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Ashlee Church named to '40 Under 40' by Automotive News

  • Ashlee Church has been named to Automotive News' "40 under 40."

    Ashlee Church has been named to Automotive News' "40 under 40."
    Courtesy of Morgan Vershay

Brand Marketing Manager/Ike Family Dealerships
Posted on 7/17/2020, 2:13 PM

MARION -- Volkswagen of Marion's General Manager, Ashlee Church, has been nationally recognized by Automotive News as part of their 40 Under 40 Class of 2020.

Automotive News is the largest publication in the industry.

"It's an honor, especially coming from a rural market, to be recognized among some of the best and brightest young talent in the automotive industry," said Church. Ashlee started in the car business working in the accounting office in 2001. Since then, she has held multiple positions throughout the Ike Family of Dealerships.

In 2013, she led the effort to convince Volkswagen to open a point in Marion. "Convincing Volkswagen network development executives to open a point in southern Illinois was not an easy task. Metro-minded executives had a difficult time seeing the potential of our rural market. We were able to put data together to convince them that southern Illinois was a viable market. And, in late 2013 we were awarded the franchise through a competitive process."

Volkswagen of Marion opened in a temporary facility in 2014 and later moved to their current facility in 2015.

"As the first employee, I've been honored to be part of Volkswagen of Marion from the beginning. Seeing the growth of the Volkswagen brand over the last 6 years has been very rewarding. In 2014, I would get excited if I saw one Volkswagen on my way to work in the morning. Now, I often see 4 or 5 sitting at an intersection."

Ashlee also thanked her staff for their efforts. "Being recognized at this level doesn't happen alone. It's a team effort, and I'm proud to say that I have one of the best teams in automotive. At Volkswagen of Marion, no department is more important than another. And, my team is on a mission to ensure that every customer has an exceptional experience.

"I believe that we do more than sell and service vehicles," said Church. "I truly believe that I am on a mission to change the stereotype of the car business. And, the great news is that we're succeeding. I'm honored to be recognized for my efforts, and I look forward to making in impact in the automotive industry and in southern Illinois for years to come."

To view the article, visit Automotive News, visit online at .../2020-40-under-40-ashlee-church.