Maserati's North American CEO sells - and lives - the lifestyle

Eulberg did four years at Ford Motor before moving upscale: Volvo, Jaguar and BMW. Through the years, she's come to be admired by dealers for knowing what's going on in the showrooms.

"She's creative in her approach but understands what's happening in the trenches," says Bill Story, who owns two Maserati dealerships in Orange County and one in San Diego.

"She's not your typical auto executive, although she's one of the best ones I know," says dealer Tracy Jones of Century Auto Group in Huntsville, Ala. As BMW representative, "She would come into my office and be so excited and so enthusiastic."

Even when Eulberg had bad news, Jones says, she would somehow leave folks feeling upbeat. They became pals, though don't see each other as often now, since Jones doesn't sell Maserati. She says they had fun hanging out.

"At most of our meetings, we are very serious business people," Jones says. "But if we have a lunch break, we'll be at Saks Fifth Avenue in the shoe department."

Eulberg spends much time shuttling among the brand's 58 U.S. dealers. No surprise, the Miami South Beach store is the biggest seller. And there are a few trips a year to the home office outside Bologna, Italy. She doesn't speak Italian, but gets by cramming with language-training discs and with a knowledge of Spanish.

She loves to try everything and admits to a short attention span. Skydiving? Done that. African safari? Pictures of rhinos and lions on the wall to prove it. Surfing? Took it up in 2001 and has learned to hang 10.

Eulberg describes herself as an adventure lover who appreciates a high-end pair of shoes. "I'm a tomboy that has a passion for Manolo (Blahnik)."

Those shoes paired with a tailored suit are just fine by her — and fit perfectly with the car. Says Eulberg, "I never say to valets, 'Will you park my car out front?' It's always parked out front."

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