Riverhead Dodge president Jane Millman has been named chairperson of the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association.
The association represents 400 new car dealers in the downstate region — 175 on Long Island — according to a press release by the group announcing Millman’s election to its top leadership post. The dealerships account for more than 17,000 jobs on Long Island.
Millman and other new board officers were sworn in last month at the association’s annual charity golf tournament in Lake Success, which raises money for automotive education. The group said it raised over $110,000 this year and over $1 million since 2005.
Millman has pledged to continue prioritizing the education of the next generation of auto technicians, who will help fill the estimated 46,000 industry jobs coming open in the New York region, most of them at franchise dealerships, the group said in the press release.
“It is critically important that we continue to bring a diversity of experience and perspectives to the leadership of one of the most important industries for New York’s economy,” Millman said. “That diversity extends from the showroom floors and the repair shops to the executive suites. My decades in the business have taught me that we need to constantly learn and adapt to meet the evolving changes our industry and dealers face.”
Millman said during her term as chairperson of the association, she hopes to promote and convince more women to choose a career in the automotive industry, noting that women represent a large percentage of retail jobs in other retail businesses.
Automotive jobs offer a long-term career path with competitive salaries and a great chance of upward mobility, she said.
Millman, the daughter of Riverhead Dodge founder Tony Strollo, began working at the dealership full-time during summers at age 18 when she was a college student.
As a woman in an industry then dominated by men, Millman said she had to prove herself to co-workers and customers, successfully winning their loyalty and respect.
A Smithtown resident, Millman held several roles and leadership positions in sales, primarily in the telecommunications industry, before joining the family business, according to the press release.
Millman returned to the Riverhead dealership in 1995, running it along with her brother, TJ Strollo. Riverhead Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep-Ram, which sells about 60 new and used cars per month, has 32 employees, many of whom have spent 20 or 30 years or more with the local family-operated business. The dealership, which has been located for more than 42 years on West Main Street, is currently building a new, much larger facility on Route 58, just west of Mill Road.
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