Teri Saenz Named National Auto Contest Top 10 Finalist
Teri Saenz, general manager at Dewey Ford in Ankeny, IA, was named one of the top 10 finalists in National Automobile Dealers Association’s 4th annual women driving auto retail video contest.
As the highest ranking female general manager at Ken Garff Enterprises, parent company of Dewey Ford, Saenz’s award is inspiring a new generation of women in the automotive industry.
“I’m honored to be recognized with this distinguished collection of women leaders,” said Saenz, who has worked in the industry for 27 years. “If you’re a woman interested in the auto industry, you have lots of opportunities. Our industry needs strong women to bring different and necessary perspectives.”
Having worked in every department in the business, most of Saenz’s experience is in parts and service, which provided perspective from the ground up.
“As a woman in the auto industry, I have learned to be ready for everything, so I over-prepared for every role and performed to my best every time,” she said. “When you do that, greatness happens.”
Launched in August 2019, the video contest is part of NADA’s Women Driving Auto Retail initiative, which highlights the current voices of women working in dealerships and encourages other women to pursue automotive careers.
“If you’re a woman who wants to work in the auto industry, always be who you are. That’s the most important thing,” Saenz said. “There’s a reason why women are different, and we have to bring that diversity to the auto industry. Be strong, be beautiful, be bold and always be true to yourself.
“If you want to dress professionally, do it. If you want to be a technician and work on cars, do it. Anyone who tells you there is not a work-life balance is saying that because they haven’t made the choice to do that.”
An inspiration in her own right, Saenz is raising six children at home, demonstrating that women can have a career, a home life and whatever they desire.
“Don’t let anybody stop you from being who you want to be no matter what that career path is,” she said.
Headquartered in Salt Lake City, Garff Enterprises is led by chairwoman Katharine B. Garff and employs over 4,000 professionals across all of its locations, with 48 companies in the Garff Enterprises, Inc. corporate family.