Executive Director, GM Minority Dealers Association, Southfield, Mich.
As executive director of the GM Minority Dealers Association, Marjorie A. Staten’s purpose is simple: Ensure that her organization serves as an advocate for all GM minority-owned dealerships across the country. “Our main objective is to promote, protect, and encourage the viability and profitability of all existing GM minority dealers and to encourage, through cooperative efforts with General Motors Corp., the installation of new minority dealers in viable and profitable opportunities,” she says.
Staten has upheld that mission. On her watch, Gmmda not only has gained impressive industry awareness, but its annual revenues also have increased from $300,000 to $1 million in a three-year period. In fact, in 2003, Staten developed and led the launch of the first-ever investment fund with a group of minority investors to provide an alternate financing option for minority dealers. In addition, Staten has increased the organization’s dealer membership network by 110 percent over a three-year period and spearheaded a strategic planning initiative for the marketing campaign, “Are You Connected?” with ethnic media partners.
In overseeing Gmmda’s day-to-day operations, Staten serves as a liaison to the president, executive committee and board of directors in policymaking and leadership decisions. She also develops and coordinates the training programs and educational seminars on industry topics.
A lawyer by trade, with a B.A. in legal administration from the University of Detroit Mercy and a J.D. from the University of Detroit School of Law, Staten began her career at the country’s largest minority-owned law firm, Lewis & Munday, P.C., where she worked as a paralegal, law clerk and attorney. There she represented two of the Big Three automobile manufacturers on general consumer and automotive litigation, product liability litigation claims and business reorganization bankruptcy cases. An active member of professional organizations, Staten serves on the board of the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers and Student Mentor Partners, which offers disadvantaged youth the opportunity to realize their career goals.