During the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers’ (NAMAD) annual conference, Andrea Park Zadd, executive vice president of Crestmont Auto Group in Cleveland, received the “Ally Sees Her” award as a rising dealership leader. Now in its fourth year, the honor from NAMAD and Ally Financial recognizes women dealership leaders who share a commitment to strengthening their communities and diversity in the automotive industry.
To celebrate Zadd’s accomplishments and commitment to giving back, Ally is donating $10,000 to two nonprofits with personal significance to Zadd: Korean American Professionals in the Automotive Industry and the May Dugan Community Center in Cleveland.
Ally established the “Ally Sees Her” award with NAMAD four years ago to recognize the next generation of influential minority women leaders who also are highly involved in their communities. The award was inspired by the Association of National Advertisers #SeeHer campaign to increase accurate representations of women and girls in marketing and help eliminate gender bias.
“It’s so important for kids to see someone they can identify with as they dream of a successful future and careers that spark their interest,” Zadd said. “While Crestmont Automotive has many female sales professionals and service advisors, I’m hopeful initiatives like this will inspire more young women to seek automotive retail careers. It’s a dynamic industry and I’m proud of the work we’re doing to create a more inclusive and flexible work environment.”
Natalie Brown, director of corporate citizenship at Ally, added: “This award celebrates the drive and passion that women automotive leaders bring to the table. The future of our industry is stronger when everyone sees the contributions of innovative leaders like Andrea who excel in business and give back to their communities. We’re proud to be an ally in NAMAD’s quest to expand opportunities for minority auto dealers.”
Nationwide, more than 16,000 franchise automobile dealerships play an important role in their communities as key economic contributors, employers, taxpayers, and business and civic leaders. According to NAMAD research, only 5% of American automobile dealerships are owned by minorities and 95% of those are first-generation business owners.
While Zadd started her career outside the automotive industry, she eventually joined the business founded by her father. She is the daughter of a Korean immigrant and first-generation dealer who established his own automotive business after working several years as an engineer for Ford Motor Company.
Strong Commitment to Community
Ally’s donation to Korean American Professionals in the Automotive Industry has special meaning for Zadd; her father was a founding member of the organization which seeks to unite and advance automotive professionals in their related technical and business fields. Zadd also chose a second nonprofit to benefit from her award: May Dugan Community Center, which works to alleviate poverty in Cleveland by helping break down barriers faced by clients.
The center offers adult education, behavioral health counseling, trauma recovery services, food and clothing distribution, and assistance to seniors and teen mothers.
Currently, Zadd is serving her second term on the Ohio Auto Dealers Association Board of Trustees as well as the board for Caring Cubs. Other organizations she has dedicated her time to include the University of Michigan Club of Cleveland, Children’s Hunger Alliance, Big Sister – Little Sister, and MLK365 volunteer ventures.
Dedicated Business Leadership
In her eight years working with Crestmont Automotive alongside her father and brother, Zadd has been part of a successful and growing business. Her time is dedicated to accounting, improving procedures and processes for the company, and helping the organization deliver on its goals. Crestmont Automotive includes Crestmont Cadillac, Crestmont Buick GMC, Crestmont Hyundai and Genesis of Brunswick. Prior to joining the family business, Zadd established her career with large corporations in the consumer packaged goods industry, including Johnson & Johnson and General Mills. This early experience in setting and achieving sales goals, aligning the business with consumer needs, and implementing data-driven decision-making continue to serve her well in a dealership setting.
Zadd attended Cornell University where she graduated with a degree in Applied Economics and Management. She then earned her Master of Business Administration degree with distinction from the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan in 2015.