El Salvador’s Balmore Salmeron Dreamed of a Brighter Future and Found it at Park Place.
Newest “My Place” video spotlights promote-from-within culture at Park Place Dealerships
Soft spoken, thoughtfully articulate and almost always smiling, Balmore Salmeron dismisses praise about his life’s achievements with uncharacteristic modesty.
“I’m not special,” he says. “I just did what I needed to do.”
But the facts are undeniable: When he came to this country from his native El Salvador in 2001, he had no official education degree, just some university computer science training. While he could read and write a little English, his speaking skills – and thus better job opportunities – were slim.
He was, however, eager to prove himself. And Park Place was just as eager to give the young man a leg up in his adopted country.
“My mother-in-law had a friend in the detailing department at Park Place Lexus Grapevine, so I was referred and hired,” he says. “I worked on cars during the day and on my communications skills at night.”
Three years later, his managers rewarded Balmore’s determination with a promotion to the dealership’s service drive, where a quick understanding of client needs along with a cheerful and professional demeanor are must-haves.
By this time, he was also taking accounting courses, since he’d always felt comfortable with the language of numbers and figures. And knowing that Park Place likes to promote from within, he kept his eye on potential internal opportunities.
“To be better than yesterday – that’s something we should always strive for,” he says.
Nearly two years later, he found what looked like a fit when an internal financial analyst position opened up. At each step of the interview process – and there were a lot of steps – he impressed managers with his gumption and positive attitude. But he worried that he didn’t have the necessary skills.
He didn’t need to.
“We hire for attitude and determination,” declares his manager, Park Place Controller David Orenstein. “If a great candidate has that, like Balmore, then we can provide all the training they need.”
“The Park Place philosophy is about helping members improve and move up,” confirms Balmore.
Since then, he’s been instrumental in refining the company’s accounting processes to be faster and more accurate – always a good thing when it comes to numbers.
He became a U.S. citizen in 2010, completed his accounting degree at Richland College in 2014 and embodies the idea that, with hearty backing from your organization, you can achieve your dreams.
So all in all, it’s pretty clear why Balmore calls Park Place “My Place.”
“America is a dream of freedom, built around the idea that one person can make a difference,” he says. “For me, Park Place is my place because I’m a part of something great and they’ve helped me to achieve my dreams.”
Ken Schnitzer founded Park Place Dealerships in 1987 with a single Mercedes-Benz dealership on Oak Lawn. Today, Park Place Dealerships employs more than 2,100 people and operates 17 full-service dealerships representing luxury brands including Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Volvo, Jaguar, Land Rover, Rolls-Royce, Bentley, McLaren, and Maserati. For more info, visit parkplace.com.