clients with a sophisticated analysis of their current compliance procedures to proactively inform and prepare them for upcoming changes in federal and state regulations. In addition, Karen assists the dealer services team in all areas of developing dealer business, particularly with regard to reinsurance.

Having grown up in the dealership environment, Karen brings a unique “owner’s perspective” to the table, where she relates to, and understands, the daily pressures that dealers face. Outside of serving as an F&I manager in three auto groups for seven years, Karen also served as a service writer. From there, she was recruited to Pat Ryan & Associates where she served as an F&I specialist. Once promoted to the position of district manager, she doubled production for the Minneapolis market, and was ultimately elevated to the position of national sales trainer. Karen is, herself, AFIP Certified, she was one of the first 100 professionals to be certified by the National Automotive Finance Association as a Certified Consumer Credit Compliance Specialist, she teaches the reinsurance curriculum at Northwood University, and was recently featured as a speaker at the National Association of Minority Auto Dealers Association national convention in Miami, Florida.

Eve Knudtsen

president of Knudtsen Chevrolet Co.
Eve Knudtsen is president of Knudtsen Chevrolet Co. in Post Falls, ID. She is the third generation to own and operate the dealership her grandfather started in 1939.
Eve has a long-standing passion for serving the community. She has served on numerous board and committees including past president of Concerned Businesses of North Idaho, and past chairman of the Post Falls Chamber of Commerce. She is currently the vice chairman of Jobs Plus Coeur d’Alene Area Economic Development Corporation and is the current Guardian of Bethel #7 Jobs Daughters International of Coeur d’Alene.

Eve is a past recipient of Soroptomist Business and Professional Woman of Distinction and 2006 recipient of Time Magazine’s Quality Dealer of the Year for Idaho. She is committed to educational initiatives throughout North Idaho including having been one of the individuals that purchased the land for KTEC, a career technical high school serving three school districts.
She has an Associate of Arts degree in Automotive Marketing and a Bachelors of Business Administration from Northwood University. She completed the National Dealers Association Dealer Candidate Academy and will receive a Master Degree of Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga University in spring of 2016.

Tammie LeBleu

National Dealer Developer for AutoLoop
Tammie LeBleu is the super-performer every dealership wishes it had. A personal friend, protégé and student of Jim Ziegler, Tammie takes Relationship Sales and Marketing very seriously. Her unique blend of Ziegler’s formulas and her own life experience— combined with the power of AutoLoop’s XRM software—has made her one of the highest-paid car sales professionals in the country.

Raised in a small parish in Louisiana, Tammie overcame extreme personal adversity to achieve her remarkable success. Her journey has led her from entry-level sales position to record-breaking Internet Sales Professional and the 2011 #2 Nissan Sales Agent in the country. Currently the National Dealer Developer for AutoLoop, Tammie has been a working manager, running outstanding Internet Departments for two highly successful dealerships and confronting the same challenges your dealership faces every day.

Michele E. Lieber

Chief Public Policy Officer, Ally Financial
Michele E. Lieber was named chief public policy officer of Ally Financial in March 2011 and is based in Washington, D.C. In this role, she oversees the company’s federal and state government relations strategies, manages congressional inquiries and works with key trade associations and coalitions.

Since joining Ally in August 2005 as vice president of government relations, Lieber has played an important role in the evolution of the company, overseeing all of Ally’s government relations activities and public policy issues, as well as ensuring their integration within the company’s business operations.

Prior to joining Ally, Lieber was the director of legislative and regulatory affairs, financial services for General Motors Corporation (GM) in its Washington, D.C. government relations office. In that position she was primarily responsible for policy issues related to GMAC and GM asset management.

Before joining GM in 2003, Lieber was the assistant director of federal affairs for Zurich Financial Services Group, a diversified financial services corporation. Prior to that, she served as an attorney and director of legislative affairs for Federated Investors Inc., a mutual fund company headquartered in Pittsburgh, with responsibility for policy development and advocacy in Washington, D.C., fifty states and select global markets.

Lieber has served as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University School of Business and also served as a member of the Interview Board for Service Academy Nominations for the late Senator Frank Lautenberg and on the Board for Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey.

Lieber earned a bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University and a juris doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh.

Craig Lockerd

CEO of Automax
Craig Lockerd is a 43 year auto veteran, has worked in every position in and dealership and has owned several businesses. Craig Started AutoMax Recruiting over 17 years ago and has held nearly 14,000 recruiting campaigns in the U.S. Canada and Puerto Rico. During this time we have placed in access of 135,000 women and men into various positions in those dealerships. Craig has had the honor to speak at many industry conferences sharing with the dealers and mangers to recruit, train and retain top talent just the way AutoMax Recruiting does it. Last year AutoMax acquired 50% ownership in a company called Recruitment HQ with a complete call center to help pre interview potential applicants prior to them coming into for a face to face interview.

Craig and his two companies are HUGE advocates of a much more diverse employee base and thru the company’s efforts has been able to chip away at that issue over the last few years.

Craig is a father of 4, plus 4 Automaxellent grandchildren, published author, very active in his church and is very enthusiastic about increasing the number of women into automobile dealerships nationwide.

Christa Luna

Owns and Operates Gilbert Chevrolet Co.
Third Generation Chevrolet Dealer, Christa Luna, owns and operates Gilbert Chevrolet Co. in Okeechobee, Florida which was started in 1933 by her grandfather, Gilbert Culbreth.
Starting at the age of nine filing papers for her mother after school and learning the value of hard work, Christa was raised in the automotive business. After graduating from University of Central Florida with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration in 1997 and completing General Motors Dealer Management School the following year, she worked her way up through the ranks becoming Dealer of Gilbert Chevrolet in 2010.

Her dealership was most recently awarded with the General Motors Mark of Excellence Award in 2013, as well as earning the GM’s Women’s Retail Network Performance Award in 2010, 2012, and 2013 (Southeast Region).

Laura Madison

National Director of Sales – Alan Ram’s Proactive Training Solutions
Laura Madison is a former top car salesperson, “Laura Toyota,” best known for her use of social media and personal branding. Laura is voice (and face) behind and the National Director of Sales for Alan Ram’s Proactive Training Solutions. She has been featured in Automotive News, Advertising Age and for her unique marketing and self-promotion efforts. She is also the creator of ‘Social Selling,’ a new online course that helps salespeople effectively use a personal brand to win more business on social media.

Originally from the East Coast, Laura sold cars in Montana and created a fierce personal brand shared across social platforms that created incredible visibility and opportunity. Laura is fascinated by personal branding and social media, and was able put together her own game plan, her own secret formula for dominating on social. Convinced that personal branding and social media is the future of car sales, Laura is committed to sharing the ideas that helped her create success online.

She joined Alan Ram’s Proactive Training Solutions in early 2015 to work with Alan Ram, the expert trainer in the business of conversion of opportunities. She hopes to use her experience to inspire action in the automotive world.

Nancy A. Meyer

Publisher and CEO – Orlando Sentinel Media Group
Nancy Meyer was named Publisher and CEO of the Orlando Sentinel Media Group in October 2014. Prior, Nancy was the Publisher of the Hartford Courant Media Group, Hartford, CT. Previously, she was the Chief Revenue Officer of Advertising at CT1 Media which included the Hartford Courant and FoxCT television. She was promoted to that role from her former position as Vice President of Advertising, Strategies and Targeted Media for the Hartford Courant.

Before joining Tribune Publishing, Nancy held executive leadership roles with Hearst Newspapers at the San Francisco Chronicle and, and the Times Union in Albany, NY.

She began her newspaper career with Gannett newspapers in 1987 in New York and held various advertising positions during her tenure with the Gannett Corporation.

Nancy attended Bloomsburg University in Bloomsburg, PA, as well as the University of Hartford in Hartford, CT, majoring in Communication studies. She is pursuing her master’s degree in Interactive Media.

Nancy is active with many professional and community organizations including the Orlando Economic Development Commission and Past President of Hartford’s Camp Courant, Vice President of Komen CT and the Metro Hartford Alliance as well as the Co-Chair of One Big Event for the Hartford, CT LGBT Health Collective. In addition, she has had roles with Leadership Greater Hartford, Capital Region of NY Big Brothers, Big Sisters, Newspaper Association of America (NAA), and New York Newspaper and Marketing Executives where she served as President.

Hwei-Lin Oetken

Vice President, Strategic Insights
Kelley Blue Book

Hwei-Lin Oetken is the vice president of Strategic Insights for Kelley Blue Book. In this role, Oetken leads the company’s Strategic Insights team, which uses click-stream data and shopper analytics, along with primary survey research, and other and industry information to create comprehensive insights about today’s car shoppers. Utilizing this consumer research, automotive manufacturers, dealers, business partners and media gain a better understanding of car buyers and sellers’ motivations in the current marketplace and automotive brand performance among competitors.

Before joining Kelley Blue Book in 2008, Oetken took a two-year career sabbatical during which she volunteered with several community organizations She identified new funding sources for a public school fundraiser, increasing donations by more than 50 percent and in less than half the time for previous events. She also co-chaired a youth sports league all-stars selection committee and introduced, designed and implemented quantitative methodologies to replace previous subjective processes.

Prior to the sabbatical, she worked at PacifiCare Health Systems, which was acquired by UnitedHealth Group, holding various senior positions. She was senior director of brand strategy and research for the brand and advertising group. While in this role, she helped lead the organization’s 150 percent brand equity improvement. She also devised and deployed profit-based consumer segmentation strategies to improve marketing efficiency, and increase sales and established customer engagement models to enhance business results. Oetken also was the director of strategy and research of the strategic initiatives group, and the associate director of research and market analysis during her tenure at PacifiCare.

Previously, Oetken also served as the manager of market research for the Automobile Club of Southern California. In this role, she boosted customer satisfaction by 5 percent among a client base of more than 5 million, created an award-winning operating model that was implemented company-wide, and linked client surveys to compensation and corporate goal-setting. While at the Automobile Club of Southern California, she also served as the project leader of primary research.

SOetken holds a MBA in General Business from Pepperdine University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles.

About Kelley Blue Book (

Founded in 1926, Kelley Blue Book, The Trusted Resource®, is the only vehicle valuation and information source trusted and relied upon by both consumers and the automotive industry. Each week the company provides the most market-reflective values in the industry on its top-rated website, including its famous Blue Book® Trade-In Values and Fair Purchase Price, which reports what others are paying for new and used cars this week. The company also provides vehicle pricing and values through various products and services available to car dealers, auto manufacturers, finance and insurance companies, and governmental agencies. Kelley Blue Book’s ranked highest in its category for brand equity by the 2015 Harris Poll EquiTrend® study and has been named Online Auto Shopping Brand of the Year for four consecutive years. Kelley Blue Book Co., Inc. is a Cox Automotive company.

Kathleen L. Patterson

Ally Financial

Kathleen L. Patterson was named senior vice president of human resources for Ally’s Dealer Financial Services business in 2012. In this role she is responsible for staffing, leadership development, talent management, employee engagement strategies, diversity management, and career development.

Patterson joined Ally Financial in May 2007. Prior to Ally, she was the managing director of human resources for DTE Energy, a Detroit-based diversified energy company, and was involved in managing the company’s staffing and consulting efforts and providing counsel for senior leadership on executive development and training.

Patterson has served on the board of directors of the American Red Cross of Southeast Michigan and is currently active on the Advisory Board of Pawley Learning Institute of the School of Education and Human Services of Oakland University.

She earned a bachelor’s degree from University of Michigan and a master’s degree from University of Detroit Mercy in Industrial/Organizational Psychology.

Gina Proia

Chief Communications Officer, Ally Financial
Gina Proia is the chief communications officer at Ally Financial and in this role has responsibility for all communications activities at the company, including developing strategic communications plans and managing media relations, internal communications, digital media, executive communications and corporate citizenship efforts.

She joined Ally in December 2006 to lead external and financial communications just as the company was beginning its journey as a standalone entity following 90 years as a subsidiary of General Motors. In June 2009 she was named head of all communications and corporate citizenship efforts.
Prior to joining Ally, Proia held various positions at General Motors in the areas of financial communications, marketing communications and product publicity. She began her career at a documentary production company in Washington, D.C.
She is a member of the Arthur W. Page Society and was named to PR Week’s 40 Under 40. Proia also serves on the board of the Jump$tart Coalition.

Eliana Raggio

the “Webinar Goddess”
Eliana Raggio, the “Webinar Goddess”, is host and moderator of DealerOn’s free weekly webinars ( where she presents invaluable information by industry leading experts on timely and relevant topics that Dealers need to compete and succeed in the Automotive Industry today. The highly interactive installments of the popular continuing education series are held every Thursday at 9am PST/ 12 noon EST.

She is also an award-winning voice over artist, professional emcee and former Philadelphia morning show radio personality. Additionally, Eliana is a US Navy Veteran having honorably served during the Gulf War and has long been a strong advocate for all issues facing women in male dominated industries. Eliana is a gifted communicator and eloquent writer with a dynamic personality and is blessed with a loving husband, an awesome son, and a cool puppy. She is also a life-long Philly sports fanatic and a karaoke queen and she unabashedly admits to never having met a mac ‘n cheese she didn’t like. You can connect with her on twitter @ElianaRaggio or email her directly at

​​Scotty Reiss

President, International Motor Press Association; Founder, SheBuysCars
A career journalist and writer, Scotty is the founder and CEO of SheBuysCars and the first woman to serve as president of the International Motor Press Association.

Scotty spent more than a decade covering media at Mediaweek, Adweek and Brandweek before launching the luxury industry’s first marketing magazine, the short-lived Luxe. After the demise of Luxe, she freelanced for the New York Times, Town & Country, Entrepreneur and others. In 2009 she co-authored the biography “Stew Leonard, My Story” with the founder of the iconic grocery company, which is as famous for its marketing strategies as it is for its farm fresh goods.

In 2012 Scotty partnered with Kim Orlando, founder of TravelingMom, to start SheBuysCars, the first women’s lifestyle site designed to empower women to be smarter, happier car owners. Built on the same influencer content and social media platforms as TravelingMom, SheBuysCars demystifies the car purchasing process while engaging women in the conversation of the life we live in and around our cars.

In January 2015 Scotty was elected as the first woman to serve as president of the International Motor Press Association. She is honored to help evolve the role of automotive media in the consumer’s journey to car ownership and to help ensure they continue to engage and enrich their audiences with the best automotive information.

Andrea Riley

Chief Marketing Officer
Andrea Riley was named is chief marketing officer for Ally in May 2015. She is responsible for Ally’s marketing, advertising and brand strategy.

Prior to her current role, Riley was chief marketing officer for Ally’s dealer financial services business and oversaw advertising and marketing for its auto finance, dealer products and remarketing lines of business.

Riley joined Ally’s marketing team in 2006. Prior to joining the company, she was an executive vice president and account director at Campbell-Ewald Advertising where she led Chevrolet’s advertising account, launching iconic campaigns such as Heartbeat of America, Like A Rock, and American Revolution.

Riley holds a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and was inducted in the Advertising Hall of Achievement for extraordinary accomplishment for those under 40 for her work on Chevy in 2004.

Elaine Richards

Vice President, Channel Development

Elaine Richards serves as the vice president of channel development for In this role, Richards oversees the go-to-market strategy for a variety of B2B channels, including more than 120 affiliate distribution partners nationwide, as well as the company’s automotive industry training programs. In addition to channel-specific operations, Richards leads the design, development and delivery of educational curriculum for both sales employees and dealer partners, accounting for close to 400 training workshops across the country each year.

Before joining in 2010, Richards served as the vice president of strategic initiatives, network sales and operations for McClatchy Interactive where she managed local sales across a publisher network of more than 30 daily newspapers and 100 websites nationwide. With a wealth of experience in print and online publishing, Richards has seen the evolution of media first-hand and has expertise in tailoring digital marketing strategies to align with new consumer trends.
A West Coast native, Richards earned both a Bachelor of Arts in Print Journalism and a Master of Business Administration in Product Management and Strategy from the University of Southern California.
She cites the growth of interactive content as her favorite marketing innovation in recent years, as it’s drastically changed the way corporations of all sizes engage customers.

Adam Robinson

CEO – Hireology

Adam Robinson is a noted recruiting industry expert, speaker, and author. He launched his current business, Hireology, ( with the mission to help dealerships make better hiring decisions using data. His work in the field of hiring and selection management is extensive, and in 2015 Adam was named a Top 25 HR Industry Game Changer by Workforce magazine.

Previously, Adam was the founder and CEO of Illuma, a provider of high-volume recruitment outsourcing programs, and the creator of the Ionix Hiring System, a full suite of interview and assessment tools.

Adam is passionate about entrepreneurship, donating time to a number of organizations that support the entrepreneurial cause. He serves on the Board of Directors for Entrepreneurs Organization (EO), where he helped to develop and launch a national program that teaches core business skills to early-stage entrepreneurs. Adam is also on the Board of Advisors for DePaul University’s Coleman Entrepreneurship Center, where he serves as both a resource and speaker for this top-ranked Entrepreneurship program.

Adam has a BA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and received his MBA from DePaul University in Chicago, IL. He lives in Chicago’s Rogers Park community with his wife, Anna, and their three sons.

Susan Scarola

Susan Scarola is currently President of the National Foundation for Teen Safe Driving. Founded in 2011 as the DCH Teen Safe Driving Foundation, NFTSD collaborates with businesses and local high schools to deliver an array of nationally recognized teen safe driving programs building safety minded cultures within those communities. To further support this work Scarola is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD).

Scarola served as President and CEO of DCH Auto Group 2007 to 2010 and was instrumental in launching the group’s teen safe driving initiatives. In her capacity as Vice Chairman from 2010 to 2014, Scarola assisted the Chairman with the strategic direction of the company and spearheaded the sale of DCH to Lithia Motors, Inc. Throughout she championed the company’s teen safe driving program as a core pillar of the DCH brand and she was instrumental in launching NADA’s Dealers Driving Road Safety Initiative now in its sixth year.

In her first, very brief career, Scarola taught kindergarten in rural upstate NY and then transitioned to business in a Human Resources department in a large NYC engineering firm. After obtaining her M.B.A. from New York University she joined KPMG’s Private Business Advisory Services and obtained her CPA license. DCH quickly became one of her favorite clients and she readily accepted the opportunity to join the DCH team in 1985.

Scarola helped DCH in its early growth years solidifying the group’s treasury functions and leading its first Human Resources Department. Her “people” skills assisted the senior team strategize for growth and she assumed ongoing responsibilities with the Executive Management Team. Leading up to her CEO responsibilities, Scarola was Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President overseeing Human Resources and other administrative functions.

She served as a Member of the Board of both the New York State Auto Dealers Association and the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers. She is the recipient of the 2008 Women’s Automotive Association International (WAAI) Professional Achievement Award, the 2010 Women Certified Vision Award and was selected by Automotive News as one of the top 100 women in the North American auto industry in 2010. Scarola was included in NJ’s 2012 Best 50 Women in Business and is the 2014 recipient of the Barbara Cox Anthony Automotive Women of the Year award. Most recently Scarola was honored with WAAI”s Spirit of Leadership Award.

Lorraine Schultz

Founder/International CEO – Women’s Automotive Association International
Lorraine Schultz, Founder/International CEO, had the vision to found the Women’s Automotive Association International. This association is a non-profit organization to better the advancement of women in the automotive field. As of today, there are over 350 members and 8 chapters throughout the country and Canada.

The mission of this association is to promote the principles of professionalism. The group aims to further educate through scholarships, networking, and encourages professional growth for all women in the automotive industry.

With the assistance of Sharon Snyder, a meeting was set up at the NADA with Dr. David E. Fry, President of Northwood University. Together we presented my plan for WAAI.

President Fry offered us the opportunity to launch our organization. We were offered an office and assistance of a secretary at the Northwood branch in Troy, Michigan. We are forever indebted to Dr. Fry and Northwood for this opportunity. In return for Northwood’s generosity, the WAAI established a scholarship fund for women seeking careers in the automotive industry. The WAAI has awarded 32 scholarships since 2002.

Lorraine Schultz is experienced in all phases of corporate administration. She has traveled extensively in the United States, Europe, and Asia. Schultz is experienced in the fields of direct marketing, advertising, public relations, promotions, real estate, human resources, sales training, event management and fundraising.

Judith Schumacher-Tilton

president of Schumacher Chevrolet Auto Group
Judith Schumacher-Tilton is a resident of Montclair, New Jersey and president of Schumacher Chevrolet Auto Group, New Jersey’s largest volume Chevy dealer with locations in Little Falls, Denville and Clifton.

Currently, Judith serves as the chairman of the Women’s Dealer Advisory Council and is a member of the Tri-State Chevrolet LMA Board. . Locally, she serves on the Montclair State University Foundation Board, the Boys and Girls Club of Clifton Trustee Board, the Lakeland Bank Advisory Board, the Chilton Memorial Hospital Foundation Board, Passaic County 200 Club Trustee Board and the Domestic Violence Response Team for the Passaic County Women’s Shelter.

She was nominated as 2012 TIME Dealer of the Year— becoming New Jersey’s first-ever female to compete for this very prestigious award. In recognition of her dealerships’ performance and her extensive community service, she went on to win the title of Northeast Regional TIME Dealer of the Year and was among the four finalists for the national title which was published in TIME Magazine.

Jack Simmons

Dealer Training Manager for

Jack Simmons, Dealer Training Manager for, has trained more than 100,000 automotive professionals over the course of his 30+ years in the industry. His training has included franchise and independent dealers as well as professionals from automotive manufacturers and industry organizations.

A former dealer himself, Simmons has been on the forefront of helping dealerships attract the online car shopper, from online reputation management and optimizing new car inventory listings to winning with mobile. He is a frequent speaker at industry events, including NADA, NIADA, Digital Dealer, DrivingSales Executive Summit, J.D. Power Automotive Internet Roundtable and national BHPH conferences.

Previously, Simmons served as a national dealer trainer for, where he managed and developed training programs for dealers, manufacturers and state automotive associations. He joined in 2010.

Jade Simmons

Powerhouse Speaker, Rockstar Concert Pianist & Emergence Expert

How do you get to be named Classical Music’s “No.1 Maverick” ? By repeatedly defying expectations, delivering riveting performances and combining passion and innovation at every turn. Called a “musical force of nature”, Jade Simmons is easily one of the most exciting and versatile artists on the scene today. For her work on and away from the stage, Essence magazine featured Jade alongside First Lady Michelle Obama and Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas as a part of their Style & Substance List which highlights women who have expanded the definition of beauty and achievement. Additionally, she has been recognized by Symphony Magazine, listed as one of Ebony magazine’s Top 30 Leaders under 30 (2008), and has made waves as one of the rare classical artists invited to perform at the taste-making South by Southwest Festival where her show was ultimately branded one of the “Best of SXSW 2014”. Jade also performed musical selections for the highly anticipated Netflix documentary on the legendary Nina Simone that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival 2015. Founder of the School of Emergence, Jade coaches and trains Big Dreamers, Corporate Burnouts and Creatives with entrepreneurial ambition to turn their creativity into clear income and their passion into profitable enterprise.

As a speaker and presenter, Jade’s impact spans a multitude of industries and touches an incredibly varied demographic, from kids to corporate. She speaks powerfully on transformative leadership, Maverick Behavior™, out-of-the-box branding, discovering creative identity and generating innovation to the likes of the Food Market institute, Mass Mutual, Self-Employment in the Arts, TedX, the College Entrepreneur’s Organization and the Hershey Company. In her inimitable career as a concert pianist, Jade has remained committed to expanding the boundaries of Classical music and its presentation and as a result has revolutionized the concert platform. Today, she offers an incredibly diverse mix of repertoire from the Classics to the cutting edge and audiences have come to expect creative projects backed by riveting performances. Ms. Simmons has toured the US extensively in recital and with orchestra highlighted by performances at renowned venues including the White House and the US Supreme Court. Jade’s multiple talents make her a true Renaissance woman of the millennium taking her in the direction of triple #1 Amazon Best-Selling Author for her new book Audacious Prayers for World Changers, founder of Superwoman Records, arts presenter, coach/consultant, and she writes about the arts and its intersection with pop culture, politics and society for the Huffington Post. The native Charlestonian completed her graduate work at Rice University and completed her undergraduate degree at Northwestern University where she went on to become Miss Chicago, Miss Illinois and ultimately first runner-up at the 2000 Miss America Pageant.

Ted Smith

President of Florida Automobile Dealers Association

CAE – Certified Association Executive
Fellow, American Society of Association Executives
DPL – Designated Professional Lobbyist and member of the Florida Association of Professional Lobbyists
Manages lobby team of FADA
Teaches at FADA Dealer Roadshows on legislative and regulatory developments
Represents and advocates for dealers with consumer groups, the media, regulatory agencies, the Florida Legislature and Congress

Renee Staffieri

Internet and Business Development Director for Team Auto Group located in Salisbury, NC

Renee Staffieri is the Internet and Business Development Director for Team Auto Group located in Salisbury, NC. She began her automotive career in 2010 as a BDC Representative with an outsourced BDC before being promoted to Director of e-Commerce Operations working with multiple dealers throughout the country.

Renee has extensive knowledge in phone and lead management from dealership to consumer. Her current BDC consistently achieves a 70% appt set ratio and she continues to grow the performance of the BDC and sales floor. As a realtor in her “former life”, she makes it a mission to connect consumers with products in the most customer-service friendly manner possible.

Julie A. Staub

Vice President of Human Resources for AutoNation

Julie is the Vice President of Human Resources for AutoNation, Inc., a Fortune 200 Company, where she drives the business through talent acquisition, development, and retention for AutoNation’s 24,000+ employees. She has partnered with Operations to drive industry-leading results in turnover reduction and career development through a business- focused “People Strategy” which has continued to evolve since 2004. Prior to
AutoNation, Julie held various human resources, training and operational roles with Car Spa, Office Depot and Federated Department Stores (now Macy’s).

Julie has a passion for helping the youth in her community achieve their potential and served on the Board of Directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward County in Florida for nearly 10 years. She also devoted many years to serving as a volunteer for the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Program and United Way. Julie served as the Chairperson of the Marcus Evans HR Summit in 2011 and regularly volunteers her time to her profession and community.

Julie has a Bachelor’s Degree from Florida State University and earned her Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification. She was awarded the 2010 Excellence in Human Resources Award by the South Florida Business Journal, and a Heavy Hitter in Human Resources by the South Florida Business Journal in 2004.

Alexi Venneri

co-founded Digital Air Strike

Alexi Venneri co-founded Digital Air Strike, the award-winning automotive social media and digital engagement company. A pioneer in the automotive vertical for digital response, social marketing and online reputation management, Digital Air Strike’s mobile apps, software and managed service platform monitor, improve and manage consumer engagement for six of the eight largest automotive manufacturers, dozens of the top dealer groups, and thousands of retail dealerships across North America.

Prior to co-founding the company, Alexi was President of Auto Media/Blue Flame 6 (part of The Van Tuyl Automotive Group which was recently purchased by Berkshire Hathaway), and VP of Marketing, PR & Investor Relations at Dealertrack (TRAK). Alexi was also the 13th employee at Who’s Calling taking it from $200k to $70 million in just four years as Chief Marketing Officer. Alexi was also the Director of Marketing for the Major League Baseball team the Seattle Mariners. She is an accomplished public speaker and author of the best-selling book Balls! Six Rules for Winning the Business Game.

Alexi has a B.A. in Marketing from the University of Calgary and is an accredited trainer at the University of Washington as well as The Pacific Institute. She supports numerous charitable organizations and works closely with ARME and the Beagle Freedom Project, nonprofit organizations that rescue and rehabilitate animals.

David Villa

Founder and CEO of IPD

David Villa is the founder and CEO of IPD, an automotive marketing firm that services franchised dealerships across the United States. He has 20 years of national sales and executive management experience that he brings to his company. Since the company was established in 1995, Villa has been responsible for pioneering, growing and scaling IPD into one of the nation’s leading database management, business development, and intelligent marketing companies in the automotive service industry. Not only is he committed to his business, he is dedicated to his faith, family, and employees. He credits his success to those who he’s been privileged enough to call his teammates.

David and his wife of 22 years Diana started Imperial Press Direct from their bedroom in Tampa, Florida. They went from dialing local dealers from their house, to now working with more than 600 dealerships annually. IPD is now one of the leading direct marketing firms in the U.S. servicing the automotive industry. Based out of the greater Tampa Bay area, IPD has been in business, and expanding, for 20 years.

Cherie Watters

President of Sales and Marketing,

I started in the automotive business in the early 1980’s. I began my career in the Accounting office and fairly quickly worked my way up to Controller for a very large dealer group. I was and still am extremely lucky to have been trained by some very successful and truly wonderful mentors that offered me some excellent opportunities to learn and advance my understanding of the automobile business.

I was able to gain a lot of experience and knowledge in the Controller position, making it a point to engage in every department of the dealership. I wanted to have a complete understanding of how things worked in all areas of the dealership, not just talking with people in different departments, but actually working day to day in those departments. I wanted to have a complete understanding of operations, how things worked in order to help make processes more streamlined and efficient. I made it a point to attend automotive seminars and workshops; I have listened to great speakers that have inspired me. I still keep this good habit today because I think it is important to constantly stay on top of your game and think out of the box.

My career has grown over time, as well as my passion for the car business, and my dreams of becoming an automotive dealer/entrepreneur have broadened to include so much more now. I have faced many obstacles while climbing the ladder toward my goals in this very male-dominated industry, but I have met the challenge with a proven record of success and my goal now is to inspire others to do the same by sharing my experience and knowledge with them.

I am a big believer in honesty and integrity and I share those same values with my staff, and colleagues, as well as anyone that I encounter personally. My philosophy is: If you take care of your people, make them a part of your vision, work with them, help make their jobs easier and inspire them, the better your staff will take care of the customer. The company cultures begins with the belief, “you must take care of the customer”, listen to customer and their needs, give them the experience they are looking for and then you have made a customer and a friend for the long term and they will keep coming back, they will share their positive experience with family and friends and the business will continue to flourish. Everything starts with a positive attitude, I use this philosophy along with my Knowledge and skills to be successful in my current position as President of Sales and Marketing at

I have served in many leadership roles outside of the dealership including President of the Advertising Association with Hyundai Motor America and co-founder of the Women’s Business Association in the San Gabriel Regional Chamber of Commerce, Board member for the Chamber and the Economic Development committee’s. Our company was awarded business of the year for San Gabriel Valley and was voted reader’s choice number one new car dealership. I was honored to be awarded with the 2012 Spirit of Leadership award from the Women’s Automotive Association International and am grateful to be asked to attend and speak at many motivational and instructional events.

I am a graduate from Nova Southeastern University Wayne Huizenga School of Business with a Bachelor’s in Banking and Finance and I recently earned an MBA in Sales Management.

Joe Webb

President of DealerKnows

Joe Webb is the President of DealerKnows, an Internet sales and digital marketing consulting firm specializing in the automotive industry. He maximizes companies’ online investments through on-site training, virtual consulting, and the industry’s first lead management coaching software.

Joe has been called “the funniest guy in the car business” and passionately consults nationwide. He films comedic videos about car sales that are almost entertaining, and is viewed as one of the top process improvement experts in our industry. As a true “dealer guy” with a history of retail success, Joe is best known for blending the lines between entertainment and education.

Lynn Wilhelm

President/Executive Director of the Women’s Automotive Association International

She brings over 25 years of experience in nonprofit management, marketing, public relations, and community relations. She is very community oriented and supports many groups locally and nationally.
Lynn has worked for a number of outstanding nonprofit organizations in southeast Michigan. She is also the CEO of LW Associates providing expertise in fund development, organizational leadership, event management, marketing and promotion for individuals and corporations in the Detroit area. Lynn has earned a number of awards and accolades for her hard work and commitment to service.

Lynn holds a Masters in Organizational Leadership from Sienna Heights University and is focused on making a difference for those she serves. She lives in Shelby Township, MI with her fiancé Steve.

Kerri Wise

Vice President, Dealer Engagement and Communications

Kerri Wise is Vice President, Dealer Engagement and Communications at TrueCar. In her role, she leads dealer communication and training, ensuring dealers partners are aware of and best utilize the TrueCarplatform to help them sell more cars.

Kerri’s automotive career spans nearly 17 years consulting, training, and communicating with dealers and OEMs on digital marketing, consumer insights, and sales process. Prior to joining TrueCar, Kerri spent 4 years as an Executive Director of Dealer Training at leading product and sales training for Edmunds dealer partners and the internal sales team. Kerri also spent 12 years at J.D. Power and Associates where she consulted both OEMs and dealers on automotive consumer insights.

Kerri earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from California State University-Northridge.

Casey Wright

Internet Director for Joe Bullard Automotive in Mobile, Alabama

Casey Wright is the Internet Director for Joe Bullard Automotive in Mobile, Alabama. She entered the automotive industry fourteen years ago at the age of nineteen. Her entrance into automotive began with a simple summer job as a loan processor for a secondary department before the customer service and Internet department called out to her.

In 2006, she was presented with the opportunity to spearhead the Internet Department for the Joe Bullard Automotive Group. With great excitement, she accepted the challenge!

Throughout the years at Joe Bullard, Casey continues to develop a very successful Internet department managing five brands, six websites, digital marketing, and social media efforts. Casey is a graduate of Western International University, and is married with two beautiful children.