Blake Salinas, 37
General sales manager, Friendly Ford of Crosby
Military branch: Marines
Three words from his time in the Marine Corps sum up Blake Salinas’ philosophy as a dealership sales manager: Set the example.
“That was preached to me in the Marine Corps from day one,” Salinas said. “When you’re a leader of Marines, they’re going to look you up and down and judge you — do you know your stuff? They’ll look for a reason to criticize you. Don’t give them a reason.”
Salinas says he tries to set the example at Friendly Ford of Crosby every day by being on time to work, knowing the products and embracing the processes.
And while Salinas says the Houston-area dealership business is fraught with pressure because he is judged every 30 days by sales numbers, he can shake off the small stuff thanks to time as an artillery officer in Afghanistan.
“Military service gave me that perspective,” he said. “I’ve been in a lot more stressful situations in the Marines.”
Salinas supports his fellow veterans by raising money for the Semper Fi & America’s Fund, which benefits members of the U.S. Armed Forces who have been wounded or critically injured while serving. He raised money for the fund when he ran the 2017 Marine Corps Marathon. He also helped Friendly Ford of Crosby sponsor and organize a golf tournament that benefited the fund.
He said most of his generation who served in the Marines are combat veterans. Some were killed; others lost limbs. Many have been affected by post-traumatic stress disorder.
“Those are my brothers,” Salinas said. “Anything I can do to support the Semper Fi Fund I will do. I just think it’s important. We’ve served together; we’ve been through a lot.
“It’s good that we don’t forget about them.”
— Dan Shine