In 2004, after thirty five years in the car business, Marianne Ballas purchased Ballas Buick GMC. Now an Ohio sales leader, Ballas has received the “Mark of Excellence” award from General Motors for 5 consecutive years. The first woman owned dealership in the State of Ohio appointed through the General Motors’ “Women’s Retail Network”, Ballas is among less than 4% of auto dealerships in the U.S. owned by women.
Currently on the board of the Toledo Auto Dealers Association, she has represented the 11 state North Central Region as a council member on the Buick GMC National dealer council, and a chairman of General Motors Women Dealer Advisory Council also representing the North Central Region, Ballas is now the current President of the N.W. Ohio S.E. Michigan Local Marketing group of General Motors.
Marianne has received awards that including the 2011 Pacemaker Award from the University of Toledo, the 2013 Athena Award for N.W. Ohio and the YWCA Milestones award in 2014. Her company has received the BBB Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics and she is active in the local volunteer community.
The proud Mother of two sons who work with her in the business, she also has five grandchildren.
Where do you call home? I was born in Marion and moved to Toledo when I was 21, but Toledo is my true “home town.”
What was your first job? On Sundays in Marion, Ohio I gave tours of the Warren G. Harding home. I wore a long black dress with a white blouse with a high ruffled collar, reminiscent of the period.
What health or lifestyle tips do you support? I try to eat healthy food and use reasonable portion control. I believe if we make our exercise routine reasonable we can do it every day.
If we make it too time consuming or difficult, we will find a way to avoid it.
Your biggest self-indulgence? I love Thanksgiving dinner.
Favorite Book? Biographical histories – I love reading about former presidents.
I have always wanted to…? Be a professional singer.
What trait do you admire in others? Humility.
Something most people don’t know about you? I am fundamentally shy.
Words you live by? If you can’t change the world, change your mind.
Your proudest accomplishment? My children and grandchildren.
Person you most respect? Law enforcement and our men and
women in the military.
Favorite Food: Fresh sweet corn.
Favorite movie: Many but I can always watch “Shawshank Redemption. ”
People would be surprised to know: That, as of August 15, 2017, I have worked in the same business for 46 years.