The Junior League, The Women’s Fund Miami Young Professionals and Junior Achievement of South Central Kentucky are just a few organizations that Amber Martin has served.
"Having worked in media and entertainment, I understand just how important it is for all women to have advocates and a team to help advance them in their careers,” said Martin, who leads business and community partnerships for the Martin Management Group in Bowling Green, Ky., a national automotive and motorsports retail organization founded by her father, the late Cornelius Martin.
Recognizing Martin’s dedication to giving back to her community and her leadership in promoting the next generation of minority dealers, Ally Financial and the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers (NAMAD) have named Martin the second-ever recipient of the Ally Sees Her Award.
Last year, Ally created the award to recognize the auto retail industry’s promising, young female leaders.
Ally said in a news release that the award was inspired by the Association of National Advertisers’ #SeeHer campaign to elevate women in media and marketing.
Martin will receive the award during NAMAD's 2019 annual membership meeting in Miami on Thursday.
In recognition of Martin's work, Ally will donate $10,000 to two organizations she selected: the Western Kentucky University Foundation and the Equal Justice Initiative.
The WKU Foundation donation will help fund the Martin Minority Teacher Scholarship for the recruitment of minorities majoring in education. It will also help fund the Gail Martin Lecture and Faculty Development Series, which helps with faculty development and bringing guest speakers to campus. The Equal Justice Initiative is an Alabama nonprofit organization that calls attention to racial injustice and advocates for equality, and the donation will help fund educational programming about the impact of slavery in the United States.
“I am inspired by the ambition of social activists like Mari Copeny, a young leader who won nationwide recognition for her work to draw attention to the water crisis in Flint, Mich.,” Martin said. “It’s crucial for society and the media to promote and celebrate humanitarian acts such as Mari’s. The next generation needs to see this type of work being valued. I hope my gifts spotlight Mari’s fight for clean water in Flint and help EJI’s Racial Justice Project in its effort to educate the nation on the historical injustices of slavery in our country and their impact on contemporary issues.”
At the beginning of Martin’s career in her family’s dealership, her father taught her business principles and customer service. She began a second career in media and entertainment and launched a fashion boutique after graduating from Miami University. She eventually relocated to Los Angeles, completed the NADA Dealer Academy Program in 2010, and became Martin Management Group’s West Coast manager of operations before moving into her current business development position.
Ally senior director of corporate citizenship Jacqueline Howard described Martin as a strong ambassador for the automotive industry.
“Her automotive success combined with her unwavering dedication to service make her a natural leader for the next generation of minority women in automotive retail, and we are proud to recognize her achievements,” Howard said.
Howard added, “Ally challenges itself to ‘Be Better’, and for us that includes promoting diversity and women in leadership. Our industry is stronger when everyone — including women and people of color — see inspirational role models like Amber.”
NAMAD president Damon Lester said Martin’s automotive, media, and entertainment background makes her a “triple threat” to the automotive industry.
“Amber's knowledge, network, and ambition are truly a testament to the success of the Martin Automotive Group,” Lester said. “All of these qualities are necessary for a dealer in today's environment to possess."
Martin said women leaders’ voices are “imperative.”
“Preserving and advancing our presence in the dealership and in the boardroom is crucial for the future of our industry,” she said.