The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation and the Business Engagement and Leadership Council presented their 49th Annual Pacemaker Awards Friday, April 8 at the Inverness Country Club.
Each year the prestigious Pacemaker Award recognizes an individual for outstanding achievement in business as well as contributions to the community and the University. The 2011 recipient of the Business Pacemaker Award is Marianne Ballas, President, Ballas Buick GMC.
In 2004, after 35 years in the car business, Ms. Ballas purchased her automotive dealership from her late husband George’s estate. She became the first woman car dealer in Ohio appointed by the Women’s Retail Network. (Nationally, women own less than two percent of auto dealerships.)
In 2006, Ballas Buick GMC was awarded the Better Business Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics, the only dealership in the region to achieve this honor. The dealership has also received the Mark of Excellence award from General Motors, presented to less than one percent of dealers nationally for excellence in sales effectiveness, customer satisfaction and profitability.
Ms. Ballas was recently elected to the Buick/GMC National Dealer Council where she is one of just 22 dealers who meets with General Motors Corporation executives to assist in the direction of the Buick/GMC division.
Thomas G. Gutteridge, Dean, UT College of Business and Innovation, observed, “Marianne Ballas’ highly successful career, various community philanthropic activities and outstanding integrity and leadership in the regional business arena make her the ideal business professional to receive this year’s Pacemaker Award, the College’s highest honor.”
In addition, the annual Pacemaker Awards are presented to UT College of Business and Innovation graduate and undergraduate students for their outstanding academic achievement as well as University and community service and leadership.
The 2011 student Pacemakers are: Applied Organizational Technology – Christopher Weisgarber; Accounting – Jaimie Morsillo and Jeff Warnke; Finance – Joe Corfman and Dan Hoover; Information Operations & Technology Management – Alyssa Niese and Junjun Liu; Management – Alexander Ross and Caroline Sigley; Marketing and International Business – Jay Solarik and Cari Tubbs; Dean’s Office – Ryan Kremer; MBA – Nathan Syrek and Martina Turner; Ph.D. – Chenglei Huang.