Senior controller, North Park Lexus at Dominion and North Park Lexus of San Antonio
Academia has been a long-term passion for Alison Billman. Most of her working life has been spent in the classroom — and the dealership.
The Texas native graduated from Our Lady of the Lake University in 2016 with a bachelor's in business administration and accounting. From there, she received a master's degree in accounting at Western Governors University in 2018. She finished her Ph.D. in business administration and strategic management at the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Ky., in 2022.
She landed her first job with Kahlig Auto Group in 2015 when her soon-to-be husband, Garrett, a salesman at the group's Bluebonnet Chrysler-Dodge, brought her to a dinner celebrating August sales. It was there she met the owner, Clarence Kahlig.
"My husband, being the very sales-y, charismatic type, threw it out there, 'Do you guys ever need accountants?' " Billman said.
She was hired at the North Park Volkswagen and Subaru Dominion as a staff accountant and worked there for a year.
Garrett had left the auto group to join the Marine Corps. They got married in 2016 and moved to North Carolina, where she worked as a CPA, though the plan was always to return to Texas once her husband's service concluded. She kept in touch with Kahlig Auto and returned in 2019 as controller of North Park Lexus at Dominion — right before the pandemic.
Business tanked, briefly, and then rose to unprecedented levels. Billman spearheaded programs that kept costs low and doubled efficiencies, including streamlining the F&I finance and insurance refund process. She also enforced a new monthly checklist called Monday.com. It prompted such positive results it is being rolled out at other Kahlig Auto Group locations.
— Jackie Charniga