Illinois Auto Sales Director Recognized as Emerging Female Industry Leader

Gabrielle-Abinion-Fox-Valley-Volkswagen-IL-NAMAD-Ally

Gabrielle Abinion received the 2023 "Ally Sees Her" award at this year's NAMAD conference.

Gabrielle Abinion of Fox Valley Volkswagen in St. Charles, IL, was honored with this year's "Ally Sees Her" award for her proven leadership in the automotive industry, becoming a dealership general manager at only 25 years old, decades ahead of most in that role.

Juan Niebles, Ally's senior director of auto sales, presented Abinion, a general manager at Fox Valley Volkswagen, which has been owned by Abinion's family since 2006, with the award during the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers (NAMAD) annual conference.

"Gabrielle is a trailblazer in automotive retail becoming a general manager at 25 years old and an inspiration to the next generation of minority dealers," said Niebles.

Abinion, a proud Filipina, embodies the spirit of the Sees Her award. This award was established by Ally and NAMAD six years ago to recognize significant achievements of women of color in the auto industry and their commitment to strengthening their communities.

"Growing up in the automotive industry, I always admired my mentors and coaches, most of whom were men," Abinion said. "However, my perspective on the industry changed when I started selling cars at a Land Rover Jaguar store and was taken under the wing of an African-American saleswoman, Alicia Houston, right out of college. She taught me the importance of having women in our industry and how by challenging traditional masculine norms, we can create a culture of diversity that inspires innovation, growth and meaningful change."

To celebrate Abinion's commitment to giving back to her community, Ally will donate $10,000 to be split between two nonprofit organizations: Cal's Angels, which supports pediatric cancer research and helps families affected by the disease, and Naomi's House, which provides housing, job-skill training and mental health services to victims of commercial sex trafficking. Through Abinion's leadership, the dealership has donated 10 vehicles to graduates of the Naomi's House program since 2019 to give each participant a fresh start.

The St. Charles native and Loyola University-Chicago graduate began her career in the automotive industry as a sales consultant at Howard Orloff Imports in Chicago. She credits mentoring as instrumental to her development, leading to a promotion to finance manager at the Land Rover Jaguar Volvo franchise dealership within a year. She has completed the NCM's General Management Executive Program and Ally's Financial Leadership Academy, specialized dealer training programs. Abinion is also a member of the General Motor's Dealer Development National Candidate Pool. In February 2023, she was selected as a finalist for the "What Drives Her Retailer of the Year" award at the Chicago Auto Show.

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