Mariza McIlveen of Grand Prairie didn’t imagine a career in the automotive industry for herself. She started out in the hospitality industry working for luxury hotels. But she quickly found her passion was for helping people grow in their careers. “I was born and raised in Sri Lanka,” said McIlveen. “I went to high school in Singapore and college in Hawaii. I got into the hospitality field because my Dad was a pilot for Singapore Airlines, and he always pictured his little girl in the hotel business. I worked hotel operations for the first part of my career, and discovered that I enjoyed helping people grow. I would hire front desk agents and mentor them. Watching a few move on to do big things in their career, I decided I wanted to be in Human Resources. It gives me great pleasure to give people the chance to get into a great company and grow.”
McIlveen started at Park Place Dealerships in 2014, and was recently named Human Resources Manager for the new Park Place Motorcars Arlington, which opened November 2, 2015. “I am a certified HR professional,” continued McIlveen. “My goal each day is to make sure that I have taken care of our members’ (employees) needs, and that I am available to lend a hand or ear. My goal is to create a fun work environment for the new dealership… to help it grow and be recognized for its ‘can do’ attitude.”
When asked what advice she would share with women considering a career in the automotive industry, McIlveen replied, “Everyone at Park Place is very respectful and I have never felt out of place. They’ve been eager to share their knowledge with me. We even have one of the first female Mercedes-Benz parts managers in Texas, and one of a very few in the country. Park Place offers ongoing training for our members to advance.”
Empowering women to succeed in the automotive industry is just one of many intriguing stories you’ll find among the “experts in excellence” at Park Place Motorcars Arlington.