Empowering Performance was an event put on by AMG® Thousand Oaks and Accelerating Change on June 8, 2019.
GI Automotive Group founder and CEO Amber Blonigan was one of the featured panelist, along with professional race car driver and AMG Thousand Oaks Brand Ambassador, Christina Nielsen, corporate executives, Tracey Matura and Sandy Ayers, and finance professional and driver, Martina Kwan.
The event was held at the AMG Thousand Oaks showroom and was beautifully executed with food, drinks, and lots of champaign (enjoyed responsibly by those not driving). Set up at the event were chairs where attendees could sit and watch the panel.
Behind them, was a big screen that had the panelist’s faces and bios playing on a loop. AMG had Amber’s car on display, her very rare CLK63 AMG Black Series, along with one of Kristina’s cars. There were about 70 women that attended the event and all ticket proceeds went toward charity.
The event consisted of a panel discussion where Amber spoke about her experience as a female in the automotive industry. The panel was driven by the audience and the questions they were asking. The primary question the audience had, whether male or female, was, “What was the best way to break into the automotive community.” Amber gave the audience the advice that if they want to break into the automobile industry they simply need to show up and do the work. “You don’t start at the top, you start at the bottom.”
Amber feels like younger people don’t want to do the copious work needed to be successful. They see successful people on Instagram and want to be like them without putting in the effort. She sees people try hard for about a week or a month and they wonder why they aren’t wealthy yet. It took Amber 15 years to get where she is now. She started her own shop and worked 80 hour weeks to see success. In her old shop she didn’t have an office. She had an old desk where she was inhaling fumes and being around dirt and grease all day. She didn’t have air conditioning or heat. Amber hustled for years and it paid off. It took her 5 years of work before she could even drive an exotic car.
Amber and the other panelists educated their audience on the automotive world and gave them a look into their personal experiences in the male-dominated industry. The panelists shared situations that they’d been in where being a female was a significant factor in how things turned out. Amber knew most of the panelists before attending the event, but still wishes there were more women in the automotive industry. “There hasn’t been a lot of women in my industry to know for a long time. I was the only female in the industry until the last couple of years. Now there are all these ladies coming in which makes me extremely happy.”
Mercedes Benz AMG organized the Empowering Performance event. AMG Thousand Oaks is the first AMG only store and is part of the tuning division for Mercedes Benz. For each Mercedes model, AMG makes a limited run, and every few years they make a special model. An AMG will be 2 to 3 times the price of a regular Mercedes Benz. Amber loves these cars because they are reliable, comfortable, luxurious and perform well. Visit the AMG site or store to find out more about their cars.