From architect to automotive power player
An architect by training, it was not always Juliana Terian Gilbert’s dream to become the head of one of America’s largest car dealerships. Nevertheless, when her husband Peter Terian died of cancer in 2002, she rose to the occasion of taking over Rallye Group luxury car dealership, which he had founded in 1958.
Having completed a bachelor of architecture at Pratt Institute and a bachelor of science in architecture at the California Polytechnic University, Terian Gilbert had no experience selling cars. But when she took over as CEO and president of the company, she quickly proved herself a shrewd executive. She steadily grew Rallye, and supported her employees by introducing new training programs. She also strengthened opportunities for women at the company. She ultimately assumed the position of chairwoman.
Based in Roslyn, New York, Rallye is the largest female-owned car dealership in America, with franchises including Rallye Acura, Rallye BMW, Rallye Lexus, Rallye Motors (Mercedes), and Smart, all accompanied by parts and body shop facilities. Under Terian Gilbert’s leadership, the company has enjoyed increasing revenues, including a jump from from $670.6 million in 2008 to $710 million in 2009.
Through all of it, Terian Gilbert has maintained an active personal life: she is a passionate art collector and philanthropist, and serves as a William Cullen Bryant fellow at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and a trustee of Pratt Institute. She has one daughter, Olivia, and lives in Manhattan. Her business triumphs and her focus on promoting women in the workplace have made her a female power player in the automotive world.