Cheryl Blas: Today’s Notable Young Professional

Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
I create and execute marketing plans, sales initiatives, long term strategies, and retention programs as well as overseeing daily dealership operations specifically with regards to Sales, Marketing, Advertising, Events, and Public Relations. 

Why did you start working at your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
I have always worked in the automotive industry. I started at Decarie Motors in June of 2000 but I had worked with the dealership previously in a consulting role. I am originally from Vancouver but really fell in love with the city of Montreal so I decided to make it my permanent home.

What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
The best part of my job is the opportunity to travel and drive our amazing products at locations all over the world. The best part on a day-to-day basis is dealing with our clients. I love the fact that so many of our owners are repeat and referral customers and that often they have multiple cars in the family. This really allows you to build long term relationships and friendships.

One of the most challenging parts of our industry is finding employees who share the same commitment, enthusiasm and passion that you have.  We’re very lucky to have a great team at Decarie Motors, the majority of our employees have been with us for ten years or more. Our Bentley and Aston Martin Service Manager just celebrated his 41st anniversary with us!

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Growing and expanding our current business. With the increased volumes over the last few years, we have outgrown our current showroom and we are currently working on plans to build a new Aston Martin and Bentley showroom adjacent to our existing building.

What does success look like to you?
I find it hard to define as I feel like it’s an ongoing process. You constantly set goals for yourself and you can be successful at achieving them.  Overall, I believe it’s a general sense of happiness and contentment with your career and your personal life. Loving what you do and loving the people in your life.

What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
It feels like there have been many milestones. When I first started in the business, there were almost no women so I considered it a milestone every time I attended a meeting or a conference and I was the only woman at the table. 

Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Face the fact that you may not always be the smartest person in the room, experience and knowledge come with time, so be patient! Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, it’s a part of the learning process.

Always listen more than you speak, it’s amazing what you can learn from other people.  Ask a lot of questions – an inquisitive nature is always a good thing.     

Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
Decarie Motors is in the fortunate position of being able to support many local charities but the ones closest to my heart are the ones that are focussed on children. We have recently done a few events with the Miriam Foundation which helps children with autism and developmental disabilities lead more fulfilling lives. One of their centres is directly across the street from us and I was able to tour the facility and get real insight into the amazing work they do. 

What to you is notable?
Notable to me are women that are able to balance successful careers and fulfilling personal lives with style and grace. I love the observation that Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did but she did it backwards and in heels!

Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
I am a diehard Blackberry girl. I know it doesn’t have the fancy apps and features but I couldn’t live without the keyboard. 


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