Ally and NAMAD Honor Rising Auto Retail Leader with the Inaugural 'Ally Sees Her' Award
Karmala Sutton recognized for leadership, commitment to community and diversity

CHICAGO, July 12, 2018  -- Ally Financial and the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers (NAMAD) honored Karmala Sutton, dealer in training at Honda of Kenosha in Bristol, Wisc., with the first-ever Ally Sees Her Award today during NAMAD's 2018 Annual Membership Meeting in Chicago.

Ally Financial and the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers (NAMAD) has honored Karmala Sutton, dealer in training at Honda of Kenosha in Bristol, Wisc., with the first-ever Ally Sees Her Award.

Sutton received the award in recognition of her success as an auto retail leader, her dedication to giving back and her commitment to building the next-generation of minority dealers, who are underrepresented across the country.

"I'm humbled to be recognized for doing things that I'm passionate about," Sutton said upon learning of the award. "I'm committed to the auto industry and look forward to working with NAMAD to help my peers succeed. Without giving back to improve the lives of others and make the communities where we live and work better, success is hollow."

Inspired by the Association of National Advertisers #SeeHer campaign to elevate women in media and marketing, Ally created the award to recognize promising, young women leaders in the auto retail industry.  As part of the award, Ally will make a $10,000 donation to the charity of Sutton's choice: CRU Agape Center, a Chicago based non-profit that works with local churches and community centers. Sutton has earmarked the funds to help the homeless and children in communities troubled by violence.

"Being from the Chicago area and having the NAMAD meeting here in Chicago this year, it made sense to have the donation make a difference here in the city, especially in the communities that need it most," Sutton said.

Her dedication to giving back to the community can be traced back to values instilled in her by her church and a high school mission trip to Ghana with Opportunity International, a micro finance not-for-profit that helps economic development in poor areas throughout the world. During her college years, she became involved with Locks of Love, giving her time and even her own hair to the non-profit. Through her dealership, she has led efforts to benefit Toys for Tots. She also has volunteered on NAMAD NextGen's executive board for four years, serving as president for the last two years. NextGen helps prepare aspiring auto dealers to succeed in the industry.

Sutton has been an influential voice in NAMAD's efforts to mobilize the sons and daughters of our current dealers and also shed a bright light on our current up and coming Minority managers who will be our future dealers, said Damon Lester, NAMAD president. "Her commitment to helping her peers become strong dealers who carry our industry into a bright future is an inspiration."

Sutton began her automotive career as a co-chair of the Northwood University Auto Show of the Palm Beaches while attending college. She graduated from Northwood University in West Palm Beach in 2010 with a Bachelor's in Business Administration and an Associate degree in Hospitality Management. After graduation, Sutton worked as a buyer for Carmax, where she honed her skills and found a love for the automotive retail industry. She then went to work at her family's Honda of Kenosha dealership as the pre-owned manager.  As the dealer in training, Sutton works beside her father, Nathaniel Sutton, owner of Sutton Auto Team, to understand the business. Sutton Auto Team has two additional dealerships in suburban Chicago.

"We're excited to honor Karmala with the inaugural Ally Sees Her Award. She embodies the hard work, determination and leadership potential that this award was designed to recognize and we look forward to all she will accomplish in the years to come," said Jacqueline Howard, Senior Director of Corporate Citizenship at Ally. "Her enthusiasm for giving back also makes her a beacon of caring in the community, which is fundamental to being a strong dealer."

Howard added, "At Ally, our motto is 'Do It Right,' which means supporting dealers who are often the backbone of their communities and are helping move the industry forward. It also means promoting diversity and women in leadership. The more young women and girls see leaders like Karmala, the more they are empowered to rise to become leaders themselves." 

In addition to supporting Sutton's chosen charity, Ally will make an additional $5,000 available to charities selected by NAMAD members. During the annual conference, Ally will give $100 gift cards to 50 NAMAD members, who can use the cards to make donations to the charities of their choice.

About Ally Financial Inc.

Ally Financial Inc. (NYSE: ALLY) is a leading digital financial services company with assets of $170.0 billion as of March 31, 2018. As a client-centric company with passionate customer service and innovative financial solutions, Ally is relentlessly focused on "Doing it Right" and being a trusted financial partner for its consumer, commercial, and corporate customers. Ally's award-winning online bank (Ally Bank, Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender) offers mortgage-lending services and a variety of deposit and other banking products, including CDs, online savings, money market and checking accounts, and IRA products. Ally also promotes the Ally CashBack Credit Card. Additionally, Ally offers securities brokerage and investment advisory services through Ally Invest. Ally remains one of the largest full-service auto finance operations in the country with a complementary auto-focused insurance business, which together serve more than 18,000 dealer customers and millions of auto consumers. Ally's robust corporate finance business offers capital for equity sponsors and middle-market companies.

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The National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers' (NAMAD) objective is to pursue the meaningful presence and participation of minority businesses and diverse employees across all aspects of the automotive economic sector, including:

  • Increasing the number of minority-owned dealerships in communities across America 
  • Advocating workplace and supplier diversity in the automotive manufacturing environment 
  • Supporting minority engagement in the automotive retail sales and service sectors

We are committed to developing strategic relationships and advocating for the advancement of business policies and practices that ensure diversity and economic parity remain a priority in all aspects of the American automotive industry.

NAMAD is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, tax-exempt organization headquartered in the Washington, D.C. area. For information on National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers visit:

Brenda Rios
Ally Financial Inc.

Damon Lester