Teacher Appreciation is Personal at Park Place

It’s a small world, after all.

 


Connectivity between people pops up in the most unlikely places. Like on the service drive at Park Place Lexus Plano. That’s where two fellow team members, who didn’t know each other from Adam, first discovered that they shared a surprisingly meaningful connection- and no, it wasn’t that they both worked at Park Place.

It All Started with a Vowel (read more to see “Y”)

 

One sunny morning back in 2013, Brandon Gillespy, body shop manager at Park Place BodyWerks, was at the service drive at Park Place Lexus Plano, picking up a client vehicle for transport to the body shop in Dallas.

“This guy comes over to me, big smile, introduces himself and asks if I’m related to Jamie Gillespy,” Brandon recalls.

The guy was Don Mitchell, sales experience manager at Lexus Plano. The unusual spelling of Brandon’s last name, with a “y” instead of an “ie,” caught Don’s eye.

“My daughter Meredith was always raving about a wonderful teacher at Plano’s Jasper High School named Jamie Gillespy,” Don explains. “Jamie taught an elective course in ASL, or American Sign language, and Meredith absolutely adored Jamie and I remembered the unique spelling. So Brandon and I both remarked on what a small world it was.”

In most cases, a random coincidence like that results in a pleasant conversation and that’s the end of it.

But then something else happened. Two somethings, in fact.

Jamie-Mania

First, Brandon became increasingly aware that his wife was starting to enjoy a kind of Jamie-mania.

“Since that moment, it seems like anywhere we go, a store or a restaurant in Frisco or Plano, we hear someone yell, “MISS G!” And then a former student runs across the room to give my wife a giant hug. Don’s story first opened my eyes to this phenomenon, and since then it’s been nonstop. And a lot of fun for both of us!”


Jamie Gillespy, ASL teacher at Frisco Centennial High School with husband, Brandon Gillespy, Body Shop Manager at Park Place BodyWerks

Second, Jamie’s impact on Meredith carried on well past the classroom into adulthood. After graduating from Plano Senior High, she went on to earn an education degree at the University of Arkansas and is, in fact, now a teacher at a Title 1 school in Springdale, Arkansas.

Don Mitchell, Sales Experience Manager at Lexus Plano with daughter and teacher Meredith.

“Meredith was already starting to show a passion for teaching, and Jamie really reinforced a lot of the values that made teaching a compelling career choice,” says Don. “My mother was a teacher, and just like Jamie, her example had life-lasting positive impacts on her students, too. Meredith is that same kind of person, that same kind of teacher.”

Don Mitchell, Sales Experience Manager at Lexus Plano with daughter and teacher Meredith.

“I felt inspired to learn how much my wife meant to Don’s daughter,” says Brandon, noting that Jamie is now the ASL teacher at Frisco Centennial High School as well as Student Council Sponsor. He’s especially proud that the school created a video about what her days are like during this time of uncertainty. Check it out.

Park Place Cares

Don and Brandon’s story alludes to just one of the reasons why Park Place has been such a passionate supporter of education over the past 30+ years. After discovering their small-world connection and shared values, these two members are even more gratified that their chosen place of work, Park Place, actively supports education as a corporate initiative, sponsoring the Teacher of the Year program in nine local school districts. The company is also active in the Plano ISD Education Foundation’s Grants to Educators program.

“I was amazed when I first learned of the connection between Don and Brandon, as well as Jamie and Meredith,” says Anam Ali-Hashambhai, Experiential Marketing Manager at Park Place.

“It really brought home to me that the Park Place commitment to education is all about connecting people, ideas, inspiration and creativity. These kinds of connections are out there, and makes our Teacher of the Year sponsorship even that more special and personal.”

Thank You, Thank You

“I was honored to attend a ‘Teacher of the Year’ event where I represented Park Place, says Don. “But I was even more honored and proud to be the parent of a teacher.”

“Showing educators that they’re valued is outstanding,” adds Brandon. “I’m really glad that Park Place is willing to show this kind of commitment. Especially since I married into a family of teachers. Jamie’s mother, aunt and grandmother are all or were teachers. It’s important that we honor teachers for the lifelong impact they have on their students.”


So has this connection also spawned a friendship between Don and Brandon?

“Oh yeah,” smiles Brandon. “We’re good pals.”

“Who do you think sold Jamie her Lexus?” teases Don.

And it all started with a “y” instead of an “ie.”

The power of vowels, indeed.

 

More Park Place #TeacherAppreciation Stories

 

 

 

 

 

Carter BloodCare and Park Place Dealerships Team Up to Potentially Save 339 Lives Through Blood Drive

Carter BloodCare says their ability to provide blood to hospitals for urgent transfusion needs of patients has been in severe jeopardy. Recently, Carter BloodCare and Park Place Dealerships came together for a blood drive that has potentially made the difference in 339 lives. 

Members from Park Place Motorcars in Arlington Participate in the #ParkPlaceCares Blood Drive

“The members at Park Place Dealerships are extremely generous with their time and resources, including their blood,” noted Dave Evans, Chief Marketing Officer for Park Place Dealerships. “We asked members if they would like to participate in this event and we had an overwhelming response. We were happy to know this event made the difference for people in need.”

Members from Park Place Motorcars in Arlington Participate in the #ParkPlaceCares Blood Drive
Members from Park Place Motorcars in Arlington Participate in the #ParkPlaceCares Blood Drive
Members from Park Place Volvo Participate in the #ParkPlaceCares Blood Drive

Park Place Dealerships hosted the blood drive over two days at seven locations with 114 donors and 113 units collected equating to about 339 lives saved. Park Place encourages more Dallas/Fort Worth companies to organize blood drives throughout the summer, especially during the period of critical need.

Park Place Porsche General Manager, Patrick Huston, leads the charge to donate blood during the #ParkPlaceCares Blood Drive
Members from Park Place in Dallas Participate in the #ParkPlaceCares Blood Drive

IMPORTANCE OF A BLOOD DRIVE

The pandemic’s impact on the blood supply has been profound and sudden. Blood drives were cancelled after businesses, school, universities and houses of worship shut down. Giving blood is essential with or without the COVID-19 pandemic.

Blood donors are the only way to provide for transfusions because blood cannot be manufactured. Since the state of Texas has reopened, hospitals are trying to resume a full capacity of medical and surgical services. Six hundred to 800 patients a day require transfusions.

SIGN-UP WITH CARTER BLOODCARE

Companies and the community can get more information or sign up to give blood at carterbloodcare.org.


Park Place Dealerships was founded in 1987 by Ken Schnitzer with a single Mercedes-Benz dealership in Dallas. For the past 33 years, the company has been engaged in the community supporting the arts, medical research, children’s advocacy and education. Park Place employs more than 1,500 members and operates 18 full-service dealerships representing luxury brands Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Volvo, Jaguar, Land Rover, Koenigsegg, Rolls-Royce, Bentley, McLaren, Maserati and Aston Martin. For more info, visit parkplace.com.

 

 

 

Member Spotlight: Dreams Changed for Malcolm Gage as Doors Opened for New Opportunities

Malcolm Gage Enrolled in Pre-Med Courses at SMU until a Part-Time Job Led Him Down a Different Road

Malcolm R. Gage Jr., current General Manager at Park Place Motorcars Arlington, never envisioned a career in the automotive industry. In fact, he was in a Pre-Med program at Southern Methodist University in 1997 when his college roommate suggested he could get Malcolm a job at a Lewisville Ford dealership during his college break.

“My friend thought my quick wit and personality would be a good fit,” recalled Gage. “Reluctantly, I took his advice, and they hired me the same day I interviewed. I fell in love with the job, and changed my focus to a career in the automotive industry. Now, 23 years later, I know it was the right decision.”

A Journey to Automotive

In 2005, Gage joined Park Place Dealerships as New Car Sales Manager at Park Place Motorcars Bedford, which is now located in Grapevine. Gage quickly rose up the ranks at Park Place, where he spent the past five years as New Car Sales Director at the Park Place Premier Collection in Dallas, representing luxury brands Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Maserati, and McLaren. He was recently named General Manager at Park Place Motorcars Arlington.

“The automotive business is unlike any other,” said Gage. “I’ve made some amazing contacts, and it’s given me opportunities I never could’ve imagined. Having the opportunity to work in state-of-the-art facilities with world-class brands, and interacting with professionals of the highest caliber, one cannot put a value on that. I consider myself blessed to have reached this point, but I credit a lot of mentors and managers that have supported me and given me guidance to reach this point.”

Rolls-Royce Sales Manager of the Year, Coach of the Year, and SMU Alum

Some of his greatest accomplishments are being named Coach of the Year from two different Park Place dealerships, and being part of teams that were recognized as Dealerships of the Year, both nationally and internationally. Gage was also named the first-ever Rolls-Royce Sales Manager of the Year by Rolls-Royce Motorcars North America.

“As leaders of this organization, we try to predict future trends based on metrics and the past,” explained Gage. “But there are so many external factors that can affect it at any moment. Hiring and retaining the best talent is a challenge, but we pride ourselves on our industry-leading retention rates. I think the biggest challenge is probably the pressure we put on ourselves to exceed expectations.”

Gage graduated from Southern Methodist University in 1999 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Affairs and Corporate Communications, and he is still involved with the SMU Alumni Association. He is an Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Lifetime Member, and he volunteers with Equality Texas, the Human Rights Campaign, the Greater Arlington Chamber of Commerce, and several other organizations.

“I’m involved with these organizations to give back to the Dallas/Fort Worth community that has given so much to me. Much of my success in this industry has been from networking and forming relationships with business and civic leaders in the area. I’ve always believed in dedicating time to serve others.”

Featured on the Food Network, Too!

Food Network fans may remember Malcolm Gage and Ophelia’s New Soul co-owner Cordey Lash as winners of the acclaimed TV show’s Food Court Wars. Formerly located in Plano’s Collin Creek Mall Food Court, Ophelia’s New Soul launched in 2014 and specialized in modern interpretations of classic soul food dishes served in a fast, yet relaxed, atmosphere.

“We have been approached by fans of the restaurant asking if we were going to open a new location,” Gage explains. “But I think my time in the restaurant industry has passed. We achieved great success and national recognition with Ophelia’s New Soul, and it allowed us to create a franchising plan for someone who might want to continue the brand. Who knows what the future holds? It’s still a treat to see the episode on Food Network at times.”


Park Place Motorcars Arlington is located at 4201 Beltway Place off I-20 at S. Center Street. Founded in 1987 with a single Mercedes-Benz dealership on Oak Lawn in Dallas, Park Place Dealerships also represents luxury brands Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Maserati, McLaren, Koenigsegg, Lexus, Porsche, Volvo, Jaguar and Land Rover. For more information, visit parkplace.com.

 

Member Spotlight: Alycia Johnson, Business Improvement Manager, Park Place Porsche Dallas

Spend two minutes chatting with Alycia Johnson and one thing becomes abundantly clear – her cheerful determination to do the right things right.

As Business Improvement Manager for Park Place Porsche Dallas, determination comes with the territory. The cheerfulness comes from the heart.

“I love training people,” she says while explaining the role of a business improvement manager. “I mentor, coach and train new hires, and make sure their desktops and logins are ready to go on day one. I also make sure that our long-time members are using all the tools and techniques of our various systems and software programs to best advantage. If I do my job well, then they do their jobs well, and our business thrives. It’s that simple.”

She may call it simple, but there’s a complex set of procedures behind what Alycia does so well. Preparation is the key, and she sets a blistering pace for herself when it comes to exceeding expectations. “I worry about the details so nobody else has to,” she declares.

Welcome to Dallas

The Okinawa-born Johnson arrived in Dallas at an early age and attended W.T. White, R.L. Turner and Brookhaven College before accepting a job with aircraft leasing pioneer Flexjet. She served first as flight coordinator and then customer account manager and, after more than a decade, transferred her expertise to a successful sales role at a local dealership in 2016.  

At the persistent urging of several friends who already worked at Park Place, she joined Porsche Dallas in July 2018 as a Sales Experience Manager, then moved to her current role on September 2019. “I got to Park Place as fast as I could,” she laughs.

In Her Spare Time

In her spare time, she says she hangs out with pals and indulges in creative handcrafts – as a grandmother-to-be, she assembled a Star Wars-inspired diaper cake for a recent baby shower. “I can’t believe I’m going to be a grandmother,” she enthuses. “This is so exciting!” (Editor’s Note: at the time of posting, we are happy to report that Alycia is a  proud Grandmother!)

She also admits a weakness for footwear, confessing that she owns around 200 pairs of shoes. “Macy’s loves me,” she says with a mock groan. 

She also admits to a fondness for rom-com movies like “The Ugly Truth” and “The Perfect Man,” and her musical tastes run to Prince and Michael Jackson.

But what really gets her jazzed is Taco Tuesday. “I love Tex-Mex food. Tacos every day as far as I’m concerned!”

Her outlook on life is practical and courageous. “We all have personal struggles,” she says. “It’s important to always look at the positive side. Everything happens for a reason – the good, the bad, and the ugly, but it always passes and, in the end, makes us stronger.”


Visit our team at Porsche Dallas in-store or online at ParkPlace.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Member Spotlight Featuring Diki Terry: A Rare Bird Takes Flight

Diki Terry spreads cheer, optimism and professionalism at Park Place Motorcars Arlington


She’s that rarest of North Texas birds – an actual Arlington native!

“Born and raised right here,” says Diki Terry with an easy laugh. “I graduated James Martin High School, which is only 15 minutes west. Go Warriors!”

And while she’s still a proud supporter of the school’s black, red, and silver, she’s unabashed about her dedication to Park Place Motorcars Arlington, where she’s served as Parts Director since October 2015.

“The pace can be quite hectic at times,” she freely admits. “The key is focus. Our clients need us at the top of our game every day.”

She’s a firm believer in the power of teamwork and doesn’t miss a chance to praise the six members of her busy team. “Our team works extremely well together and we get along really well together, too,” she says. “When you’re responsible for selling, tracking and replenishing inventory, for a huge variety of vehicle models and years, things can get pretty complicated fairly quickly. But our team gets it done!”

Diki holds brief (15-minute) “tune-up” meetings every morning with her staff so they can identify challenges and solutions. “I believe in the power of team communications and being open and up-front,” she says. “You can only control what you can control, so we take it one day at a time and focus on what needs to get done.”

She came to the world of automotive parts service after stints at another local dealership where, after serving as a receptionist, her office manager approached her with an opportunity – parts administrative assistant.

She accepted and thrived in the fast-paced environment. “I was like a sponge, absorbing all the action,” she says with typical enthusiasm. “I especially liked being a backup service dispatcher, it was a blast!”

She’s also typically frank about her experience as a woman in a traditionally male role.

“This was back in the late 1990s when it was sort of weird to see a girl at the parts counter,” she says. “But once clients have confidence you know what you’re doing, it’s all systems go and really not a big deal at all.”

Her Park Place Journey

She joined Park Place Motorcars Fort Worth in 2005 as a Parts Advisor and moved up to Assistant Parts Manager in 2007. Her sunny outlook and positive attitude garnered management attention and ultimately led to her current role. She keeps her team enthused with shared book studies about practical tools to enhance culture, communication, and performance.

“We’ve studied Jon Gordon’s ‘Power of a Positive Team’ and ‘Who Moved My Cheese?’ by Spencer Johnson,” she says. “Right now, we’re on ‘The Mamba Mentality’ by Kobe Bryant and it’s great,” she adds.

In Her Spare Time

In her spare time, she gathers strength from her faith and her family: her husband of 23 years, their 19-year-old daughter and 12-year-old son. From their home base in Aledo, they jump into their Sprinter RV and head for the hills as often as they can. “We all love camping,” she chuckles.

She also acknowledges being a fan of Def Leppard. “’Hysteria’ is a great album,” she says with a smile. Seemingly on the opposite side of the cultural fence, she admits that her favorite movie is the classic weeper “Sixteen Candles.”

Some Real Advice

What advice does she have for women who’d like to explore careers in the automotive industry but feel uncertain?

“Just be yourself, go out there and be willing to learn and ask questions,” she states. “Nobody’s standing in your way. Immerse yourself in what you’re learning, figure out your niche and just keep going.”

 

 

 

 

Mechanical Mindset with Park Place Porsche’s Shop Foreman

Member Spotlight: Steven Taylor, Park Place Porsche Shop Foreman

“I’ve been interested in mechanical things forever,” says Gainesville, Texas native Steven Taylor. “I knew it was my niche from day one. At 13, I started saving up money from jobs baling hay and mowing yards for an old truck to work on. And I got one! A 1978 Chevy Silverado, all primer and no motor.”

He’s still got it – both the truck and the energetic drive to keep it running.

He’s rebuilt nearly everything and replaced what can’t be rebuilt. He’s swapped out the headliner, seats and just about every knob and switch one can imagine. “I’m on great terms with the local junkyard dealers,” he says.

He’s yanked out old engines when they gave up their ghosts and installed used powerplants (at one point, he installed a used 5.7-liter, 198 hp police car engine. The current engine bay occupant is a classic Chevy LS with all the up-to-date technology.

He didn’t spray the paint, a shiny metallic blue – that was his high school graduation present. “One of the best gifts ever,” he grins. 

Country Roots

A self-described “country boy” and proud of it, he listens to Texas country music and other old-school C&W music artists, lives in Justin on a quarter-acre with his wife and three daughters (ages 14, 9 and 7), and thoroughly enjoys the peace and quiet of rural life.

His Park Place Career

Preserving that down-home feel means driving nearly 80 miles round-trip to his gig at Park Place Porsche Dallas, where he just celebrated his 10-year anniversary. It’s a price he’s happy to pay. “It’s nice to be able to watch them walk or ride their bikes to and from school with hardly any traffic,” he says

He started with the company as a technician and his skills were quickly noticed. He helped jumpstart the Park Place Motorsports program, which led to a promotion to team lead and then his current role, shop foreman, four years ago. He’s now responsible for 29 team members.

His daily duties include working with service advisors, technicians, warranty administrators, parts sales and tracking processes of every description. 

“Basically, I solve puzzles,” he says. “A lot of what we do is pretty straightforward, with all the computerized diagnostics we have today. But there’s still plenty of call for techniques that aren’t covered in manuals. That’s where I can help by guiding techs to find the right tools and information so they can succeed in helping our clients. Helping them learn how to learn, where to find information and diagnose issues, is really the best part of my day.”

Family First

When he’s not chasing solutions at work or his kids around the yard, he enjoys watching action-packed movies and participating in outdoor activities, including archery hunting and fishing. 

And the truck? It’s done now? “Oh no, not by a long shot,” he laughs. “I even bought a spare parts truck so I can keep working on it and making it better!”

Sophia, Olivia, Aleigh, Amber and Steven

 

BodyWerks Fort Worth Shop Manager – Born to be Wild

Member Spotlight: Greg Cinicolo, Body Shop Manager at BodyWerks Fort Worth

Westchester County in New York is well-known for its quaint villages and picturesque towns as well as open spaces and a network of beautiful parks. But Hells Angels? Yep. And at just five years old, Greg held the flashlight while his dad repaired the members’ Harleys from his garage in small-town White Plains.

 

“They’d babysit me,” he laughs. “Dad restored motorcycles and cars as a hobby and I’d pass him wrenches and other tools. The bikers took a shine to me and I remember having a blast. In fact, one of dad’s buddies is Chuck Zito, the actor from the HBO prison drama “Oz,” who was president of the New York Hells Angels chapter!”

Clearly, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree – Greg’s always been into cars and motorcycles. His family moved to Texas in 1984 and at 16, he went to work at a Chevrolet dealership and never looked back. “I even read books about body shops and repairs. For fun! I’m totally boring.”

Greg Began at Park Place in 2011

Greg began his Park Place career in 2011, serving as an estimator at Grapevine BodyWerks for six and a half years. He’s been in his current role, shop manager for BodyWerks Fort Worth, for almost three years and oversees 22 members as they go about their daily operations, which include everything from major to minor structural repair, paintless dent repair (PDR), paint and bodywork … and in several cases, even animal rescue.

“We’re not surprised by damage from floods and hailstorms,” he says. “But animals are another story. A client came into the Lexus service department with a hawk trapped in the vehicle’s grill. But they saved the hawk! Another time, raccoons made themselves at home in a vehicle. They were still in there by the time we got the vehicle, so that was a job for sure.”

It’s a Science…and an Art

One of the more challenging aspects of vehicle repair is also one of the industry’s oldest and most vexatious – paint-matching.

“It’s a science as well as an art,” he says. “Modern paints are all water-based acrylic polyurethane enamels and very durable, but UV rays are terribly destructive to any kind of paint and actually change the color. Vehicles with clear coat, basically a pigment-free paint, suffer much less UV damage than those without it and make matching much more precise.”

Fortunately for owners, Greg says that the BodyWerks members have all the necessary technical certifications and industry experience to make things right. They also have another essential ingredient – artistry.

“They’re really artists,” he says proudly. “They view these vehicles as their canvas. And day in and day out, they prove their gifts. It’s an honor to work with them.” 

Protect your Paint!

His advice to owners – take care of that clear coat. “Savvy owners know to wash the surface thoroughly, then polish the paint, then wax the polish. That protects the clear coat, which protects the paint. If you don’t have the time, we’ll do it for you. It’s a great investment to keep your vehicle pristine.”

Family First

It’s clear Greg is not only passionate about his profession, but he’s well-equipped to run this full operation. But while it might be hard to imaging, restoring vehicles to their “before wreck” condition isn’t his only focus. In fact, his priority is now his family.

“These days, my hobbies have less to do with repairing motorcycles and more to do with family,” he adds. “We have three girls ages 10, 8 and 3, so we basically live in our backyard. But none of them are holding flashlights and wrenches for me – yet!”


For more information on how to join the Park Place BodyWerks team or to book a free estimate visit us at www.ParkPlaceBodyWerks.com

 

 

Bentley and Boas – Park Place Premier Collection’s Dynamic Duo

Bentley Dallas’ Adriana Boas uses her diverse skill set to deliver client experiences second-to-none, and all for one of the world’s most prestigious automotive brands.  This is her story (or at least part of it).


Adriana Boas is currently a Sales Experience Manager at Bentley Dallas. She’s also a factoid fiend who can rattle off all sorts of stats – the number of hides required to complete a Bentayga’s interior (14), engine torque stats from the vehicle’s W-12 engine (664 lb-ft), and off-road lateral and longitudinal angle tolerances (up to 35 dizzying degrees)- which is important when selling such an intricately engineered and beautifully designed auto. 

Her gift for assured delivery speaks to her journalism training at the Methodist University of Sao Paulo and her subsequent 14-year career as an on-air anchor and personality at ESPN Brasil, Rede Familia, SBT Campinas, TV Seculo XII, and Radio Bandeirantes.

She and her kids moved to northern California in 2005 where she practiced journalism until 2008, ultimately opting to join the retail couture industry in swanky Aptos and Los Gatos.

And that’s when things really changed.

As Adriana explains: “A client of three years’ standing handed me a business card and said, ‘If you would like to change your life, call me.’ The card featured the Bentley logo and it took me six months to work up the courage to call. And even though I didn’t know a thing about cars, I called and after a lengthy interview process, I was hired to sell Bentley products. And my client was absolutely right – everything changed.”

Two years later, in 2017, she joined the Park Place team, where her sales acumen and storytelling skills remain on full display- in-person and online through her social media channels. With her client’s permission, you’ll get a front seat view as she walks her clients around their new car, captures their first reactions, and brings you along for a very thorough tour of all the features and settings of the specification of the day.  It’s not just for fun though, it’s an intentional way to make authentic connections and share real stories. 

Family First

Her sons are grown now and out of the house – Lucas is a musician in San Francisco and Gabriel is a Los Angeles-based filmmaker. “When they come to visit, it’s pretty much ‘Hi mom, bye mom,’” she laughs with a what-can-you-do shrug. 

And while she admits missing them, all that empty-nest freedom allows her to indulge her passion for the arts. “I’m an old soul,” she confesses. “One of my favorite novels is the Italian murder mystery, “Name of the Rose” by Umberto Eco. And I love movies, especially anything with Fred Astaire or Alain Delon. Sean Connery too – he’s still the best James Bond!”

Fine Cars and Fine Dining

Her other passions include traveling (inherited from her father) and fine cuisine, as in Michelin-level fine dining experiences.

Case in point: while in Los Gatos, she treated herself to dinner at Manresa and also plans to go to what is considered America’s finest dining experience – Chicago’s Alinea. (Both Manresa and Alinea have earned Michelin’s coveted three stars, among just 14 such establishments in the country.)

Adriana also has high expectations of Dallas’ venerable French Room, thanks to new executive chef Diego Fernandez, who, not coincidentally, hails from Alinea. “I really believe he’ll elevate the French Room to an entirely new level while keeping everything that makes it so very, very special. I can’t wait!”


So how does Adriana (who is fluent in Portuguese and Spanish as well as English) define success? “You have to stay active, stay involved. You have to brand yourself both personally and professionally. I’m always going to events and popups. People need to see you outside of this work world and then you can connect on an authentic level and earn trust at every level.”

Visit Adriana and the Bentley Dallas team at 5300 Lemmon Avenue if you are interested in starting on or continuing a world-class ownership experience. Let’s help make Park Place, #YourParkPlace in 2020.

 

Game Day at the Park Place Auto Auction

An up-close-and-personal look at Park Place’s Auto Auction for area authorized dealers.


It’s 4 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon at Park Place Auto Auction in Plano, and the non-stop auctioneer chatter over the booming loudspeakers is silent now. The twin driveways are devoid of vehicles, while administrators inside the facility quietly wrap up the mounds of paperwork required to transfer ownership of nearly 200 vehicles.

But a mere two hours prior, the place was a buzzing beehive. Sedans, coupes, convertibles, SUVs, crossovers, pickups, minivans, sportscars and other vehicles of every make and manufacture creep slowly yet continuously along parallel driveways while about 200 potential buyers – independent and franchise dealers alike – raise a hand or give a nod and a wink to convey their bids. The din from fast-talking, sharp-eyed auctioneers is loud and urgent. Enormous wall-mounted monitors display a dizzying blur of vehicles and ever-rising numbers for all to see.

“The whole process is actually well under control,” says Kenny Parmentier, Operations Manager of Park Place Auto Auction. “But to outsiders, it tends to look like complete mayhem,” he adds with a chuckle.

Where Did It All Start?

The idea for getting into the auction business came from Park Place President Jordan Case, who wanted to create a clean, comfortable and well-kept environment where authorized dealers could find an extensive selection of both high-performance luxury cars and top-quality vehicles of all kinds, and engage in an efficient, hassle-free purchasing experience. In short, he wanted the auction business to function with the commitment to excellence that makes Park Place, well, Park Place.

More often than not, he’s on hand to savor the experience, which kicks off every Wednesday at 2 p.m. sharp. From that point, a vehicle is sold every 38 seconds. In the next 90 minutes, about 195 out of about 200 vehicles will have changed hands. And then it’s all over. Until next week, when it all starts again.

Where Do the Cars Come From?

Most of the vehicles come from Park Place pre-owned lots where they’ve been for 65 days, the result of trade-ins on something newer and shinier. Or they’re front-line vehicles that are getting long in the tooth as a new model year looms. The auction gives them all a chance to find new homes – and Park Place more room for more desirable pre-owned vehicles that will hopefully turn faster.

Celebrating its two-year anniversary in February, the Park Place Auto Auction business is run in partnership with America’s Auto Auction, a full-service company catering to dealers in 23 locations across 15 states. They handle all the day-to-day activity – checking vehicles in, taking pictures, and handling collections, payments, and titles.

Parmentier works for them, as does his five-member team.

“We’re running at a 95 percent success rate,” he says. “Once a vehicle is sold, the buyer has 48 hours to complete the sale and move the vehicle off the lot. It’s a fast-paced business and really quite exciting. It’s game day!”

In 2019, the business sold 8,647 vehicles or about 720 a month. Those that don’t sell one week – called “reruns” – go through the line again a week later for another shot at success, and are usually snapped up by eagle-eyed bargain hunters.

That certainly wasn’t the case when a 2019 Rolls-Royce and a 2018 McLaren came down the line.

“We don’t get those rarities all that often,” Parmentier grins, “but when we do, they’re show-stoppers!”

 

 

 

 

JLR North Austin Welcomes New Service Manager

Member Spotlight- North Austin Edition: Jose Fernandez

Learn more about Jaguar Land Rover North Austin and about available career opportunities.


The first thing you might notice about Jose Fernandez is his sunny outlook. Maybe that’s because he’s from Southern California, where the gentle sunshine is abundant. But it’s remarkable how many of his fellow team members describe him as “always smiling, cheerful, calm and easygoing.”

“I try to keep it cool,” he smiles.

Since joining Park Place Jaguar Land Rover DFW in April 2019 as Assistant Service Manager, he’s only had to deal with the Texas heat for one summer. But as he prepares for his move to Austin as Service Manager, he’d be well-advised to bring his game of chill to a whole new level.

“No sweat,” he replies with a laugh.

“His strong technical knowledge, professionalism and positive attitude have been central to helping us create exceptional client experiences,” says JLR North Austin General Manager Matt Woolsey. “He’s been named ‘Player of the Week’ numerous times as well as ‘Member of the Month,’ and I’m excited about his new role and helping us bring our good name to Austin and the surrounding towns.”

Prior to joining Park Place, Jose was on the BMW team in Orange County, California, for 15 years, where he steadily grew his accreditations and flair for client service.

Along with his exciting new professional prospects at Park Place’s newest store (scheduled to open this March), he’s also looking forward to a personal exploration of all the great Central Texas barbecue joints. On a recent visit, he tried to get into the legendary Franklin’s, but one look at the long line snaking around the building changed his mind. “One day,” he vows.

Netflix fan and decidedly old-school in his cinematic tastes –

He’s watched “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” with Chevy Chase more times than he wants to share publicly. But he’s also the first to say that his movie-watching time will probably be limited, at least in the first few months of his move.

“We have a terrific model to build from, but we’re basically starting a new shop from scratch,” he says. “I’m mindful of that and know it‘s going to take a lot of work. But we’ve got a great leadership team, a great brand name behind us and I really think it’s going to be a lot of fun, too!”

No doubt about it – Jose definitely sees the brighter side of life.


Learn more about Jaguar Land Rover North Austin and about available career opportunities in sales, service, and support roles!