Land Rover DFW Competes In The TReK 2022 Competition

Land Rover DFW Members Roxie Byars, Juan Ramirez, and Teddy Clements recently completed the Land Rover TReK 2022 adventure off-road competition. The DFW team finished fourth out of 10 teams in their division. In total there were 100 three-person teams: 90 teams from across the U.S. and 10 from Canada.

“This trip started in Mahwah, New Jersey at Land Rover Headquarters,” explained Juan Ramirez, JLR DFW Service Advisor. “Then we drove 4.5 hours to Manchester, Vermont, one of Land Rover’s four North American Experience centers. We competed in a number of tasks including a one mile run relay as a team and driving the Defender through different obstacles where we received points based on accuracy and timing. We camped overnight in freezing weather and had to cook our own dinner on a small gas stove they provided. The experience showed us how well the Defender performs under any circumstance.”

Comprised of qualifying trials and finals utilizing the all-new Defender 110, the competition is designed to test some of the best driving experts across the U.S. and Canada in off-road driving, navigation and team collaboration.

The teams competed in 100 identically customized 2023 Land Rover Defender 110 vehicles with factory-approved accessories including a Remote-Control Electric Winch, Raised Air Intake, Roof Rack, Air Compressor, Front Undershield and Exterior Side Gear Carrier. Additionally, accessories from Lucky8 included TReK Edition badging, recovery bag and equipment, Roofnest Tent, Pull-out Awning, ARB refrigerator, Solar Panel, and more.

The first Land Rover TReK was held in 1996, and the competition continued in North America through 2003. It returned in 2019 with preliminaries at The Biltmore in North Carolina, another of Land Rover’s North American Experience centers. 

Located at 1300 East Highway 114, northwest of DFW Airport, Jaguar-Land Rover DFW is one of only 16 Land Rover retailers in the U.S. to earn the prestigious Pinnacle Retailer Excellence Award for exceptional sales, service and customer satisfaction.

Park Place Dealerships was founded in 1987 and has been engaged in the community through its support of the arts, medical research, children’s advocacy, and education. Park Place employs more than 1,400 members and operates eight full-service dealerships representing luxury brands including Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Volvo, Jaguar, and Land Rover. Park Place BodyWerks Collision Centers in Fort Worth and Dallas, and the Park Place Auto Auction, round out the company’s offerings. Park Place was acquired in 2020 by Asbury Automotive Group, Inc., a Fortune 500 company headquartered in Duluth, GA. For more information, visit

Chris Brunner Celebrates 30 Years with Park Place Dealerships

The automotive industry has evolved in the last 30 years and one local resident has seen incredible changes – from safety and design to elevating the client experience. Chris Brunner joined Park Place Dealerships in 1992 as an assistant sales manager and today, he manages one of the largest Lexus dealerships in the country.

Under Brunner’s leadership, Park Place Lexus Grapevine received a number one national ranking in customer satisfaction and has been recognized as an Elite of Lexus dealer 18 times. In 2005, the Park Place Lexus dealerships in Grapevine and Plano became the first automobile dealerships ever to win the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation’s highest Presidential honor for quality and organizational performance excellence. 

Brunner has been the General Manager at Park Place Lexus Plano since 2010.

“Chris is the epitome of leadership and customer service,” said Tony Carimi, Park Place Dealerships Managing Director. “He’s built an incredible team at Lexus Plano and is very committed to developing each Member into leaders in their own right.”

Greg Duerr, Lexus Plano Parts Director has worked with Brunner since 1995. “I don’t take that for granted, says Duerr. “Chris has a great sense for what clients expect, and he walks the talk of the Park Place Culture.”

Lexus Plano Finance Director Shiva Olumi recalls, “Chris has been a guide for the 21 years I’ve worked at Park Place. Regardless of the position you hold, he gets to know you and the things that are important to you. He has been the ultimate mentor to me. You see his influence in how pristine everything is when you walk in the Lexus dealership: the white orchids, the attention to detail, the laughter in the halls. He has created an energy and culture of family.” 

Katie Stutts, Brunner’s Administrative Assistant, says, “Chris is a great leader. He possesses a clear vision, is courageous, has integrity, and has a clear focus. Chris is a wonderful coach and always wants his members to succeed. He is a true leader, and we are honored to have him in our lives.” 

Brunner is very involved in supporting the Plano and North Texas communities, including working with Collin County Children’s Advocacy Center; SPCA of Collin County; My Possibilities; Samaritan Inn; Habitat for Humanity, and Plano, Allen and Prosper Teacher of the Year programs and Prize Patrols. When not at work, Chris enjoys spending time with his wife Amie and children Alexa and Camden.

Porsche Challenge 2022 Restoration Unveiled

Park Place Porsche Dallas recently hosted the Maverick Region Porsche Club of America for a Coffee & Classics meet on a Saturday morning at the Lemmon Avenue dealership. The star attraction was the reveal of a Guards Red 1996 Porsche 911 (993) Carrera, which Porsche Dallas TechnicianSeantrel Sloan, 27, recently completed during a year-long restoration. 

“I’m honored our clients entrust me with their Classic Porsches,” said Sloan. “The skills and training I received from Park Place prepared me to do the quality of work I put into this amazing car.”

One of the biggest challenges of the restoration was sourcing parts for the nearly 30-year-old sports car. Park Place Porsche is entering the car in the 2022 Porsche Classic Restoration Challenge. The national competition requires all parts to be original manufacturer’s parts from Porsche.

During the 2021 Porsche Classic Restoration Challenge Sloan finished second in the nation with a 1990 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Targa he restored. Classic Porsche models from 40 dealerships around the U.S. competed in last year’s Challenge, including Porsche 356 models from as early as 1956, five generations of the 911, transaxle models like the 944, and 928, as well as modern classics such as the first-generation Boxster. Cars judged to be regional winners moved on to compete in the semifinals in each of the three U.S. Porsche sales areas. 

Sloan’s love of the Porsche brand began when he was just eight years old. “My grandfather bought me the “Need for Speed” video game dedicated to Porsches. I learned everything about every car in the game. And I fell in love with the brand…the heritage…the tradition. Every single car that I’ve touched in the shop, I’ve driven in the game. And now I’ve had the opportunity to drive those cars with my own hands and feet. To be a Porsche Classic Tech, and keep these cars on the road today, is an honor.”

Sloan grew up in Dallas, graduating in 2013 from Duncanville High School. He worked as a car washer/valet at Park Place while attending Universal Technical Institute (UTI) in Irving to receive his automotive technician certification, graduating in 2014. After serving two years in the U.S. Army, he returned to work at Porsche Dallas as a technician. He currently lives in Lancaster, Texas.

Work hard – Ted Wernimount

Ted was just 24 years old when he joined Park Place 32 years ago. 

“I came to Park Place hoping to get into a company that would allow me to grow and prosper in a great environment and have a long career. Park Place has surpassed all of my expectations. Two things that have impacted all of us is how much Park Place has grown as a company and the technology that is constantly changing.”

Ted’s parents moved his family to Grand Prairie when he was 14 after his father was severely injured in an accident. His mom became the main breadwinner and Texas was a better environment for her career as a registered nurse. 

Ted graduated from South Grand Prairie High and the Wyoming Technical Institute.

“The biggest challenge I face is to stay on top of the ever-changing technology of all of the different makes and models that we repair. When I worked in Mercedes service it was only one manufacturer, but at Bodywerks we repair all of the different makes that we sell in the Park Place family. Having access to all of the manufacturer’s technical information and assistance from team members at the different stores tremendously helps us overcome these challenges.

Ted’s advice for anyone just starting out: “Work hard. Don’t expect anything to be given to you and earn everything that you get. It will benefit you personally throughout your career with Park Place or wherever you are.” “I’m petrified of heights but my daughter and I took an amazing hot air balloon ride in New Mexico that involved rising to 2,000 feet and then descending down into the Rio Grande Gorge until the basket skimmed the Rio Grande River and then back up again. Life lesson: Face your fears and reap the rewards.”

Park Place Porsche Hosts 2022 Cattle Baron’s Ball Dallas Raffle Kickoff Event

Pete Hodges, Lora Farris, Nancy Gopez, Patrick Huston, Tony Carimi at the Cattlebaron’s Ball raffle ticket event at Park Place Porsche in Dallas, Tx on June 11, 2022.

Park Place Porsche Dallas recently hosted the Raffle kickoff party for the 2022 Dallas Cattle Baron’s Ball, which will be held September 17 at Southfork Ranch in Parker, Texas. The ball is the largest single-night fundraising event for cancer research in the world.

The event also featured the introduction of the new 2023 Porsche Macan SUV. With the base turbo four-cylinder, the Macan leaps to 60 mph in just five seconds. Upgrade to the twin-turbo V-6–powered S or GTS models, which squeeze out 434 horsepower, and nimbly reach 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds. More importantly than the speed, the Macan performs remarkably like a Porsche sports sedan. And isn’t that really what you want from a Porsche SUV?

Miller Wortley, Susanna Mae Wortley, Avery Lesikar and Ashely Lesikar with waffles at the Cattlebaron’s Ball raffle ticket event at Park Place Porsche in Dallas, Tx on June 11, 2022.

Power is sent to all four wheels via Porsche’s seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, but the Macan T’s all-wheel-drive system sends more power to the rear wheels to help the crossover turn in more sharply. The T also rides on 20-inch wheels, gets a firmer suspension, and comes with Porsche’s Sport Chrono package as standard. The Macan T also comes with sportier front seats as standard.

Guests enjoyed scrumptious delicacies from Nightowl coffee, a waffle bar, Biscuit Bar, and a Mimosa Bar. Guests also enjoyed viewing unique art pieces crafted from the rear wing of Porsche “Whales Tails” by French artist Johans Lamic. More information on his fascinating project is available at

Artist Johans Lamic and Susan Francia at the Cattlebaron’s Ball raffle ticket event at Park Place Porsche in Dallas, Tx on June 11, 2022.

The 2022 Cattle Baron’s Ball will feature superstar country band Old Dominion as the headliner with Chris Young playing the VIP party. Old Dominion has been the Country Music Association Vocal Group of the Year 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021, known for hits like “One Man Band,” “Never Be Sorry, and “I Was On a Boat.” VIP party entertainer Young shot to superstardom after winning season 4 of Nashville Star; his biggest hits include “The Man I Want to Be,” “Gettin’ You Home,” and “Drowning.”

The VIP and Live Auction Stage will be outside on the ranch, with the Main Stage under a tent and the silent auction inside the Southfork Ranch Event and Conference Center, organizers say.

Park Place will once again provide a choice of luxury vehicles to choose from for the raffle winner, valued at approximately $60,000: from their lineup of Jaguar, Land Rover, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, or Volvo models. Raffle tickets are on sale now at $100 each or six for $500. The winner is responsible for all taxes, title, and registration fees. To purchase raffle tickets, call 214-4434-9222 or email

Cattle Baron’s Ball is the premier fundraiser for the American Cancer Society in North Texas and has raised more than $89 million since its inception in 1974. More information, including tickets, is available at

Hard Work Pays Off– Juan Ramirez

Juan Ramirez, 31, started in the Car Wash, then advanced to Valet, Warehouse, Parts Counter, and is now an ASM at Jaguar Land Rover DFW. A native Texan, Juan graduated from South Grand Prairie High School in 2008. 

He’s worked at Park Place for 13 years. “My first impression: It was a great environment. All members are extremely polite! I found all members treated me well and had a service focus.”

Juan resides in Grand Prairie with his wife and two kids. He describes his family as “supportive and very energetic!” His son is 13 and his daughter 7. “My wife and I are very involved with our kids’ sports,” he says. Juan is an avid Texas Rangers fan and helps coach his son’s baseball team. He is also very involved with his daughter’s gymnastics.

“The best thing about working at Park Place are the opportunities. You can move to different departments and take advantage of learning opportunities. New situations can feel risky, but there is always help if needed.” His advice to someone just starting at Park Place: “Listen to everyone who has been there. Hard work pays off. The doors will open for you. Always ask questions. It will make you better.”

Women in Automotive Roundtable

Park Place Corporate recently hosted a Women in Automotive roundtable with more than 100 Members, including women from every dealership, as well as several GMs, and Tony Carimi, Park Place managing director.

Women in Automotive panelists included Porsche Dallas Service Director

Jenny Drummond, who has spent more than 20 years at Park Place; Lexus Plano F&I Director Shiva Olumi, who started as a receptionist at Park Place 21 years ago; Park Place Assistant Controller Jody Monroe, who started 21 years ago as AP/AR Clerk for Motorcars Dallas; and Asbury Automotive Vice President of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Dr. Wendy Reynolds-Dobbs. Carolyn Alvey, Vice President at Aardvark Communications, served as moderator. 

Panelists were asked how they “inspire within.” They encouraged attendees to reach out to other Members in their department to demonstrate how their skills can support the entire group. 

When the panelists were asked how they could earn the respect of their male counterparts, there was a common response: “Do your job and do it well. If you don’t know something, admit it and find the answer. People want to help if you acknowledge you need help.” As a final word about women in automotive, special guest Asbury Automotive Group Board of Directors member Maureen Morrison flew in from Atlanta. Ms. Morrison is a former partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers, where she began her career in 1976, and became a partner in 1987. She spoke on her career in finance and why she wanted to serve on the Asbury Board of Directors. “Asbury is committed to making more opportunities for women. We have women leading in Parts and Service departments as well as female General Managers.”

Go for the long haul– Gene Ellison

Gene Ellison always had a thing for Mercedes-Benz cars. 

“While I’m a native Texan, my family moved to Southern California in the late ‘60s where Mercedes were very popular. I would see them on the streets all the time. They were different and sophisticated.”

In the early ‘70s Gene moved to the Rio Grande Valley where his parents bought a farm. “Out of necessity I had to learn how to work on our equipment. I learned a little about diesel engines and got pretty good with them. The saving grace for a young car enthusiast like me was a MB dealership in San Benito. When my girlfriend (and future wife) and I went on dates, I would talk her into stopping by the dealership to check out the cars.”

In 1975, Gene got a job as a mechanic at that dealership, where he was trained by the owner, a Swiss man who had apprenticed at the Mercedes-Benz factory in Stuttgart. “I took to the work quickly and was sent to a number of technical schools. I enjoyed working on what we now call “classic” Mercedes from the ‘50s and ‘60s. We worked in an open-air shop in the sub-tropics, and every time I went to the parts counter, the window would slide open and cool air would flow out. So, in 1977 when a parts position opened up, I jumped at the chance to move inside. A short time later, the parts manager quit, and I got my first job as parts manager.”

In 1990, Gene joined Park Place. “I’ve been privileged to help grow the business and enjoyed meeting the challenges that were part of that growth. Today’s challenges include material shortages in the supply chain. We’ve managed this challenge by aggressively purchasing in advance of demand whenever possible.”

Gene’s advice to someone just starting out: “Sign on, dig in, learn everything about the business you can, think of the client first, and go for the long haul.” Away from work, Gene loves photography and the outdoors. He also has a collection of antique bottles that he started as a kid

Women In Automotive– Inspire Within

Earlier this month we had the pleasure to host over 100+ members at our corporate offices in Las Colinas for a very informative speaker and panel discussion powered by Park Place Women in Automotive. The theme of the event was Inspire Within, and the purpose of the event was to foster communication, inspiration, and motivation for women within the automotive industry.

We learned from four incredibly tenured women on how they navigate their careers in an industry that is traditionally male-dominated along with meshing your two worlds- personal and professional. 

Our attendees also had the honor to listen to Maureen Morrison who has served as a member of the Asbury Automotive Board since January 2019. Ms. Morrison currently serves as a director and Chair of the Audit Committee, and member of both the Nominating & Corporate Governance Committee and Compensation Committee of Safeguard Scientifics, Inc.

Three of our panelists were women who have been with Park Place Dealerships for 21+ years and one recently hired female who just joined the Asbury Automotive company as the Vice President and Chief Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Officer.

Panelist bios follow below:

  • Jenny Drummond is the Service Director for Park Place Porsche Dallas. She has enjoyed the last 21 years advancing from Assistant Service Manager to Service Manager to now Service Director, overseeing one of the largest Porsche Service centers in the United States.
  • Shiva Olumi is the Finance and Insurance Director for Park Place Lexus Plano. Over the last 21 years, she has had several job roles starting from receptionist to becoming a director.
  • Jody Monroe is the Assistant Controller at Park Place Dealerships. Her journey with Park Place started from 21 years ago as the Accounts Payable Accounts Receivable (APAR) Clerk for Park Place Mercedes Dallas.
  • Wendy Reynolds is the Vice President and Chief DEI Officer for Asbury Automotive. Wendy worked for 15 years as Vice President and Chief DEI Officer at Unisys, where she led business-aligned strategic initiatives in DEI, Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”), organization effectiveness, talent management, employee engagement, workforce planning, and analysis, and leadership/executive development.

With women making up less than 18% of the workforce in this industry, Park Place is dedicated to recruiting and retaining more women who can have incredible careers in the automotive industry while working with a team that is dedicated to their success.

Celebrating 35 Years of Excellence

Park Place Dealerships’ 35th Anniversary Celebration at Texas Live was filled with joy and laughter, and even a few tears as we paid tribute to Motorcars Dallas GM Robert Morris’ 31 years of service. But first and foremost, it was a time to celebrate 35 years and our outstanding members.

We took this opportunity to give back to the community through our partnership with Children’s Health which included a $10,000 donation. The generosity of our members also filled an extended-length Sprinter van with more than 1,000 backpacks and toys! This incredible contribution made an impact on Volvo SEM Kurt Rongey, who shared with Tony Carimi what this meant to him. 

“Park Place’s decision to collect toys for Children’s was very meaningful to me. When my nine-year-old daughter Julianne was in the hospital after her brain cancer diagnosis a little over a year ago, one of the bright points was when a social worker offered her a choice of toys that a generous person had donated. Julianne chose a LEGO set. In November of 2021, Julianne passed away. But that toy donated anonymously was a bright spot at a difficult time that gave my girl some joy and pride. We still display that LEGO set in our home. I was overwhelmed to see all the toys Park Place members had given. A whole van full! Believe me, they will bring a lot of happiness to some sweet kids who need something to smile about. I loved the opportunity to bring a LEGO set to donate in honor of my daughter.”