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First woman president of Mile of Cars dealer group

Jenifer BallThe National City Mile of Cars, an auto dealership cooperative group featuring nine family-owned dealerships offering more than 18 makes and models in National City, Calif., has announced its 2013-2014 board of directors.

For the first time in its 59-year history, a woman will serve as the Mile of Cars (MOC) board president and she is the third-generation member from the same family to serve on the MOC board.

Jenifer Ball, general manager of Ball Auto Center’s Acura franchise, will serve a two-year term as MOC board president concluding at the end of 2014.

The 33-year-old Ball, a San Diego native, is the third-generation Ball family member to serve on the board of the MOC auto group, which was established in 1954.

In addition to Jenifer serving as president, Jenifer’s father, John Ball, 59, also served as MOC board president in 1983-1984. Plus, Jenifer’s grandfather and John’s father, Dave Ball, 80, also served on the MOC board in the 1980s.

“I have big shoes to fill and very big expectations for myself as a third-generation Ball family member to serve on the board,” said Jenifer, who previously served as MOC board treasurer. “I’m also very excited to spread the message that the automotive industry can be a great career for women.”

Also serving on the 2013-2014 MOC board: Perry Falk of Perry Ford as vice president; Bill Cumming of Ron Baker Chevrolet as secretary; and, Rudy Erm Jr. of South Bay Volkswagen as treasurer. Cumming is a past MOC board president, but the 2013-2014 term will be both Falk’s and Erm’s first time on the MOC board.

The MOC auto dealership group is believed to hold the current longevity record in the U.S. for continual service as an auto dealership collective, and for claiming three generations from the same family serving on the board of directors, including both a father and daughter serving as board president.

All nine dealerships in the Mile of Cars are family-owned, and despite their competitive nature, are recognized in the automotive industry for their ability to agree on issues such as advertising campaigns, legislative concerns and donations to charities, according to Gary Fenelli of Frank Toyota, who served as MOC board president in 2011-2012, prior to Jenifer’s election as president.

“No other auto group in our industry comes close in loyalty and respect for each other over the past five decades like our Mile of Cars group,” said Fenelli, who said he started serving on the MOC board in the 1980s. “We work together for the benefit of all of us, yet we’re still fierce competitors.”

Fenelli has high praise for Ball. “This is unprecedented to not only have a woman as board president but it’s also amazing that her father and grandfather also served on the board. Jenifer will be a good leader for us. She is smart, competent and she has worked hard to earn the right to serve as president.”

After graduating in 2001 from the University of San Diego with a bachelor’s degree in communications, Jenifer started working part-time in the business office of the family-owned dealership. She then continued working at the dealership and, over the years, has worked in the dealership’s customer service, parts and service departments. Today, she oversees the Acura operations.

“I discovered that I really enjoyed helping customers purchase a new car and having them join our Ball auto family. It’s been very gratifying to me personally to help customers meet their transportation needs and then continue to take care of them with maintenance and service after the sale.”

The National City Mile of Cars, along National City Boulevard in National City, offers a current inventory of more than 5,000 cars and trucks to choose from, including more dealers, more brands, more selection of both new and certified pre-owned, more financing options and more savings. More than 20,000 vehicles were sold on the Mile in 2012, and more than 500,000 vehicles have been sold since the Mile was established. Quotes and more information are available at www.MileOfCars.com.