Women's Dealer Advisory Council:

Your advocates for your success.


The Women’s Dealer Advisory Council is GM’s most valued resource for getting the pulse of female customers. Since 2002, the WDAC has been helping GM:

  • Increase the number of women dealers
  • Attract women into retail organizations as dealers and employees
  • Make dealership environments attractive to female customers and employees
  • Ensure operational effectiveness that meets or exceeds the general dealer population

The WDAC’s role is to echo the voice of women dealers and direct prioritized issues through its participation on the Channel Advisory Boards. WDAC members have the additional responsibility to ensure two-way communication between the WDAC and its regional dealers.

The WDAC is focused on the following priorities in 2016:

  • Marketing to Women
  • Driving Profitability
  • Building 20 Group Participation
  • Growing the Network
  • WRN Scholarship Expansion
  • Customer-Care Focused
  • WBENC Certification


When dealers in the North Central Region elected Marianne Ballas to represent them on the Women’s Dealer Advisory Council (WDAC), they choose a woman who not only knows the automotive retail business from the ground up, but also a dealer who really practices what she preaches.

Ballas, owner of Ballas Buick-GMC in Toledo, Ohio, since 2004, is a real pro at marketing to female – and male – customers. In recent years, Ballas has hosted prospective buyers at all types of events focused on women, including technical seminars, community events, a GM Powertrain employees “Ladies Day” – even a “Go Red for Women” themed grand re-opening event in 2012. Ballas knows the importance of females to automotive retail and the potential that exists for dealers who capture these coveted buyers.

Ballas said she takes her assignment on the WDAC very seriously and brings to her position a list of priorities, including a focus on franchise value, increasing the number of women-owned rooftops and profitability. Her two main objectives: marketing to women and gaining a larger share of the female market.

Another high priority for Ballas is the WRN Scholarship program.

“Women are still pretty new to this business,” Ballas said of automotive retail. “We need to nurture young women and provide them opportunities if we are to be successful at growing the number of women in our business, especially on the service and technical side.”

Ballas welcomes feedback, input, suggestions and comments. She can be reached at mballas@ballasbuickgmc.com.