In line with what Sonic Automotive says is its leadership team’s desire to build a culture of inclusion and opportunity for female leaders at all levels within the company, the auto retailer will host its inaugural women’s leadership forum on Sunday in Houston.
The symposium, which is open to all Sonic Automotive and EchoPark Automotive dealerships’ female associates working in Houston, is the first in a series of Sonic leadership development programs under chief executive officer David Smith and president Jeff Dyke.
BMW of West Houston general manager Maria Moncada-Alaoui, and Porsche West Houston general manager Marianna Brasel will host the symposium. Moncada-Alaoui and Brasel started out in dealership entry-level positions and went on to rise through the ranks to run what Sonic says are two of its most successful dealerships in the Houston market. Both women are enthusiastic about developing leadership growth and development opportunities for females in the automotive industry.
“Marianna and I have benefitted from having strong mentors throughout our careers who encouraged us to take risks,” Moncada-Alaoui said in a news release. “Helping other women in our company find their voice through this development program is our way to pay it forward."
Several leadership coaches will deliver training to attendees and provide follow-up coaching and mentoring after the event. Speakers include Shift Awake Group founder Jacqueline Jasionowski, Schenk Communications Group president Lisa Schenk, and Tiara International chief operating officer Betsy Sobiech. Emmy-award winning journalist Linda Lorelle will lead a panel discussion featuring several female Sonic executives.
“David Smith and I are incredibly proud of Maria and Marianna for spearheading this event and being dedicated to helping other women in our company,” Dyke said in a news release. “It's extremely important for Sonic to foster an inclusive environment for all of our associates and empower our female associates to develop their careers in what has been a highly male-dominated industry. Maria and Marianna are two great examples of what women can achieve in their careers at Sonic Automotive.”
Auto Remarketing to launch Women in Retail program
The retail side of automotive is full of strong leadership. And to continue the momentum started by our Women in Remarketing program, Auto Remarketing will be launching an awards program this summer that specifically recognizes leaders on the retail side of the auto industry: Women in Retail.
In a setup similar to our Women in Remarketing and Women in Auto Finance franchises, the inaugural class of Women in Retail will be recognized in the July 1 issue of Auto Remarketing and at Used Car Week this fall.
Stay tuned for more details.