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Penske Women in the Driver’s Seat: Lorenza Armaroli

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Penske Automotive Group is proud to have female leaders at every level of the organization. Every Thursday for the next 5 weeks, we will feature a female leader from the Penske organization who is empowering women in the industry and paving the road for the next generation of female leaders. From their earliest interest in the industry to their proudest moments, you’ll learn how these women got their start, who influenced them the most, and how they are helping change the face of the industry in positive ways.

This week we are pleased to introduce Lorenza Armaroli!


Meet Lorenza Armaroli – CRM Project Manager & Executive Office Manager, Penske Automotive Group Italy

“Dreams + Continued Commitment = Achievement”

Industry experience: 14 years

First automotive job: Marketing intern

PAG tenure: 9 years

Roles and responsibilities: I am responsible for coordinating CRM projects, corporate marketing activities and various activities for our PAG Italy Board of Directors.

What attracted you to the auto industry: When I first started my career, I wasn’t very familiar with the industry, but it offered me my first job opportunity and I became very passionate about the industry over time.

Most satisfying part of your job: The best part of my job is working in different areas and with different people. I love being exposed to all aspects of the Company.

Proudest professional achievement: I value personal relationships a lot. Being able to establish and maintain great relationships with employees at all levels of our organization has been a highlight for me.

Who has had the biggest influence on your career: All the people who have trusted in me and supported my work during my career. Today, I can say that Andrea Mantellini and Elena Alberti (PAG Italy) are my biggest supporters and help me improve myself and my work every day.

Advice you would give to a young woman considering a career in the auto industry: Try and you can discover how interesting, challenging and exciting the automotive industry can be!

Favorite weekend activity: Spending the time with family and son. I also like to cook, travel, and be in the open-air walking around my beautiful city in Italy.

Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years: I hope to still be with PAG Italy, seeing the results of our daily work and commitment and working with our team on new projects and goals.

How have you seen the auto industry landscape change and evolve to engage more women: Women’s involvement is growing, and our company is putting a lot of effort towards this to make sure it happens.

Check back next Thursday as we add another Penske female leader to the Women in the Driver’s Seat series!

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Company NewsGeneral

Penske Women in the Driver’s Seat: Stephanie Frink

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Penske Automotive Group is proud to have female leaders at every level of the organization. Every Thursday for the next 6 weeks, we will feature a female leader from the Penske organization who is empowering women in the industry and paving the road for the next generation of female leaders. From their earliest interest in the industry to their proudest moments, you’ll learn how these women got their start, who influenced them the most, and how they are helping change the face of the industry in positive ways.

This week we are pleased to introduce Stephanie Frink!


Meet Stephanie Frink – General Manager of BMW of Gwinnett Place, Penske Automotive Group

“The opportunities are endless, and you can do anything you put your mind to! Don’t be scared to go for it… you only grow when you’re outside your comfort zone!”

 

Industry experience: 11 years

First automotive job: Intern / Management Trainee at Penske Automotive Group

PAG tenure: 11 years

Current role & responsibilities: I oversee the total operation at BMW of Gwinnett Place. I lead our Sales and Service Teams to achieve our collective goals, enhance processes and procedures to run more efficiently and effectively, and strive to provide a great client and employee experience.

What attracted you to the auto industry: I knew I wanted to go into Business Management but wasn’t sure what exactly I wanted to do until I learned about the Automotive Retail Management program at Northwood University. When I first visited the campus and learned that it was possible to get a degree in Automotive Retail, I knew instantly that it was for me and the rest is history!

Most satisfying part of your job: Leading a stellar team and working with employees to achieve their goals and progress through their career. I love to see an employee work hard and be promoted into the next position in their career path. Also, setting goals for each department, accomplishing them, and raising the bar higher for the next month.

Who has had the biggest influence on your career: My family had a big influence on my career. I grew up watching my mom and dad work very hard and they instilled in me a great work ethic. I still remember at the age of 13 my dad asking me about when I was going to get my first job and I was working at the local dairy farm shortly after.

Best career advice: Years ago, I read an article in an interview with Warren Buffett and he discussed how important it was to associate with people who are better than you. That stuck in my mind as I wanted to work for a company that wasn’t just comfortable with the status quo, but continuously worked towards being a leader and the best in the industry – which Penske is! This has resonated with me throughout my career with Penske as we have such a talented team and I have been fortunate to work alongside some of the best people in the industry to learn from, coach, and grow with.

Favorite weekend activity: Spending time in the North Georgia Mountains and enjoying the pool with my husband and golden retriever!

Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years: Continuing to drive my career forward within Penske Automotive Group.

How have you seen the auto industry landscape change and evolve to engage more women: I believe the industry has always been quite engaging for women.  More and more women have entered the industry in various roles and work their way up within the dealership. I believe more women are considering the industry and realizing that a job in automotive could be a great career for them.  I love having women represented in every department in our dealership!

Check back next Thursday as we add another Penske female leader to the Women in the Driver’s Seat series!

 

 

 

 

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Company NewsGeneral

Penske Women in the Driver’s Seat: Christina Dolbashian

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Penske Automotive Group is proud to have female leaders at every level of the organization. Every Thursday for the next 7 weeks, we will feature a female leader from the Penske organization who is empowering women in the industry and paving the road for the next generation of female leaders. From their earliest interest in the industry to their proudest moments, you’ll learn how these women got their start, who influenced them the most, and how they are helping change the face of the industry in positive ways.

This week we are pleased to introduce Christina Dolbashian!


Meet Christina Dolbashian – Area Controller, Rhode Island, Penske Automotive Group

“The automotive industry is exciting and always changing; every day is an adventure.  Develop a thick skin and keep moving forward.”

Industry experience: 32 years

First automotive job: Accounts Payable Clerk

PAG tenure: 18 years

Current role and responsibilities: I am responsible for maintaining financial controls for nine general ledgers; managing, directing, and professionally developing a staff of 25 people; and advising and assisting operational management of financial trends.

What attracted you to the auto industry: I fell into the business after college as my uncle and cousin owned a dealership group and were looking for office help.

Most satisfying part of your job: Helping people learn how to fiscally manage and control their departments. I get satisfaction from seeing people solve their problems and succeed.

Proudest professional achievement: Leading my team to score a 100% on an internal accounting audit.

Who has had the biggest influence on your career: So many people have helped me become a better version of myself; all of the CFO’s I have ever worked for have fine-tuned my accounting skills, the HR team at PAG has helped me widen my perspective to better understand my staff, and my family has been instrumental in instilling the value of hard work.

Best career advice: Be flexible and be willing to compromise.

Advice for young women considering a career in the auto industry: The automotive industry is exciting and always changing; every day is an adventure.  This industry is filled with folks passionate about their careers and cars.  Sometimes it can be chaotic; develop a thick skin and be willing to let bygones be bygones. Keep moving forward.

Favorite weekend activity: Spending time with my family.

Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years: I see myself in the same role, leading an amazing team of young professionals and teaching them to hone their accounting skills while also helping my operational team continue to be financially successful.

How have you seen the auto industry landscape change and evolve to engage more women: Over the last decade, we’ve seen more women in positions that were once only held by men, especially on the service side of this business.

Check back next Thursday as we add another Penske female leader to the Women in the Driver’s Seat series!

 

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Company NewsGeneral

Penske Women in the Driver’s Seat: Natalie Parkes

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Penske Automotive Group is proud to have female leaders at every level of the organization. Every Thursday for the next 8 weeks, we will feature a female leader from the Penske organization who is empowering women in the industry and paving the road for the next generation of female leaders. From their earliest interest in the industry to their proudest moments, you’ll learn how these women got their start, who influenced them the most, and how they are helping change the face of the industry in positive ways.

This week we are pleased to introduce Natalie Parkes!


Meet Natalie Parkes – Sales Development Manager, Jaguar Land Rover, Volvo and Select Sytner Group

“Set a goal, believe in yourself and never stop working hard to achieve it. Perseverance is key.”

Industry experience: 22 years

First automotive job: Sales Executive for Peugeot

PAG tenure: 17 years

Current role & responsibilities:  In my current role as a Sales Development Manager, I help drive sales performance across the Jaguar, Land Rover, Volvo and Select division. I am also responsible for identifying, improving, and implementing Enquiry Management processes, coaching and developing other employees, analyzing statistics to identify trends and opportunities, and maintaining and improving our digital competitive advantage.

What attracted you to the auto industry:  I am a goal-oriented person. I liked the idea that a car is the second largest asset people buy and therefore it has a real meaning and value. The purchase fulfils people’s dreams.

Most satisfying part of your job:  I get great satisfaction from exceeding my goals. Being part of a terrific team at work is also something that brings me joy. My co-workers are a second family to me, and I don’t mind getting up in the morning because I genuinely enjoy what I do.

Proudest professional achievement: There is no great secret to my career progression, I have progressed through this organization through sheer hard work. That bears testament to the fact I must be doing something right.

Who has had the biggest influence on your career: I come from a very hard-working family with a strong work ethic therefore, I would have to say my parents have had the biggest influence on my career as they instilled a very strong work ethic in me from a young age.

Best career advice: Enjoy things while they are going well (make hay while the sun shines) and be prepared to change and adapt when things are not so good. Perseverance is key.

Favorite weekend activity: Spending quality time with my young daughter.

Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years:  I enjoy what I do. I hope to still be contributing to this organization and helping maintain its position as a market leader.

How have you seen the auto industry landscape change and evolve to engage more women: Retail advertising has become more female inclusive and today more women than ever buy cars. This has also been reflected across the automotive industry where there are far more women at all levels of organizations compared to ten years ago.

Check back next Thursday as we add another Penske female leader to the Women in the Driver’s Seat series!

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Company NewsGeneral

Penske Women in the Driver’s Seat: Sandra Walters

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Penske Automotive Group is proud to have female leaders at every level of the organization. Every Thursday for the next 9 weeks, we will feature a female leader from the Penske organization who is empowering women in the industry and paving the road for the next generation of female leaders. From their earliest interest in the industry to their proudest moments, you’ll learn how these women got their start, who influenced them the most, and how they are helping change the face of the industry in positive ways.

This week we are pleased to introduce Sandra Walters!


Meet Sandra Walters – Finance Manager, CarShop Chester Springs

“Have confidence, work hard, and challenge yourself to learn as much as possible. When you start feeling comfortable in your current position challenge yourself to learn something new. Be a sponge. The more you know, the more valuable you are.”

Industry experience: 14 years

First automotive job:  Receptionist at CarShop (formerly CarSense)

PAG tenure: 14 years

Current role & responsibilities: I support our sales team by providing customers with competitive financing arrangements for vehicle and aftermarket product purchases. It is my responsibility to assist customers with their financing, maintain excellent working relationships with our lenders, and ensure a timely month-end close for all finance deals.

What attracted you to the auto industry: l grew up around it. My dad worked in the automotive industry for 36 years and I watched him climb the ladder and have a very successful career. I thought, why can’t I do that too?

Most satisfying part of your job:  Getting a difficult deal approved for financing. Anyone can send an application over to the banks and get a simple yes or no. Where the real skill comes in is turning that no into a yes. It takes years of experience, the power of persuasion, and building great relationships with our lenders. I love nothing more than turning those deals around, especially when that customer has been turned down at other dealerships.

Proudest professional achievement: I am most proud of having held the titles of both finance manager and sales manager. The fact that I was able to go from the manager of one department to another, be successful, and then go back to the first department over a year later without skipping a beat gave me a real sense of accomplishment.

Who has had the biggest influence on your career: Kirk Schrader. He was the GM of the store when I started as a sales consultant and is now the President of the company. He gave me my first opportunity in management and over the years has encouraged and supported me like his own daughter.

Best career advice:  If you don’t ask the answer will always be no. About a year after I started as a sales consultant the current finance manager of the store left. Having a business degree, I was super interested in the position. I went to my dad to talk to him about the opportunity. He told me “If you want the job, go ask for it!” I went right up to the office of the General Manager of the store and did just that. The very next day I was told “Congratulations you’re our new finance manager.” I have used this advice throughout my career.

Favorite weekend activity:  Spending quality time with my husband and my daughter.

Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years: I want to be an inspiration for my daughter. She is only 1 ½ years old and already tries to copy everything I do. I hope years from now she still looks up to me as a great role model. I want to constantly keep learning, growing, and trying new things. I hope one day to be a General Manager of a store or a finance corporate trainer as we acquire new stores across the country.

How have you seen the auto industry landscape change and evolve to engage more women: When I first started as a sales consultant 11 years ago, I was one of only two women on the sales floor. I remember there were no women’s uniforms, and the polos went down to my knees.  Now everywhere you look in the auto industry females are prevalent. Almost every department has women in it which is amazing to see. I am proud to work for a company that recognizes individuals based on talent not just gender. And yes, now we even have women’s uniforms!

Check back next Thursday as we add another Penske female leader to the Women in the Driver’s Seat series!

 

 

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Penske Women in the Driver’s Seat: Jackie Szramowski

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Penske Automotive Group is proud to have female leaders at every level of the organization. Every Thursday for the next 10 weeks, we will feature a female leader from the Penske organization who is empowering women in the industry and paving the road for the next generation of female leaders. From their earliest interest in the industry to their proudest moments, you’ll learn how these women got their start, who influenced them the most, and how they are helping change the face of the industry in positive ways.

This week we are pleased to introduce Jackie Szramowski!


Meet Jackie Szramowski – Talent Acquisition Manager, Penske Automotive Group

“Focus on what is within your control. Find your passion and follow it.”

Industry experience: 10 years

First automotive job: Human Resources Specialist

PAG tenure: 10 years

Current role & responsibilities: I am responsible for guiding the overall success of the PAG recruiting department. This includes creating and implementing processes for greater efficiency and successful hiring, facilitating change management, as well as managing and supporting the team of recruiters in their efforts to positively impact hiring for their individual markets.

What attracted you to the auto industry: My previous experience was in Public/Media Relations and Recruiting but I wanted to get more experience in all aspects of Human Resources. PAG was one of the few companies that didn’t segment their HR functions, so I was able to gain exposure to more areas including Recruiting, Benefits, Employee Relations, and more.

Most satisfying part of your job: Watching candidates become valued employees and find success in the company brings me great satisfaction. More personally, seeing the team of recruiters and coordinators learn, challenge themselves, and take on additional responsibilities while the department itself continues to evolve has been very rewarding.

Proudest professional achievement: Conceptualizing and executing the creation of the PAG recruiting department from the ground up. With the support of mentors and an upper management team that understood the need, appreciated my vision, and saw the potential, the department has grown to teams of recruiters in markets across the country.

Who has had the biggest influence on your career: My parents instilled the importance of hard work, loyalty, self-confidence, and independence in me. My husband is my biggest supporter and helps makes it possible for me to pursue my career. Sports have always been a big part of my life, and my teammates and coaches taught me the value of teamwork, communication, and perseverance. In business, I have been fortunate to have incredible females to look up to and work alongside for support advice.

Advice for young women considering a career in the automotive industry: Go for it! If you look across our company, there are very successful women at all levels. Find your passion and follow it. There are a lot of opportunities to be exposed to different areas of the business and many career paths to follow.

Favorite weekend activity: Spending time with my husband and two kids. The past year forced us to slow down a bit and I really enjoy the time we get to spend together as a family.

Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years: Continuing to do my part to drive PAG forward, advancing ideas and processes to keep ahead of the competition.

How have you seen the auto industry landscape change and evolve to engage more women: When I started in the business, I saw more women in traditional office types of roles but not as many in management positions. Today, there are women succeeding at every level. There is a commitment at PAG, that starts at the top, to hire and promote the best based on qualifications and contributions. That commitment feeds into the diversity and inclusion of the company.

Check back next Thursday as we add another Penske female leader to the Women in the Driver’s Seat series!

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Penske Women in the Driver’s Seat: Elena Alberti

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Penske Automotive Group is proud to have female leaders at every level of the organization. From Service Advisors and Sales Managers to General Managers and Fixed Operations Directors, the retail automotive industry offers women an exciting place to forge a career. Beyond the numbers, this is about unleashing the power of our people and utilizing their unique talents, experiences, and backgrounds to create an engaging work environment and world-class operation.

Every Thursday for the next 11 weeks, we will feature a female leader from the Penske organization who is empowering women in the automotive industry and paving the road for the next generation of female leaders. From their earliest interest in the industry to their proudest moments, you’ll learn how these women got their start, who influenced them the most, and how they are helping change the face of the industry in positive ways.

This week we are pleased to introduce Elena Alberti!


Meet Elena Alberti  – Managing Director & CFO, Penske Automotive Group Italy

“Automotive is an exciting place to be! Get your driver’s license and be ready to speed, brake, accelerate, turn, go uphill and downhill, but most importantly be ready to never stop!”

Industry experience: 22 years

First automotive job: Marketing role at age 22

PAG tenure: 22 years

Roles and responsibilities: Together with our JV Partner Andrea Mantellini, I run all aspects of our Italian operations including Finance, Accounting, Human Resources and Marketing. I am also responsible for identifying potential new acquisitions in the market. PAG Italy was created in 2012 and has now 20 locations in Northern Italy and represents exclusively premium brands: Audi, BMW and MINI, Maserati, Mercedes-Benz, Smart, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lamborghini, Porsche and Volvo.

Most satisfying part of your job: At this stage in my career, my goal is to grow as many people as possible, mentor them and give them the opportunities they deserve. It is amazing how this approach benefits both our employees and our business creating a great work environment and maximizing our performance.

 What attracted you to the auto industry: Well, I am Italian, and I am originally from the region known as the “Italian Motor Valley” where a lot of very popular car manufacturers are located. I have cars in my blood and was lucky to be exposed to several sides of the industry from OEM Engine production to OEM supplier to Automotive Retail. The automotive industry offered me my first opportunity and it just became better and better.

Proudest professional achievement:  Being able to ‘sail’ the company through the storm in 2020 caused by COVID-19. It was a very challenging time, but I am proud of our team for coming together and making tough decisions that allowed our business to remain sustainable. The team came out stronger and more committed than ever before. It was the most difficult time in my career and as a manager I learned a lot.

Who has had the biggest influence on your career: Certainly Roger Penske, who I had the privilege to work very closely with during our PAG European acquisitions. I also would like to mention Jens Werner (CEO of PAG in Europe) who was key in mentoring me during my first years in Europe as I was very young. My husband Gianluca also had a strong influence on my career. He always gave me great advice and challenged me to improve and go forward.

Best career advice: Do not expect people to get to your same conclusions unless they have the same information. This advice came from Roger Penske and it has been extremely useful in getting deals done, negotiating, and running the company in a very open and inclusive way.

Favorite weekend activity: My weekends are fully reserved for my family. I love to stay home and relax with my husband and kids (8 and 9 years old). I also love to cook healthy Italian food and enjoy a glass of good Italian Chianti. Exercise is also a very important part of my life and helps me stay healthy and fit!

Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years: For sure I see myself in the Penske organization, not sure where in the world. I cannot think about a better organization. Let’s see what opportunities will be in front of me in the next few years… I always love to keep an open mind.

How have you seen the auto industry landscape change and evolve to engage more women: The automotive Industry, especially in Italy, is still a very male dominated environment. Things are changing slowly, and I am investing time and resources to increase the attractiveness of our industry to the eyes on young Italian women. When I travel to OEM dealer meetings, I am often the only woman in a senior leadership position. It will take time, but we will make it!

Check back next Thursday as we add another Penske female leader to the Women in the Driver’s Seat series!

 

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Penske Automotive Group Donates $1 Million to Paralyzed Veterans of America

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WASHINGTON (March 22, 2021) – Paralyzed Veterans of America, the nation’s only nonprofit organization dedicated solely to helping veterans with spinal cord injuries and disorders, and diseases, like MS and ALS, today announced that they have received $1 million from Penske Automotive Group to help veterans and their families live full and productive lives well after injury.

“The pandemic has amplified the hardships for all of our members and veterans with injuries and illnesses,” said David Zurfluh, national president of Paralyzed Veterans of America. “We cannot thank Penske Automotive Group, their employees, and all of their customers enough for their generous donation and ongoing support – especially during this challenging time. As PVA continues to adapt its programming and navigate around COVID-19, these funds will go directly towards providing more life-changing programs and services to support our veterans in need, and ensure they receive the quality health care, benefits, careers, freedom, and independence they earned.”

Penske Automotive Group’s Service Matters initiative extends an invitation to customers to donate to PVA, and with an annual company donation match of $500,000, the campaign has raised more than $6 million since 2015.

“2020 marked a year of unprecedented challenges, but Penske Automotive Group was proud to continue its support of PVA, and we are thrilled to extend our partnership for a seventh year,” said Robert H. Kurnick Jr., Penske Automotive Group president. “We thank our customers and employees for supporting this initiative that has become part of our everyday business operations, and for embracing the important work performed by PVA. We are grateful for this partnership and look forward to continuing our work together in 2021 to help serve our nation’s veterans, and ensure they have access to programs and services to help them recover and rebuild their lives.”

Please visit PVA.org/PAGServes or contact a Penske Automotive Group dealership to learn more about the Service Matters campaign.

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