Kelly Webb Roberts, 34
President, Webb Auto Group
Achievement: Guided her dealership group's expansion and quadrupling the group's revenues
Under Kelly Webb Roberts' guidance, Webb Auto Group expanded from one dealership in 2010 to four, added a stand-alone used-car operation and centralized its business development center.
She is spearheading the group's technology upgrade and nurturing a group of talented, young employees interested in pursuing retail automotive careers.
"It's hard to operate as a single-point store," said Webb Roberts, the group's president. "For us to continue to push forward we have to keep acquiring" stores to "get economies of scale."
The self-described "numbers person" gravitated to financial management. Through high school and college, she spent summer vacations working in the accounting department of Webb Ford in Highland, Ind.
Webb Ford is owned and operated by other family members.
"I like being able to see everything and know that it is being accounted for in the right way," said Webb Roberts, a third-generation dealer. She operates Webb Auto Group with her sister, who manages the group's business development center, and her brother, who as vice president helps oversee store operations. Her father is an investor in the business.
In July 2006, when Webb Roberts joined Webb Chevrolet in Oak Lawn, Ill., full time, her father was its president and she didn't have a title. "I did what needed to get done," she said.
She evolved into the dealership's office manager and then its controller.
In 2009, she became the Chevy store's vice president. A year later, she helped structure the acquisition of Webb Hyundai in Highland, Ind. Over the years, more stores were acquired and Webb Auto Group was formed.
Webb Roberts took over as president of Webb Auto Group from her father in 2015. By 2016, it operated seven new-vehicle franchises under four rooftops and a separate used-vehicle center. Over the last decade, the group's revenues increased more than fourfold. Having centralized its call centers into one business development center, the group is streamlining and simplifying its dealership management and customer relations management systems.
"For us to continue growing," she said, "it comes down to continuing to develop successful people."