Cox Automotive Presents Barbara Cox Automotive Woman of the Year Award

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Cox Automotive™ presented the 11th annual Barbara Cox Automotive Woman of the Year Award to Jenell Ross, president of Bob Ross Auto Group located in Centerville, Ohio. The Bob Ross Auto Group has the distinction of being the only Buick-GMC, Mercedes-Benz, Alfa Romeo and Fiat dealerships owned by an African-American woman.

This honor is awarded to women who demonstrate business leadership and community advocacy, as well as a commitment to advancing the automotive industry. Cox Automotive President Sandy Schwartzpresented the award during the Northwood University Dealer Education Award annual breakfast on April 2at the National Automobile Dealers Association Convention and Expo.

"Jenell has the perfect mix of industry savvy, business acumen and community mindedness," said Schwartz. "Jenell positively influences the automotive industry and leads an award-winning dealer group while advocating for important community causes. This award is named after the late Barbara Cox, one of our owners and the mother of Jim Kennedy, our chairman. Jenell shares many of the same qualities that we admire in Mrs. Cox, including being a trailblazer in a male-dominated industry. I am honored to present this award to Jenell on behalf of Cox Automotive."

Ross accepted the leadership role of the dealerships in July 1997 after the untimely death of her father Robert. P. Ross Sr. Under Ross's leadership, the Bob Ross franchises continue to rank as a leader in Buick-GMC, Mercedes-Benz, Alfa Romeo and Fiat sales and customer service.

As a committed industry leader, Ross is a member of the National Automotive Dealers Association; the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers; General Motors Minority Dealers Association and the Chrysler Minority Dealer Association. Her national board affiliations include being the 2013 chairwoman of the American International Automobile Dealers Association, a dealer-led organization representing more than 10,000 international franchises in which she was the first African-American and the second woman to hold the position in the organization's 46-year history. In 2014, Governor John Kasichappointed Ross to the Motor Vehicle Dealers Board in Ohio.

"I accept this great honor from Cox Automotive not as applause for a job well done, but as motivation to continue to work hard to promote the importance of diversity and inclusiveness in the automobile industry," said Ross. "I am grateful to the founders of Bob Ross Auto Group, my father, the late Robert P. Ross Sr. and my mother, the late Norma J. Ross, who were early trailblazers in this effort and provided me a wonderful legacy to follow."

An active member of the Dayton community, Ross serves on several boards of foundations and community service organizations. Ross has received numerous awards for her community involvement and inspirational work both locally and nationally. 

In addition to presenting the award to Ross, Cox Automotive presented a $10,000 Barbara Coxscholarship to Jaclyn Suchta, a Northwood University student with dual majors of Automotive Marketing and Management & Marketing and Advertising.

This article originally appeared on PR Newswire

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