The Colorado Automotive Hall of Fame

The Colorado Automotive Hall of Fame is a prestigious award ceremony that honors the exceptional contributions of dealers and industry professionals to the automotive sector in Colorado. Each year, this distinguished event celebrates the visionaries and trailblazers whose innovative spirit, dedication, and leadership have significantly impacted the industry. Inductees into the Hall of Fame represent the pinnacle of excellence, having demonstrated outstanding commitment to their craft and to the communities they serve. Join us in recognizing these remarkable individuals whose achievements drive the future of automotive excellence in Colorado.

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2025 Date TBA

Join us to celebrate alongside Colorado’s dealership owners, regional executives, general managers, sales managers, finance directors, service managers, and industry suppliers.

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Cocktails & opening reception

Don’t miss the pre-dinner events. The evening will begin with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and networking with others in the automotive industry.

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Hall of Fame Dinner & Awards Ceremony

Enjoy a sit-down dinner accompanied by a presentation honoring six iconic dealers and two industry-leading supporters at the most prestigious award ceremony in the state.

2024 Colorado Automotive Hall of Fame

Bluebird Ballroom, Colorado Convention Center
April 4, 2024

2024 Colorado Automotive Hall of Fame Inductees

Thomas Botterill

Pierce Arrow

Thomas Botterill, a pioneer in Denver’s automotive industry during the early 20th
century, left an indelible mark as one of the city’s foremost automobile dealers. Born in
Yorkshire, England, in the late 19th century, Botterill embarked on a journey that would
lead him to the heart of the American automotive landscape.

Arriving in Denver in the early 1890s, Botterill initially entered the transportation business by selling bicycles. However, his entrepreneurial spirit and foresight guided
him into the burgeoning world of automobiles. In 1901, he assumed the
role of manager at the Pierce Arrow automobile store in Denver. Within two
years, he became the official agent for the company, setting the stage for a
remarkable career that would span several decades.

In an era when the automobile industry was still in its infancy, Botterill’s
achievements were groundbreaking. In 1903, he accomplished a feat that
seemed unfathomable at the time – selling 40 new cars. Little did he know
that this was just the beginning of a trajectory that would see him sell an
estimated 25,000 automobiles by the time of his retirement in the 1940s.
Having transitioned from Pierce cars, Botterill managed a Denver-based
dealership until 1920. It was in this year that he acquired a Dodge Brothers
agency and initiated a construction project, resulting in a building adorned
with Gothic detailing and caen-like stone, serving as a testament to Botterill’s
commitment to excellence.

In 1921, Botterill made a significant contribution to the automotive
community by lending his ace salesman, Thomas D. Braden, to spearhead
the establishment of the Denver Automobile Dealers Association. His
leadership and dedication were duly recognized when he was elected as the
association’s president, with Braden serving as its secretary for an impressive
41 years.

As the automotive landscape evolved, so did Botterill’s business ventures.
With the sale of Dodge Brothers to Chrysler Corporation in the late 1920s,
Botterill pivoted to the Hudson franchise. Relocating his dealership to the
corner of Broadway and 13th Avenue, he became known for a prominent
neon sign that bore the name “Hudson Essex.” Additionally, the Buick line
found a place in Botterill’s business for a few years.

By 1940, Botterill had established a comfortable family life, residing with
his wife Elizabeth and sons Thomas, William and Jack in a residence east
of City Park. Despite the challenges posed by World War II, which led to a
temporary halt in new car production, Botterill continued to contribute to the
automotive industry by selling used cars until his retirement.

Beyond his contributions to the automotive sector, Thomas Botterill played
a vital role in various civic and social organizations. His extensive resume
included positions as a director of the National Auto Dealers Association,
office terms with the national Hudson dealers association, chairman of the
state Highway Transport Committee, and leadership roles in esteemed clubs
like the Lakewood Country Club, Denver Country Club, and Denver Athletic
Club. A man of faith, he was also an active member of the Episcopalian

Thomas Botterill’s legacy endures as a testament to his vision, leadership, and
enduring commitment to the automotive and civic communities. He passed
away on October 15, 1964, at the age of 91, leaving behind a rich and
storied legacy that continues to inspire generations within and beyond the
automotive industry in Denver.

John Bowell

Shortline Auto Group

John Bowell, a stalwart in the Colorado automotive scene, was truly born into the car
business. With a familial connection deeply rooted in the Denver auto community, John imbibed the intricacies of auto sales under the mentorship of his father, Jack Bowell, and uncle, Tom Bowell. The foundations were laid early, and the passion for
automobiles blossomed.

At the age of 18, John joined Goodro Ford under the tutelage of the iconic
Anne Goodro, Colorado’s first female dealer. From the very start, John
was consistently leading the sales board. Within a year, his rapid rise from
Salesman to Sales Manager showcased not only his talent but also his
unwavering professional commitment. Eight dedicated years at Goodro Ford
saw him wearing multiple hats – from new car manager to truck and used
car manager.

The turning point came when Anne Goodro sold the dealership. Undeterred,
John transitioned to the wholesale side of the auto business, catching the
attention of Tom Roberts Sr. at Monarch Volvo Mazda. Impressed by John’s
acumen, after a few years, Tom sold the dealership to him and Rick Pffamann,
marking the beginning of a six-year reign as the bestselling Volvo and Mazda
dealership in Denver.

A pivotal moment arrived when Doug McDonald acquired Monarch
Volvo Mazda, insisting that John remains a cornerstone of their team. A
two-decade-long collaboration ensued, marking an era of success and
growth. In 2007, drawn back to wholesale, John’s leadership at McDonald
caught the eye of Don Hicks, inviting him to join as an owner at Shortline
Automotive Group.

John and Don’s friendship began in the early 1970’s when they both were
beginning their Sales careers in the Automotive business. Their partnership
flourished, achieving remarkable feats such as becoming the second-largest
Subaru dealer globally and acquiring Mazda franchise from Gateway.
Though 2018 saw Ralph Schomp acquire certain franchises, John and
Don acquired Suss Buick GMC, currently standing as the second-largest
GMC dealer in Denver. John’s impactful leadership led him to be the acting
President of the Colorado GMC Ad Group for two years.

For over 50 years, John Bowell has been a consistent and impressive
presence, leaving an indelible mark on the Colorado Automotive landscape.
His natural love for selling cars, and his unwavering dedication to the
industry, has been instrumental in the success of numerous dealerships and the
individuals who have had the privilege of working alongside him. His concern
for his customers and their complete satisfaction plus his easy connection to
people, has resulted in career-long return customers and friendships. John’s
legacy is not just a narrative of achievements but a testament to the enduring
spirit of passion and excellence in the world of automotive sales.

Ed Bozarth

Ed Bozarth Chevrolet

Ed Bozarth, an iconic figure in the world of automotive sales, is renowned for
his exceptional contributions to the car dealership industry. Born on June 1, 1943,
in Topeka, Kansas, Bozarth’s journey to becoming a titan in the automotive business is
a testament to his unwavering dedication and entrepreneurial spirit.

Bozarth’s early years were marked by a passion for automobiles, a passion that would shape the trajectory of his life. His fascination with cars, coupled with a keen business acumen, led him to establish his first dealership in Topeka during the early 1960s. From the outset, Bozarth’s commitment to customer satisfaction set his dealership apart. He
understood that success in the automotive industry hinged on building lasting
relationships with customers.

As his reputation for integrity and customer-focused service grew, so did Bozarth’s business empire. In the 1970s, he expanded his reach by opening additional dealerships, strategically positioning himself to serve a broader clientele. Bozarth’s business philosophy was rooted in the belief that a satisfied customer was the best advertisement. This approach not only garnered him a loyal customer base but also earned him accolades within the industry.

Ed Bozarth became synonymous with trust and reliability in the automotive world. His dealerships were not merely places to buy cars; they were hubs of community engagement. Bozarth recognized the importance of giving back, and he actively supported local charities and community initiatives. His commitment to corporate social responsibility mirrored his dedication to customer satisfaction, creating a positive impact on both his business and the communities he served.

In the 1990s, Bozarth’s visionary leadership took a new turn with the embrace of emerging technologies in the automotive industry. He was quick to recognize the potential of the internet for marketing and sales. Under his guidance, his dealerships were among the first to establish an online presence, allowing customers to explore inventory and make inquiries from the comfort of their homes. This forward-thinking approach not only kept Bozarth ahead of the curve but also solidified his position as an industry innovator.

Bozarth’s commitment to excellence extended beyond his individual dealerships. Recognizing the power of collaboration, he played a pivotal role in CADA, contributing his insights and expertise to shape Colorado’s franchise law. His leadership in these forums further solidified his influence and legacy in the automotive world. As the years progressed, Ed Bozarth’s name became synonymous with success, integrity, and innovation. His dealerships continued to thrive, and his impact on the automotive industry was undeniable. Awards and honors followed, acknowledging his significant contributions to the business world and his community.

Beyond the boardroom, Bozarth’s personal life reflected a balance of hard work and a love for family. With his wife and son, and now grandchildren, he found joy in sharing his success with those closest to him. Bozarth’s story serves as an inspiration, a testament to the possibilities that arise from passion, hard work, and an unwavering commitment to excellence.

In reflecting on the life and career of Ed Bozarth, one finds a story of resilience, innovation, and community engagement. His journey from a small dealership in Topeka to an industry leader in Aurora, Lone Tree, and Grand Junction, is a testament to the power of vision, hard work, and a dedication to customer satisfaction. Ed Bozarth’s legacy lives on, not only in the dealerships that bear his name but also in the impact he made on the automotive industryand the communities he served.

Mike Feeley

Brownstein, Hyatt, Farber, Schrek, LLP

Mike Feeley’s illustrious career spans law, public policy, and state government relations, showcasing a depth of expertise that few can match. For nearly two decades, he ardently advocated for the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association (CADA) at the Colorado State Capitol, tirelessly championing the cause of new car dealers. A former Colorado senator and Senate Minority Leader for seven of his eight years in office, Mike leveraged his invaluable firsthand legislative experience to address critical issues.

Having previously served as the co-chair of Brownstein’s Government Relations Department, Mike collaborated seamlessly with the firm’s Washington, D.C., office, particularly when clients required a federal perspective. Mike functioned as CADA’s lobbyist for almost 20 years, and in the 2010’s he strategically navigating six key years of legislation. During this period from 2011 – 2017, CADA dealers identified 24 crucial changes they sought in franchise law. Remarkably, Mike Feeley not only executed each
desired change but did so with an impressive success rate, often exceeding 90%.

In 2018 and 2023, Mike continued to make significant contributions, working at the state capitol to secure warranty reimbursement. This achievement translated to substantial savings of approximately $300,000 per dealership, underscoring his commitment to delivering tangible benefits for his clients. Beyond his government relations work, Mike actively practiced as a litigation and tax attorney, offering clients a well-rounded perspective to navigate complex challenges. His unique position at the intersection of law, state government, and business enabled him to shepherd solutions that profoundly impacted his clients’ business objectives.

Mike Feeley’s dedication to public policy extends beyond his professional roles, as evidenced by his continued involvement in appointed state positions under both Democratic and Republican administrations. Also, deeply devoted to his wife, Leslie, and daughter, Grace, Mike cares immensely about his family. Additionally, as an impassioned baseball fan, Mike has an unending commitment to the New York Mets.

After an impressive and extensive career, Mike retired earlier this year, leaving a legacy of level-headed and persistent leadership at the state capitol. His ability to build bridges and communicate effectively about the intricacies of the auto industry demonstrated his unwavering commitment to his clients and colleagues alike. Mike Feeley’s retirement marks the culmination of a remarkable career characterized by impactful achievements and a steadfast devotion to his professional endeavors.

Art Stapp

Stapp Interstate Toyota

Art Stapp’s extraordinary journey highlights a man of exceptional skill, adaptability
and a visionary whose impact in the auto industry is defined by unparalleled work
ethic, relentless drive, and an inspiring dedication to excellence. His story began
at Lakewood High School, where he was a standout three-sport varsity athlete, excelling in football, basketball, and baseball. This spirit of excellence and commitment followed him to Colorado College, where he continued to shine as a multiple-sport student-athlete while participating in ROTC, laying the groundwork for a life characterized by remarkable achievements and unwavering dedication.

After marrying his wife, Debbi, in 1972, embarking on a loving and supportive 50-year marriage, and raising three sons, Art ventured into the automotive world. In 1974, he used all his savings to purchase Longmont Toyota with his father, Robert Stapp Sr., marking the beginning of a legacy marked by innovation in customer service and excellence in the automotive industry. This venture, which his brother Robert Stapp Jr. later joined, was the foundation of a career that would become a testament to the power of hard work, dedication, and the profound impact of genuine relationships. Art was not just a businessman; he was a visionary who understood the profound impact of customer retention. He introduced the “cradle to grave” sales approach in 1974 and never deviated from it. His strategy wasn’t just about selling cars; it was about earning a relationship based on trust and transparency. Walking into Art’s office was an experience unlike any other; you were more than just a customer—you were family. Art sought to know about your life, your family, and your story. Art believed in the value of his word, a principle that earned him customers who spanned back decades. His dedication to customer service was unparalleled making his dealerships symbols of excellence in the automotive industry.

Art never lost his competitive spirit. He deeply respected the competition and proved it by proudly working six days a week. Regardless of the final score, Art shook hands at the end of the game, treating his fellow dealers with respect and honesty.

Under Art’s leadership, his businesses thrived. In 1988, Mazda awarded Art an open point franchise in Longmont, Colorado, which he successfully operated for 20 years. In 2007, Art opened a Scion franchise and reimagined Longmont Toyota as Stapp Interstate Toyota, relocating the dealership to Frederick, Colorado. Stapp Interstate Toyota was the first Image II Toyota dealership in Colorado, further cementing his status as a trailblazer in the industry. Art’s forward-thinking approach and dedication to continuous improvement were evident in every venture he undertook, always with a focus on how it could benefit the community and uphold his core values.

Art’s passion for automobiles and his business acumen were matched only by his dedication to community service, particularly through the Stapp Inspires Campaign initiated in 2016. Under Debbi’s guidance, this initiative underscored Art’s deep-seated belief in giving back, providing non-profit organizations with vital support and visibility. Since its inception, the Stapp Inspires Campaign has supported over 150 community organizations and countless individuals.

Art Stapp’s enduring legacy is not merely in the success of his dealerships, which have been recognized with 17 Toyota President’s Awards and 3 Mazda President’s Awards of Honor. More profoundly, it resonates in the lives he touched, the community he built, and the inspiring example of dedication, hard work, and innovation he set. Art’s contributions to the auto industry and his community are a lasting testament to what can be achieved with an unwavering commitment to excellence and a deep-seated desire to make a meaningful difference. His life and work will continue to inspire those who knew him and those who will come to know his story in the years to come.

Steve Taylor

Peak Automotive Group

Steve Taylor’s automotive journey epitomizes dedication, perseverance, and a rich legacy of hard work. Hailing from Lakewood, Colorado, Steve inherited a deep-rooted connection to the car business from his father, an esteemed figure on the Independent Auto Dealers Council, serving for two terms as president for CIADA.

Taylor’s automotive career began in June 1970 as a salesman at Sports Car Sales Inc.
in Denver. After leaving in 1978 and Moving to Burt Subaru he was recruited by Prestige Imports in 1980. Moving up the ladder. He eventually became the General Manager. He received the No. 1 Quattro dealer award and reached the rank of No. 10 in sales volume
among Porsche-Audi dealers in the United States.

Taylor became the first general manager of the Stevinson Lexus dealership in 1990, after being approached by the Stevinson Corporation. He was the recipient of the Elite of Lexus award from ‘90 through ‘93, one of three dealers nationwide to earn the award in four consecutive years. He was chosen to lead the used Lexus operations of the “Best of the Best” dealers, achieved a zero staff turnover rate and outsold competing Lexus dealerships month after month. He was promoted to general manager of Stevinson Toyota West in 1993, managing all aspects of the operations and supervising more
than 50 sales associates. He very quickly improved sales from that of last place to No. 1 in the Denver Metro region. Taylor teamed with Mitch Pierce in January 1994 to purchase Marshall Nissan in Boulder, and renamed it Boulder Nissan. The dealership established profitability within a month after five years of slow performance. The team he guided increased sales during the first year from $11.6 million to more than $25 million, moving Boulder Nissan to No. 7 in the Northwest Region. Taylor became principal owner and sole stockholder, and, by anticipating and exceeding customer’s needs, became a member of Nissan’s President’s Circle for Customer Satisfaction in 1997.

Taylor and Scott Baugh in 1999 purchased Planet Nissan-Subaru in Flagstaff, Arizona, and in July 2000 Taylor partnered with Burt Automotive Group to operate Burt Nissan in Littleton. Later that year, Taylor and Bob Colbert opened Broadway Nissan in Englewood. Bill Byerly, Steve’s right-hand man, rose from a car detailer at Boulder Nissan to become the General Manager for Steve’s Nissan stores, renaming them the Peak Nissan, during this period. After disposing of his interests in the Boulder and Flagstaff operations, Taylor sold the Broadway Nissan store to Ron St. John. However, the allure of the automotive business beckoned him back in 2009 with Peak Kia North in Greeley. Steve’s son, Jeff, played pivotal roles, eventually becoming the majority stockholder. They recently sold Peak Kia North in June 2023.

Throughout his career, Taylor was chosen to serve on the Nissan Dealer Advisory Board in the U.S. and has been vice chairman of the Nissan Dealer Advisory Board for the Northwest Region. Additionally, he has been president of the Boulder New Car Dealers Association, national representative of the Nissan Strategic Planning Committee, and chairman of the Nissan Regional Advisory Board for two years.

Steve Taylor’s story is one of resilience and dedication to the automotive legacy. Managing seven dealerships, he maintained his passion for the industry, ensuring the next generation could carry forward his legacy of hard work. From humble beginnings selling cars for his father to becoming a key player in the dealership landscape, Steve’s journey underscores the rewards of hard work, dedication, and a profound passion for the automotive world.

List of Inductees

Nancy Ariano

William D. “Bill” Barrow

Florian Barth

Thomas Botterill

John Bowell

Ed Bozarth

Nate Burt

Jeff Carlson

Lloyd Chavez

Jay Cimino

William Crouch

Archie “Nick” Davidson

Christina Dawkins

Dick Deane

R.W. Dellenbach

R.S. Doenges

Dean Dowson

Harry Dowson

Scott Ehrlich

Fred F. Emich, III

Mike Faricy

Bob Fisher

Fletcher Flower

Joseph (Tony) Fortino

Herrick Garnsey

Paul Gebhardt

Bob Ghent

Dwight Ghent

A.J. Guanella

Vern Hagestad

Bill Hellman

Don Hicks

Tim Jackson

Joe Luby

Russel “Russ” Lyons

Jack Maffeo

Gene Markley

Robert H. Markley

Todd Maul

George McCaddon

Doug McDonald

John Medved

Larry H. and Gail Miller

Jim Morehart

Doug Moreland

Brian O’Meara

Al O’Meara, Jr.

Alfred O’Meara Sr.

Mary Pacifico-Valley

Lee Payne

Leo Payne

Bob Penkhus

Larry Pomarico

Roland Purifoy

Jim Reilly, Sr.

John Schenden

Lisa Schomp

Ralph Schomp

Keven Shaugnessy

“Mike Shaw

Art Stapp

Kent P. Stevinson

Jim Suss, Sr.

Jack TerHar

Hugh Tighe, Jr.

Barbara Vidmar

Bud Wells

Gene Wilcoxson

Phil Winslow

Colorado Automotive Hall of Fame
Inductee Biographies

Nancy Ariano

New County Auto Center

Nancy Ariano is a home-grown Durango success story. She credits her industry and community successes largely to her willingness to listen to and empower others.

Nancy and her former husband were living in Albuquerque in 1980 where he worked in auto sales. They hoped to buy a Datsun (now Nissan) point back home in Durango. A territory conflict with another dealer landed them in Grand Forks, North Dakota, instead, where they bought a Dodge dealership and added Datsun. Just two years later the couple was able to buy out the retiring Durango Chrysler-Dodge-Plymouth dealer, adding Ford and Toyota. In 1993 they also bought out the existing Dodge dealer in Cortez.

They had complementary skills – Nancy had accounting acumen and he knew sales. When they divorced Nancy bought her husband out in 1995 and moved forward to build a new dealership that employees renamed New Country Auto Center, adding Mitsubishi, Saab, and Kia to the portfolio. When it was time to move to the new location, Nancy put on the “Ticket to Ride” parade and fun event, getting the entire community involved. She promised a “new attitude” toward the community, her customers and employees.

Empowering people through regular communication, training and appreciation is a continuing thread throughout Nancy’s work in the industry and in her community.

She enlisted her managers and employees, and dealers from her 20 group, to provide expertise where she needed it, later creating a mechanism to offer similar assistance to other dealers. As CADA’s first female chair (2008-2010) during the Great Recession, Nancy launched the successful CADA President’s Club.

In Durango, Nancy chaired the Women’s Resource Center, founding a program with community volunteers to help women get and progress in jobs and start businesses. Her dealership enthusiastically supported the local 4-H clubs donating colorful annual t-shirts and by purchasing their livestock, which was gifted to employees or donated to nonprofits.

Nancy’s belief in personal communication was on display when she chaired the Sixth District Judicial Performance Commission from 1999-2005. She changed evaluation procedures from just written surveys to in-person meetings where judges could speak in detail about their cases.

Nancy sold New Country, in 2012 keeping the dealership in Cortez, now named Tru West Auto. She’s turning it over to her son, Tom Sellers and longtime manager Geno Trujillo. Post-COVID, this self-proclaimed “control freak” has been learning to let go and spend most of her time in Arizona with her husband.


William D. “Bill” Barrow

Colorado Automobile Dealers Association & Metro Denver Automobile Dealers Association

As the face of the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association for 28 years, Bill Barrow moved the association and Colorado’s automotive industry forward in notable ways. Bill retired as President of CADA in 2005 and died in 2015.

Bill was born in Fieldale, Virginia in 1943. He earned high school All-American honors in basketball. He was offered 42 baksetball scholarships and chose the University of Wisconsin, where he graduated with a dual degree in economics and political science.

He worked for the Chrysler Corporation for nine years in the Western Region, moving around to Colorado Springs, Utah and Denver. Chrysler wanted him to move to Detroit but he turned them down and stayed in Denver, where he joined CADA and the Metro Denver Automobile Dealers Association in 1976.

A pressing job at CADA was to stabilize finances, so Bill started several businesses within the association that provided ongoing revenue. He grew the staff from three to 10 and moved the headquarters from 1601 Emerson St. to the elegant headquarters building today on Speer Blvd. He took enormous pride in the facility, named the William D. Barrow Building in his honor.

Since its founding in 1902, The Denver Auto Show had been sporadically held. Bill engineered its rebirth on a firm, annual footing, first at Currigan Hall. When the Colorado Convention Center was built, the Denver Auto Show moved and expanded; it, too was his pride and joy. He thought it was a wonderful way to get consumers to love cars as much as he did.

Bill built strong relationships with state and federal lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, where his goal was always to help protect both dealers and consumers. He also worked hard on the federal level to protect clean air and clean water. He’s widely credited with helping to improve dealers’ image with consumers.

After retiring in 2005, Bill’s health declined. He was the oldest patient to qualify for a liver transplant at the Colorado Health Sciences Center. He had a few cancer scares and then suffered a stroke. He died August 22, 2015 in Arizona, where he lived with his wife, Merilee Keene Barrow.

Bill’s personal philosophy was: Be honest and ethical and work at something you absolutely love. His love of cars was at the root of everything he did, and he was always looking for his next and newest set of wheels to get him out on the road.


Florian Barth

Kumpf Motor Car Company

Florian Barth’s drive to excel and help out his fellow man extends back several decades. In the 1940s, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps to serve his country as a pilot. When he returned to civilian life, he earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Denver.

In 1959, Florian bought Kumpf Motors Lincoln Mercury from Arthur Kumpf, who had been a Denver dealer since 1919. Barth was president and owner of Kumpf Motor Car Company for 40 years before his son, David, assumed ownership. The Kumpf business operated at Broadway and 9th Avenue until moving to 5000 S. Broadway.

Florian served on numerous boards including Havern Center and National Jewish Hospital. He was one of the original members of Castle Pines Golf Club and served as a vice chairman of the International Golf Tournament. He loved sports and was a founding member of the Flatirons Club (CU football booster club). He was Colorado’s nominee for the 1984 TIME Quality Dealer of the Year award.

Beloved husband of Virginia, Florian Barth passed away in 2004, at the age of 85. He is survived by his sister, Kathleen Beatty of Overland Park, Kansas, a son David (Leslie Barth) and daughters, Susan Dukes and Lise (Ric Bellmar) and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.


Nate Burt

Burt Chevrolet

Biography information not currently available for Nate Burt.


Jeff Carlson

Glenwood Springs Ford

After graduating from college, Jeff Carlson drove a Coors beer truck during the summer. A Ford parts representative who went to high school with him was hiring, and the job offered a salary, company car and expense account.

That sounded better to Jeff than driving a beer truck. By autumn, Jeff was offered a position by the assistant district manager at Ford, and he was off and running in the auto business.

During his first two years at Ford, Jeff worked a variety of positions. He was promoted to a sales position that covered central Wyoming. After two years, he was promoted to the Kansas City area, where he moved into a business management position.

The thought of having to relocate every couple of years to pursue a Ford career did not appeal to Jeff. A Kansas City dealer kept telling him that entering the retail arena would be a good move.

About that same time, Jack Nilsson, who initially hired Jeff at Ford, purchased a Ford dealership in Glenwood Springs. The then- 28-year-old Jeff packed up his pregnant wife and very young son and moved to the mountain town to become a sales manager there.

In late 1981, Jeff began buying interest in the Glenwood Springs dealership, which seemed like a good idea at the time. When Exxon pulled out of western Colorado in 1982, interest rates jumped to between 18 and 20 percent. That made for some interesting tales of financial — and dealership — survival. By 1986, Jeff was named president.

He was Colorado’s nominee for the 2005 TIME Dealer of the Year award. In 2016, he served as Chair for the National Automobile Dealers Association and oversaw its 100-year celebration. He sold the Glenwood Springs Subaru dealership in early 2021, and still owns a Ford store and is partner in another Ford dealership. His son Zach has joined him in the business at the Ford store.

Jeff believes change is constant, and the consumer will continue to drive market demand — not the media or government-mandated policies. Organizations representing and serving automobile dealers will continue to play an integral role in helping dealers implement new technologies in personal transportation.


Lloyd Chavez

Burt Automotive Network

Lloyd George Chavez was born in 1928 in Denver. He gained footing as a determined individual while playing quarterback for Littleton High School, where he graduated at age 16.

Lloyd briefly attended Colorado A&M College (Colorado State University) before joining the U.S. Navy. After his service, he attended the University of Denver and hoped to land a job with General Motors.

Lloyd’s father was a gardener for Nate Burt; while studying at DU, it was that connection that led the young Lloyd into a used car sales position with Burt Chevrolet. “I had good training through the years from one of the best in the business,” Lloyd said.

Lloyd began buying into Burt’s business in 1966, when he purchased interest in the newly added Toyota operation, and became sole owner in 1987. Lloyd’s Chevrolet store was the largest dealership for that brand in the Rocky Mountain region for many years. For 19 years, his Subaru business was the largest in the world for that brand.

Lloyd rose from humble beginnings to head the Burt Automotive empire in Denver, which became the largest Hispanic-owned business in the country.

He demonstrated every day that he was a genius marketer and a true car guy as he purchased, managed and grew Burt into one of Colorado’s largest auto dealer groups. He was highly respected among his peers and the community.

At one point in his career, Lloyd correctly anticipated a downturn in the economy and bolstered Burt’s fleet operations. From there, he became a leading supplier to the large daily rental car companies, such as National, Hertz, Avis, Alamo and Dollar, as well as to the State of Colorado and U S West/Qwest.

Lloyd was Colorado ‘s nominee for the 1996 TIME Quality Dealer Award. He was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the South Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce.

Lloyd passed away at the age 88. He is survived by son LG Chavez, daughters Pamela Held and Denise Chavez-Wilson and spouses, 10 grandchildren and seven great- grandchildren.


Jay Cimino

Phil Long Dealerships

Jay Cimino was born and raised in Trinidad, Colorado, where after graduating from high school, he joined the Marine Corps. Following his service, he earned an associate’s degree at Trinidad State Junior College, and graduated on the Dean’s List from the University of Denver.

After holding various positions in Chevrolet and Ford dealerships in Pueblo and Santa Fe, New Mexico, Jay joined Phil Long in 1975 as the General Manager, where he ultimately became President and CEO of Phil Long Dealerships. Today, Phil Long is the largest privately held auto dealer group in the state, stretching from Glenwood Springs to Denver, Colorado Springs and Trinidad, and on to Raton, New Mexico.

Jay’s leadership and passion for solid business practices have contributed to the strength of Phil Long, and is the result of Jay’s overall vision of commitment to the community, quality customer service and exceptional value. He was instrumental in developing Colorado Springs’ Motor City, now home to more than 50 dealerships.

Jay has established many business and philanthropic programs to support the development of not only his hometown, but all of Colorado. He believes his greatest accomplishments are founding Mt. Carmel Wellness and Community Center in Trinidad, which provides integrated healthcare to Las Animas County, and Mt. Carmel Veterans Service Center in Colorado Springs, which offers several programs to support the military community and their families.

Jay has fostered a multitude of community partnerships, sponsorships and campaigns, including Pikes Peak United Way, the first community partnership he developed in 1947. Also, Jay was instrumental in the campaign to renovate and build a new addition to the Marian House, transitioning it from a soup kitchen to a self-sufficiency center.

He developed a health and wellness program for Phil Long employees and their families, which includes on-site health clinics and fitness facilities.

Jay was inducted into the Colorado Business Hall of Fame in 2020. He has received many awards, including from the American Red Cross, El Pomar Foundation, Ford Motor Company, Regis University. He was Colorado’s nominee for the 2013 TIME Dealer of the Year award. Also, Jay received the Ft. Carson Army Post, which presented him with the highest honor given to a civilian: the Good Neighbor award.


J. William Crouch

Flatirons Imports

As part of a family automotive dynasty that includes his father, brother, son and granddaughter, William ‘Bill’ Crouch was a true car guy.

Bill grew up in Tipton, Indiana, where he learned the business from his dad, H. Paul Crouch, a Dodge/Plymouth and Nash dealer. He left Indiana for Colorado, graduated from the University of Colorado in 1958, and stayed in Boulder to work for brother Paul’s Crouch Motor Company Desoto/Plymouth dealership.

He moved to Englewood in 1963, becoming the youngest-ever Chrysler franchisee. He opened the Boulder Subaru dealership in 1984, and in 1986, he was selected as one of the Charter Acura Dealers, Pikes Peak Acura, followed by founding Boulder’s Flatirons Acura in 1987.

Bill thought of himself as a trendsetter by building a multi-franchise auto mall in Boulder. He owned 10 different franchises including the Chrysler/Plymouth, Subaru and Acura stores, along with Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Mazda, Suzuki, Mitsubishi and Bill Crouch Leasing. His bet on Peugeot in Boulder lasted under two years.

He was very loyal to his employees — many of whom stayed with him for more than 20 years. He took good care of them, even though he was a demanding manager. He was known for talking about how when you put in the work and effort, there’s room for growth. Bill viewed the automotive industry as a good business with a lot of good people.

His son Scott said that Bill wouldn’t be surprised at today’s industry consolidations, but he would have applauded his granddaughter Morgan’s training, because he wanted to keep the business in the family.

Bill was involved in his industry and community. He won awards for sales and customer satisfaction from Acura, Subaru, Honda, Mitsubishi and Chrysler, and he was The Boulder Daily Camera readers’ “Best Dealership” 11 years running. He presided over the Boulder New Car Dealers Association and the Metro Denver Auto Dealers, and participated in industry councils and advisory groups.

Bill supported Arapahoe County and Mile High United Ways, the Boulder Humane Society, the Arapahoe County Race Against Cancer, University of Colorado’s Ski Ball, and Boulder’s There with Care. He was president of the Englewood Chamber of Commerce and was honored as the Denver Jaycee’s 1969 Outstanding Young Man.

Even as Bill grew older, he never grew out of being outstanding.

Archie “Nick” Davidson

Davidson Chevrolet Buick Pontiac

Nick Davidson comes from another Midwestern automotive family who left South Dakota to find success in what has become a Colorado boomtown – Loveland. His family owned a Chevrolet dealership in Mobridge, South Dakota. Nick graduated from high school and served in the army during World War II. He returned to Mobridge in 1945, joined the dealership and married Barbra Crawford. Together they raised four daughters.

Nick and Barbra moved to Denver where Nick joined his uncle, Henry Davidson, in a Pontiac store in 1950. Deciding in 1952 he wanted his own store, Nick moved his family to Lander, Wyoming, becoming Pontiac’s youngest dealer.

The couple didn’t care for Wyoming, soon returning to Denver where Nick went to work for Burt Chevrolet as fleet manager in 1955. He was ready to jump in 1960 when the Knox Chevrolet-Buick-Pontiac store in downtown Loveland became available. The population of Loveland was around 7,000 people when Nick took a chance and built a new store on the outskirts of town in 1963.

The move paid off since Loveland’s population has exploded to nearly 85,000.
Currently the family dealership Nick founded operates as Davidson Gebhardt Chevrolet and Subaru of Loveland. Nick was very proud and grateful that the business he established is now owned and operated by his son-in-law, Joe Gebhardt, and his grandsons; Matt, Chris and Greg Gebhardt.

Nick believed in volume over big unit profit, reasoning that more cars sold meant more market share, more service and parts business, and more referrals. Nick was a good and tough businessman but always fair and loyal to both customers and employees.

Nick served for years on the CADA Insurance Trust Board and was a director of the local bank. He was a past chairman of the Loveland United Way Campaign. Nick and Barbra fondly supported the thriving Loveland art scene.

He sponsored numerous youth sports teams and embraced many local school endeavors. But Nick’s greatest generosity was quiet: a continuing scholarship in his hometown of Mobridge and an anonymous blank check at a local shoe store for youth of the community in need. 

Christina Dawkins

Co’s BMW Center

Christina Dawkins has made handling change simply routine, beginning with an about-face to join her father’s automobile business, instead of pursuing a career in interior design and architecture. She achieved success in a male-dominated industry while advancing opportunities for women. And she led the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association in an unexpected battle against California-style emissions regulations. Christina has adeptly navigated an ever-changing industry, for which she was honored as Colorado’s nominee for the 2021 TIME Dealer of the Year award.

Childhood vacations in Greeley were spent washing cars and answering phones in the family business. But she still was surprised at how much she enjoyed the business when she joined the sales staff at Co’s BMW in 1994. Four years later, she managed the store, which she moved to Loveland and eventually added MINI. The family’s Chrysler-Dodge- Jeep dealership, which split off and was operated by her sister and Dad, was sold in the mid-2010s.

Christina was on the front lines in the gradual acceptance of women in the automotive industry. While much progress had been made when she joined the family business, female leaders still were rare. She conscientiously worked to increase the number of women – including technicians – on her staff, and made changes that offered a better work-life balance for men and women alike.

She pushed hard to change how dealers work with lawmakers and regulators. As CADA chair in 2019, she tirelessly worked to directly involve more dealers in the legislative and regulatory process, particularly when it came to mobilizing her colleagues against emissions mandates.

Christina is a staunch believer that the free market and automotive industry innovation will give consumers attractive transportation options that also protect the environment.

As the mother of two, it’s been natural for her philanthropic efforts to be centered around children and families. Christina’s financial and hands-on support has been focused on the Boys and Girls Club of Larimer County and Food Bank for Larimer County.


Dick Deane

Deane Automotive Center

Richard “Dick” Dean was born in Los Angeles, California and grew up in Riverside, Connecticut. He enlisted in the Navy shortly before the end of World War II, then went on to graduate from Williams College with a bachelor’s degree in English.

In early 1952, Dick came to Denver and worked for Capital Chevrolet at the corner of 13th Avenue and Broadway. Marvin Milsap, a former Denver Chevrolet zone manager, was the dealer there, and he generously agreed to move Dick from department to department, through an informal training program, starting in the Service department.

Roy Mason, general manager, bought out Milsap a couple of years later. In 1953, Dick went to work for Motors Holding Division of General Motors and spent the next six years in various cities around the country, mostly as branch manager.

Dick returned to Denver in 1959 and purchased the Buick dealership on East Colfax and Forest Street from Bob Gerardot. After moving to South Colorado Boulevard in 1963, Deane Buick operated there for 31 years. In the 1960s, Dick added GM’s Opel line, then added Saab in 1975 when the business became Deane Buick-Saab. When he added a Dodge franchise, it became Deane Automotive Center, Inc.

Dick’s real passion was civic engagement. He was committed to Denver and worked to improve the city’s environment, business climate and opportunities for children and youth. He was particularly passionate about early childhood education and development.

Dick served on numerous business and non-profit boards, including the Denver Chamber of Commerce, Mile High United Way, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Denver and The Clayton Foundation. Also, he served on the Denver Planning Board, Denver Urban Renewal Authority, Stapleton Redevelopment Foundation and Winter Park Board of Trustees.

Dick passed away in the fall of 2016 at age 89. He was married to Zyla for nearly 61 years and is survived by three children and three grandchildren.


R.W. Dellenbach

Dellenbach Motors

Richard (RW) Dellenbach was born in Beardsley, Kansas. He served in World War II as a naval aviator and navigator. RW started his automotive career in a Nebraska parts department.

RW and his wife came to Colorado in 1948 so he could work in the Parts department at Fortino-Jackson Chevrolet in Pueblo. He then worked in service and as a sales manager. In 1952, RW was offered an opportunity to purchase the Chevrolet dealership in Fort Lupton. Six years later, he purchased a Ford store in Ogallala, Nebraska.

In 1960, he sold both stores and went back to Pueblo to Fortino-Jackson as the general manager. In 1965, RW, his wife and 11 children moved to Fort Collins, where he was a partner at the Chevy dealership. In 1996, he added Cadillac and Subaru.

In 1970, he bought out his partner; Dellenbach Motors has been in the family ever since. RW went to the dealership every day and was always aware of what was going on in each department. RW made his employees want to be the best they could be, and they always wanted to make him proud. RW was Colorado’s nominee for the 1986 TIME Quality Dealer of the Year award.

RW was very involved in many local charities, including the United Way, Boys and Girls Clubs and the Multiple Sclerosis Society. The family continues to support many non- profit organizations in northern Colorado, including the Cancer Center of Northern Colorado and Museum of Contemporary Art, along with many annual Downtown Business Authority events held in Fort Collins. RW felt the northern Colorado community had made Dellenbach Motors successful, so it was important to give back.

RW’s first and proudest accomplishment was his family. His four sons are all involved in the dealership, along with two daughters, five grandchildren and one great-grandson. They are carrying on his legacy by keeping the dealership a vibrant part of the Fort Collins community and employing more than 135 people.

RW felt that once the automotive business is in your blood, it stays in your blood.

R.S. Doenges

Doenges-Glass Ford

Soland “Don” Doenges was in high school in 1918 when he worked for the Studebaker garage in Tonkawa, Oklahoma. He then moved on to the Ford dealership where he washed, and lubed cars and worked in the Parts department.

In 1924, he moved to Oklahoma City, and received his education at the university there while working 10-hour shifts at a Ford dealership. Don moved into the truck contracting business in Odessa, Texas. From Texas it was on to Arizona to build roads for the mining industry, then back to Oklahoma, where he signed a note to liquidate and take over the bankrupt Ford dealership in Tonkawa.

In 1935, he moved to Miami, Oklahoma to manage a corporate-owned Ford dealership. While there, he accepted the offer from Merl Long, a successful Ford man from Oklahoma, to purchase Vollmer Brothers Ford in Colorado Springs. There was a provision that would create an opportunity for Long’s son, Phil, to enter the business when he completed his World War II duty.

Don moved to Denver in 1958, after Ford encouraged him to establish a new Ford store at First Avenue and Havana Street in growing Aurora. Phil Long eventually bought out Don’s part of the Colorado Springs business in 1963.

Don recruited Wendell Glass, who had a fine reputation in the auto business in Ohio, and they operated Doenges-Glass Ford in Aurora. Mike Naughton and his father, John Naughton, purchased the business in 1984.

Five names sum up the history of Ford dealerships in Colorado Springs, and Don Doenges was one of them. Don was Colorado’s nominee for the 1983 TIME Magazine Quality Dealer award. When he retired from the business, Don and his wife Helen returned to Colorado Springs.

Dean Dowson

Empire Lakewood Nissan

Dean Dowson grew up in an automotive family started by his grandfather, Roy J. Weaver, in Pueblo, Colorado in 1912 with the REO and Essex franchises.

In 1933, his grandfather had an Oldsmobile franchise in Denver. After returning from World War II, his father, Harry Dowson, and uncle Ralph Schomp bought Oldsmobile franchises with Mr. Weaver’s assistance.

While growing up, Dean and his brother had various summer jobs at the dealership. Dean’s father encouraged his sons to try a new position each summer, from sweeping the Parts department and dusting parts bins to writing service on the service drive. This went on for many years and covered multiple jobs and positions within the dealership.

After boarding school, Dean’s father informed him that he had a new summer job for him. “Dean, you are going to be our receptionist.”

Dean replied, “Dad, that’s a woman’s job!” He was told that would be his job for the summer, and Dean admitted he learned quite a bit. He and brother Stephen decided to pursue the business their father had built.

He is proud of a family that has lasted more than 100 years in the Colorado auto industry — one that goes beyond his immediate family. Dean feels fortunate to have had his own franchise, as well.

Community involvement is important, and he has been an active member of Rotary International and the Rotary Club of Lakewood for 50 years. He was involved in the Rotary Club because of its philanthropic endeavors, including worldwide hunger, the eradication of polio and community services.

Dean was Colorado’s nominee for the 2001 TIME Quality Dealer Award. He believes being inducted into the Colorado Automotive Hall of Fame represents the time that his entire family has been successful in this industry. Dean believes in being relentlessly positive and that achievement is possible.

Harry Dowson

Empire Oldsmobile-Honda and Empire Lakewood Nissan

Harry Charles Dowson was born in Denver on December 7, 1907. After graduating from Manuel High School, he went on to receive a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Denver while working at the National Cylinder Gas Company.

In 1932, he met and married Halcyon Weaver, while she attended the University of Colorado. Through her father, Roy J. Weaver, he became involved in the automobile business with Weaver-Beatty Motor Company, a then-Oldsmobile franchise.

Harry enlisted in the U. S. Army at the beginning of World War II and was stationed in Italy from 1941 – 1945 as a Major, after serving in the U.S. Army AND the U.S. Air Force.

After returning from the war and working at Weaver-Beatty Motor, he was presented the opportunity to obtain a Oldsmobile franchise of his own. In 1950, Harry became the dealer principal and owner of Empire Oldsmobile. He added a Honda franchise in 1970.

After Roy Weaver’s death, Harry was involved in establishing the Weaver-Beatty Motor Company as an import dealership in Lakewood, and helped obtain the Datsun (Nissan), Jaguar, MG and Austin franchises at that location.

Harry was President and CEO of Empire Oldsmobile-Honda and Empire Lakewood Nissan from 1950 – 2000. He was named Colorado’s Dealer of the Year and was Colorado’s nominee for the 1988 TIME Quality Dealer Award.

He represented dealers for 12 years — well into his 90s — by serving on the Motor Vehicle Dealer Board. In addition, he was very active in the Rotary Club of Denver.

Scott Ehrlich

Ehrlich Motors, Inc.

Scott Ehrlich was born in Greeley on St. Patrick’s Day in 1962. After graduating high school, he attended Western State College for two years. Raised at Ehrlich Motors, his father Swede was his mentor. He taught Scott the importance of honesty and hard work.

Swede Ehrlich opened a repair shop in Greeley in 1946, then moved to LaSalle, hired employees and started selling used cars. He built the first drag racer to break the 150 mph barrier at altitude in the state. In 1968, he took his burgeoning family, moved to south Greeley and entered the new car business.

Scott began working at Ehrlich Motors at the age of 10. One afternoon, Scott was told to sand the paint off of a green Opel Kadett wagon and that he would need some ‘elbow grease’ to accomplish that. The parts manager then sent him off to the Village Inn to get it.

At the age of 25, Scott became general manager. In 1999, he purchased the Toyota franchise. Since then, he has completed many dealership acquisitions. Past dealerships include Nissan, Toyota, Subaru, Volkswagen Mitsubishi, Isuzu, Lincoln, Mercury and Mazda in Greeley, along with Toyota and Chrysler Jeep Dodge RAM in Fort Morgan. Scott still has Kia in Longmont with Phil Marzolf and Toyota of Laramie with partner John Motschall.

Giving back to the Greeley community is important to Scott. In 2008, he founded the College Promise, which has helped hundreds of young people continue their education at Aims Community College, through the help of generous donations from families and businesses in the community.
Scott has served on numerous boards, including the Boys and Girls Club of Weld County, the Chamber of Commerce, Upstate Colorado Economic Development and the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association. He was Colorado’s nominee for the 2015 TIME Dealer of the Year award and received the Boy Scouts’ Sonny Mapelli Humanitarian Award, Weld County United Way Humanitarian Award, Greeley Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year and several others.

Scott married Holly in 1990 and they have three boys: Jacob and twins Emerson and Cameron.

Fred F. Emich, III

Emich Automotive Group

Fred Emich, III is a third-generation automobile dealer with more than 47 years of experience. He worked in every department of his father’s Ford dealership in Joliet, Illinois in high school and again after college graduation.

He credits his father as his mentor and from whom he learned that employee and customer satisfaction are the keys to success. Fred’s motivation to enter the automobile business came from his desire to buy and sell exotic cars.

In 1975, Fred moved to Colorado with his uncle to open Emich Oldsmobile, Inc. Starting with one location and 40 employees, the business expanded to nine locations, ten franchises and more than 500 employees.

In 1997, the dealerships joined AutoNation, Inc. Fred was the AutoNation district president from 1997-2004. He was awarded the company’s Tim Ping Award, AutoNation’s highest recognition to one employee for leadership, teamwork, dedication and integrity.

In 2006, Fred re-entered the retail auto business with son Fred Emich, IV and Bob Colbert, when they bought Luby Chevrolet and Mountain States Volkswagen.

Throughout its 45 years in business, the Emich Automotive Group has won numerous awards, including the GM Mark of Excellence and the Wolfsburg Crest Club.

Being inducted into the Colorado Automotive Hall of Fame is the pinnacle of Fred’s career. He was Colorado’s nominee for the 1998 TIME Quality Dealer of the Year award. He is a strong supporter of many community organizations, including the West Jefferson Chamber of Commerce, the Arvada ART Center, and Red Rocks Community College Foundation.

Fred has donated trucks to deliver expired food from grocery stores to the needy. He also sponsors the Emich Golf Tournament each year and gives all proceeds to one family dealing with a catastrophic event.

Fred believes people will always have cars, but how they are powered will evolve.

Mike Faricy

The Faricy Boys Chrysler Jeep

Mike Faricy comes from a line of “car guys” that began with a used car lot his father opened in Pueblo in 1942. It now is The Faricy Boys Automotive, including Chrysler Jeep in Colorado Springs, Ford in Cañon City, and Chevrolet, Ford, GMC, Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Ram in Salida.

Mike’s dad, Owen, and his uncle bought an AMC dealership in Colorado Springs. Owen relocated in 1957 to manage it. A formal split occurred in 1968 with Mike’s dad taking ownership in Colorado Springs.

Mike worked for his dad every summer after sixth grade, moving through departments. He majored in accounting at the University of Colorado, returning to the dealership in 1974, where he worked in every department, and learned practical automotive accounting from his mother. He assumed co-partnership with his father as president in 1984 and with brother Joe, finished buying his dad out in 1990.

They’d acquired Jeep in 1979. It was their mainstay until purchasing the Cañon City Ford dealership in 1992. The brothers were partners until 1998 when Mike became sole owner in Colorado Springs while Joe owned the Cañon City store. Mike’s sons, Paul and Ben, bought the Ford store back in 2017 and expanded to Salida in 2021.

Paul always wanted to be in the business, and Ben returned from Chicago to join them after a stint in finance. Mike required them both to work a year in each department plus a year with him. He says they saw things he couldn’t, and also allowed them to see employees’ work ethics. In 2005, with assistance from a consultant, his sons started to buy Mike out, completing the sale in 2012.

A territory conflict led The Faricy Boys to leave Motor City for North Colorado Springs. The dealership relocated in January 2003, expanding from 16,000 sf to 40,000 sf.

Mike held key positions at CADA, and served as chair. As vice chair he spearheaded the doubling of President’s Club membership and contributions for Colorado.

His last day working was when his wife, Betty, had a stroke in July, 2010, and Mike became her caregiver. They were childhood sweethearts, meeting in sixth grade, marrying in June 1972 and having four children. Betty has since recovered but Mike still enjoys doing the cooking.

Mike’s philanthropy has centered around his deep Catholic faith. He co-founded and provides major support to a maternity home for unwed mothers. He supports other pro-life ministries, Catholic Charities, and homeless rescue missions.

Bob Fisher

Fisher Chevrolet Honda

Bob Fisher was born in Denver in 1921 and attended school in Englewood, where he met his wife Madelyne Keating Fisher. He served in the Merchant Marines for one year, followed by four years in the Navy in the South Pacific until the end of World War II. Like many returning veterans,
Bob did not know what he wanted to do as a profession. Madelyne suggested automobile sales.

Bob began his career at a Pontiac dealership in Englewood in 1946, and a year later, went to work for Burt Chevrolet, Inc. In 1968, Bob left Burt Chevrolet as General Sales Manager to buy into Russ Lyons Chevrolet, Inc. in Boulder.

He had shaped his career with help from Madelyne; they always worked as a team. They realized their 1947 goal when they completed the buyout in 1973. Bob brought his children Craig and Lynn into the business the following year.

During Bob’s career, he managed to handle the auto industry’s ever-changing climate by representing other franchises, including Isuzu, Vixen Motorhome, Pontiac, Bertone, Fiat, Hyundai, and Honda.
Bob and Madelyne had a motto: “You succeed in life through other people. You can’t do it by yourself.” With that in mind, their philosophy from the beginning was focused on community, customer service, employees and family.

Bob was an avid supporter of the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association. He and Madelyne were politically and socially active to achieve positive legislation for automobile dealers. During his career, he received many awards, including Colorado’s nominee for the 1989 TIME Magazine Quality Dealer award. He received the 1976 Service Supremacy Award and the Honda President’s Award.

He was president of the Boulder Chamber of Commerce, Colorado Automobile Dealers Association and served as state legislative director for the American Import Automobile Dealers Association.

Bob passed away at the age of 86, during the summer of 2008. He would be so proud to be recognized by CADA and his fellow dealers.

Fletcher Flower

Flower Motor Company

Fletcher Flower’s roots in the car business go back to 1904, when his great-grandfather opened a carriage and bicycle business in Montrose. He was then awarded the Ford franchise in 1908 and then the Dodge Franchise in 1915. The business was passed down from generation to generation.

Fletcher is the fourth-generation car dealer in the family. Subaru was added to the dealership line-up in 1974, making Flower Subaru, the longest-running Subaru dealer in Colorado.

Fletcher left Montrose and graduated from Colorado State University. He worked in Denver for 10 years, providing business advisory services for large companies. At one point, he decided he wanted to be the person hiring advisors instead of the one giving consulting advice. His father had contacted him about coming home and working in the family business. Fletcher believes it is one of the best decisions he has ever made.

When Fletcher went to work at the dealership, it was truly a mom-and-pop business, where his dad was the dealer and sales manager and his mom kept the books. His brother was a salesman, and his sister did titles and finance. His great grandfather, Sid Hartman, drove the first car over Red Mountain Pass in 1917, just outside of Ouray by backing over the last bit of the pass when the car stalled approaching the summit.

Originally, there were 18 employees, including Fletcher, at the dealership. Today, there are four locations and more than 100 employees.

Fletcher believes one of the best parts of being a dealer is the opportunity to be involved with so many great organizations in his community. Also, he feels the need to be a leader in giving back to in his community.

For example, he was a major sponsor with the Boys and Girls Club’s new facility, the new hospice facility, the new community recreation center, and the new cancer center. Fletcher is most proud of developing his family’s small dealership into a business that people respect and makes his community a better place to live.

Fletcher was Colorado’s nominee for the 2020 TIME Dealer of the Year award. He is humbled to be associated with so many great people who have made this a well- respected industry in Colorado and is proud to be inducted into the Colorado Automotive Hall of Fame.

Joseph Anthony (Tony) Fortino

Fortino Jackson Chevrolet

Tony Fortino was born in Pueblo, Colorado. Tony’s father owned and operated a grocery store for 57 years, working seven days a week. His father was Tony’s role model for his solid work ethic; Tony worked in his grocery store for several years, before joining the U.S. Coast Guard.

After serving in World War II, Tony returned to the grocery store before opening his first used car lot. He then went to work at Jackson Chevrolet, and a few years later became a partner. They were partners at Fortino Jackson Chevrolet for 40 years before selling the dealership.

During his years in the automotive business, Tony was president of the Pueblo New Car Dealer Association and of the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association. In 1972, he was given the Northwood Institute Award for the dealer who did the most for dealers in Colorado and was Colorado’s 1979 nominee for the TIME Magazine Quality Dealer of the Year award.

Tony was involved in numerous community and business organizations over the years, including National Jewish Hospital, the Pueblo Chamber of Commerce, First National Bank, president of the Pueblo Development Foundation, chairman of the Planning and Zoning Commission for 10 of his 12 years of service, first chairman of the Pueblo Crime Stoppers, chairman of the Airport Advisory Board, chairman of the Pueblo Downtown Hotel Committee, Board of Trustees vice president of the Pueblo Vocational Community College and chairman of the Urban Renewal Authority.

Tony negotiated the purchase of property where the Pueblo Convention Center and Marriott Hotel now stand. Tony was also appointed by Governor Lamm to the Colorado State Highway Commission, where he served for a total of 20 years and saw the completion of the Glenwood Canyon Highway and T-Rex in south Denver.

Tony’s awards include the National Jewish Humanitarian Award (1977), an honorary Associate Degree and President’s Circle Award from Pueblo Community College (1990), the Red Cross Humanitarian Award in recognition of his outstanding support for the U.S. military (2012) and inducted to the Pueblo Centennial Hall of Fame.

Herrick Garnsey

Garnsey & Wheeler Ford

Herrick Garnsey was born in Denver in 1937 and grew up in Greeley. He received a bachelor’s degree in American Studies from Yale University. Following graduation, he joined the U.S. Naval War College Officer Candidate program in Newport, Rhode Island. After that, he returned to Greeley with his new wife, Diane Mehaffey Garnsey, to begin his career in the family’s Ford dealership.

Herrick is a third-generation member of Garnsey & Wheeler Ford, founded in 1922 by his grandfather and Mr. Hugh Wheeler. From the start, the partners based their relationship on trust, integrity and agreement. Their grit, innovation and commitment allowed them to survive tremendous odds.

The Garnsey & Wheeler business principles formed the basis of Herrick’s business philosophy. He joined the dealership in 1964. While he got in because he was the owner’s son, he realized that remaining there depended on learning the business from bottom to top. He went from cleaning parts bins to becoming a service advisor, which convinced him it is the good performance of the service department that brings customers back.

When he sold his 85-year-old family dealership in 2007, it may have been one of the oldest continuously owned family businesses in the state.

Through all the years in the auto business, it has been the people Herrick met who made his career a joy. Loyal employees taught him how much dealers depend on the staff. He continues to meet previous employees and customers who refer to Garnsey & Wheeler as an outstanding place to do business.

Herrick believes society’s future transportation needs will continue to be best served by cars and trucks because most people insist on controlling when and where they want to go. Also, he believes there is a social obligation to give back to the community.

While in business, he gave back by participating in the Chamber of Commerce; the United Way; cofounding the Dayspring Christian Academy, a P/K- 12 private school; 4-H livestock sales and many other community organizations in and around Greeley. He was Colorado’s nominee for the 1994 TIME Quality Dealer of the Year award.

Herrick feels blessed for having a successful career in the automobile business and is honored to be inducted into the Colorado Automotive Hall of Fame.

Paul Gebhardt

Gebhardt Automotive

Family ties run deep in Colorado’s automotive industry. Often generational, sometimes they are founded by marriage. Or both, as in the case with the Gebhardt and Davidson families.

Paul Gebhardt’s father was a Chevrolet dealer in Iowa and once worked for Chevrolet Motor Division. After Paul graduated from college and served in the Marines, he found work with Motors Insurance Corporation and then became district manager for Chevrolet in various locations in Illinois and Iowa. Reluctant to move his seven children to the Kansas City zone, Paul bought a small Chevy store in Washington, Iowa. He sold that store in the early 70s. A deal on a new dealership in Colorado Springs fell through.

With nothing on the horizon, Paul drove up and down the Front Range looking for an opportunity. He landed a position as a district manager with BMW serving Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah. When Helmut Seifert wanted to sell his small BMW-Saab-Fiat dealership in Boulder in 1975, Paul bought the store.

With just a handful of employees, the family dealership began to expand and grow. Son Joe joined the company after college graduation. Gradually, Paul added Lincoln-Mercury in 1978. They kept Lincoln-Mercury for several years. Paul kept expanding and over the years held franchises for Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, BMW, Fiat, Lancia, Volkswagen, Izusu, Porsche and Lincoln-Mercury.

Joe, married into the Davidson family, joining his father-in-law’s Loveland dealership. Today, Gebhardt BMW continues to be owned and operated by Jim Gebhardt, with Anne, Mike and Tom still part of the team. Daughters Susan and Carol also held positions in the automotive field at one time or another over many years.

Paul’s success was grounded in his desire to take care of both customers and employees. He grew his team to as many as 150. He was also very community oriented, serving as a city councilman in Washington, Iowa and as a president of both YMCA chapters in Washington and Boulder.

Paul and his wife Phyllis supported Boulder Community Hospital and the Gebhardt dealership sponsored countless youth activities, community food share, golf tournaments, the Gary Barnett Foundation and most any CU-related event.

Joe Gebhardt says that his father, who died in August 2020 at 90 years old, was immensely proud to be an auto dealer, thinking it is a worthy profession that often is not portrayed as it deserves. Paul was definitely driven, passionate and proud to be part of the automotive industry. He supported CADA and was a past member and president of the Colorado Motor Vehicle Dealer Licensing Board.

Paul was grateful for his family’s automotive heritage and pleased that many of his children and grandchildren continue in the automotive industry today.

Emcee Intro:
Paul Gebhardt was the son of an Iowa Chevrolet Oldsmobile Cadillac dealer and the proud father of a large family – several still active in the family’s dealership. Paul bought a small BMW store with a handful of employees in Boulder and over the years saw his team grow to more than 150 while representing numerous brands. He was active in CADA and his community and was proud of the part he played in the automotive industry.

Bob Ghent

Ghent Motor Company

Bob Ghent grew up ski racing with his brothers and father every weekend. He participated in the sport at the University of Colorado, where he received a bachelor’s degree in Economics. However, he never intended to use it, since he was set on being a ski bum.

Bob is a third-generation automobile dealer in Northern Colorado. In 1942, his grandfather opened a Ford store in Fort Collins. His father followed in his footsteps and owned the dealership for 45 years.

Once Bob realized he wanted to pursue a career in the automobile industry, his father sent him to the NADA Dealer Candidate Academy in Mclean, VA. He bought into his father’s business, then went on to purchase a Chevrolet dealership in Greeley in 1988. In 1990, he built a new facility in West Greeley, then added Cadillac to the franchise in 1999. He credits his dealerships’ success to his customers and the hard work of his 65 employees.

In 2013, he received the Bravo Entrepreneurship Award, which celebrates excellence in Northern Colorado. His dealership has ranked among Northern Colorado Business Report’s Mercury 100 fastest-growing companies. He was Colorado’s nominee for the 2013 TIME Dealer of the Year Award.

Bob has been involved in a number of professional and community organizations such as serving as Secretary, Treasurer, Vice President and President of the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association. He served as a member of the National Automobile Dealers Association Presidents Club, president of the Greeley Chamber of Commerce, member of the Greeley Rotary Club, board member of the Millbank Society for Boys and Girls Club, chair of the Automotive Division of the United Way of Weld County and business community division captain for the Northern Colorado Medical Center Foundation’s Monfort Children’s Clinic, which provides medical care to low-income families.

Yet among all those accolades and good deeds, he is most proud of his 31-year marriage to Ann and their two children.

Dwight Ghent

Ghent Motor Company

Dwight Ghent was born in Craig, Colorado in 1922, after which his family moved to Fort Collins. At age 16, Dwight joined the Colorado National Guard, but was too young to be deployed. He enrolled at Colorado State University for one year before enlisting to serve in World War II.

After the war, he attended the University of Colorado and received a degree in business. In recognition of his war service, Dwight received many honors, including Northern Colorado Veterans of Foreign Wars Statue, Air Medal with Two Oak Leaf Clusters, European African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, American Service Medal, Distinguished Unit Badge and the World War II Victory Medal.

During the war, Dwight gained an understanding and passion for the automobile industry. In high school, he was a part-time employee of Chol-Ghent Motors in Ft. Collins. After his military service and graduation from college, he became a salesman with the dealership, working his way up to president.
The company was renamed The Ghent Motor Company in 1945 and continued to operate for 52 years. In 1966, the dealership relocated to south Ft. Collins where the facilities were “designed not only for interior and exterior beauty, but to provide the ultimate in automotive service.”

Dwight had many professional accomplishments, including director of First National Bank in Ft. Collins, chairman of The United Way and director of the Fort Collins Chamber of Commerce.

He held all the board of director leadership positions for the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association (CADA) from 1966 to 1971 and was president of the Fort Collins Automobile Dealers Association. While president of CADA, he was instrumental in passing legislation to license all automobile dealers and salesman to better serve the public. He was also very involved in his community as a member and director of various Ft. Collins organizations. He received the TIME Magazine National Automobile Quality Dealer of the Year for Colorado in 1980.

He packed so much life into his 97 years. Dwight was a diligent husband and father, acute businessman, respected community leader and a man of true integrity.

A.J. Guanella

John Elway Chevrolet

Sitting behind a desk piled high with clippings, photos, email printouts and toy Chevrolet cars, A.J. Guanella holds forth on the more than 70 years’ worth of auto industry memories.

In 1949, AJ began working in the parts department at Englewood’s Burt Chevrolet as a teenager, where his dad, Augie, was parts manager. Rather than attending college in Greeley on a baseball scholarship, he joined the Navy in 1951. He returned full-time to Burt in 1954.

Because he wanted to do more, A.J. moved into sales six years later, and enjoyed remarkable success. In fact, he did so well, Chevrolet picked HIS brain. In March 1973, just before he became sales manager, A.J. sold 74 vehicles — his best sales month.

Really, that was just the beginning for A.J., as he climbed from there to General Sales Manager, Executive Vice President, General Manager and in 1988, he took 15 percent ownership in Burt Chevrolet-Subaru.

When Burt was sold to John Elway, Mitch Pierce and Todd Maul in 2011, A.J. told the trio he wanted to stay and they encouraged him to continue what he did when he was the owner. It was the only direction he ever was given and A.J. stayed on as ‘Store Ambassador.’

A.J. has been very involved in his community and Colorado’s automotive industry. He served as director on the CADA Board, as well as director and president of the Metro Denver Auto Dealers.

He’s still active with the Englewood Chamber of Commerce and is a life member of the Colorado PGA Jr. Golf Program. He’s raised funds for Littleton Boys Baseball, sponsored the Littleton Meals on Wheels Golf Tournament and provided cars for the State Patrol’s MADD program, to name just a few. Since 1959 he’s been an usher at All Souls Catholic Church.

A.J. loves to tell the story about how he worked to keep the AFL Denver Broncos in town by selling season tickets to all the dealers on South Broadway. That time was a good investment because he met so many people — and even got a job offer from a Ford dealer. Naturally, he turned it down because he was so happy at Burt.

There’s no question that being inducted into the Colorado Automotive Hall of Fame is an honor, A.J. observed. And in typical A.J. style, he added that he feels everything he’s done was not so much for himself as it was for the dealerships he served.

Vern Hagestad

Vern Hagestad Volkswagen

Verndayne (Vern) Hagestad quit school in the eighth grade so he could work to help support his mother, brothers and sisters. He started his entrepreneurship journey by purchasing a grocery store in Rapid City, South Dakota and got into the car business when he moved to Cheyenne and worked as a salesman for Cheyenne Lincoln Mercury. He eventually purchased that dealership in 1957 and changed the name to Vern Hagestad Motor Company.

In 1959, Vern sold the dealership in Wyoming and moved to Lakewood, Colorado when he was awarded the Volkswagen and Porsche dealership. He opened the dealership on Colfax Avenue in January 1960. Vern wasn’t interested in selling those ‘sporty little cars,’ so he split the Porsche dealership from Volkswagen and moved it a few blocks west, where son Bob ran it.

Vern’s was a family business; son Bruce and son-in-law Ron Schonebaum worked for him. He treated employees as family, with big Christmas parties every year for employees’ families — and giving presents to their children. Vern gave employees a vacation day on their birthday, as well. He was the president and general manager of the Volkswagen dealership until he sold it in 1977.

Vern supported many organizations, including the Mile High United Way, Jefferson County 4-H Clubs, Children’s Hospital, National Jewish Hospital, his grandchildrens’ sports teams and several others. He served on the CADA Board of Directors in 1967, 1968 and 1969. He was Colorado’s nominee for the 1973 TIME Quality Dealer of the Year.

He married Geneva Running on June 24, 1933 in Fargo, North Dakota; they had three children: Robert, Barbara and Bruce, as well as eight grandchildren. Vern passed away April 23, 1983.

While managing the Volkswagen dealership, Vern would send thank you notes to all his customers, with a handwritten message of the following:

• Upward and Onward.
• Believe in yourself.
• Believe in humanity.
• Believe in the success of your undertakings.
• Fear nothing and no one.
• Love your work.
• Work. Hope. Trust.
• Keep in touch with today.
• Teach yourself to be practical, up to date and sensible.
• Plan your work and work your plan.
• You cannot fail.
• It’s a real pleasure doing business with you.

Bill Hellman

Hellman Motor Company

Born in Dodge City, Kansas, Bill Hellman moved to Delta, Colorado in 1955 at the age of two. He attended Mesa State College and Western State College, earning a business and accounting degree. Bill grew up around the automobile business, and when he was nine, he began sweeping and waxing floors and washing cars.

His father had a strong influence on him, and taught Bill the community is what builds the business. It was his responsibility to serve and help the community grow. Bill believes it was also the great people working for his father who kept pulling him toward the automobile business.

Bill’s father originally went to Delta to buy the Chevrolet store, but the cost was just too high. While waiting at the bus stop, a man told him the Ford store was for sale, so Bill’s father went over to look at it, and the price was right. That summer, Bill’s family came to town in two new 1955 Chevrolets to run the Ford store.

Bill acquired the Chrysler Dodge franchise in 1981, then the Toyota franchise in 1988. He and his brother Matt have done their best to give back to the county that has supported them for so long. In addition to sponsoring countless youth ball teams, they have contributed to many 4-H kids, honors programs in schools, sober graduation night parties for high school seniors, at-risk kids’ programs like Families Plus, Rotary scholarship programs, events at the Delta County Fair and programs that provide weekend food to needy children. They also work with hospice, Partners, Altrusa Literacy projects, Dream Catcher Therapy & Horse Rescue, and provide vehicles for KVNF Public Radio station vehicle raffles. He was Colorado’s nominee for the 2017 TIME Dealer of the Year award.

Bill and wife Jeanie have two children, Patrick and Holly. He’s proud both are in the car business. Bill has had many long-term employees who have helped build and guide the business throughout the years. It is because of them that he is honored to be in the Colorado Automobile Hall of Fame.

Don Hicks

Shortline Auto Group

Don Hicks began his career in 1972 as a salesperson at Courtesy Ford. He left 14 years later as the General Manager. From August 1986 to August 1987, Don was the General Manager of Leo Payne Imports in Lakewood, where he was responsible for the Mercedes-Benz, Volvo and Subaru franchises.

In September 1987, Don established Shortline Auto Group in Aurora, which operated several automotive franchises including Subaru, Mazda, Suzuki, Volkswagen, Kia, Hyundai and Porsche. Don has served as the President and CEO of Shortline Auto Group since its inception. The Shortline Subaru dealership was the second-highest- volume Subaru store in the United States, and the Shortline Hyundai store was the second-highest-volume Hyundai dealership in Colorado year after year. Shortline Mazda was consistently the second-highest-volume dealership in Colorado.

Don served as a member of the Subaru Chairman’s Roundtable, comprised of the top 25 Subaru dealers in the nation for more than 20 years. Currently, he is Dealer Principal of Shortline Buick-GMC, located in Aurora, and Porsche Colorado Springs.

Don is proud of his Mexican-American heritage and leadership position within the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers. This gives him the opportunity to advocate for Latino and other under-represented groups in the automotive industry.

Don is a nine-year Board of Director member of the National Automobile Dealers Association. As part of the responsibility of his NADA Board seat, he represents minority dealers West of the Mississippi. He also serves as the industry relations representative for NADA with Porsche. He was Colorado’s nominee for the 2008 TIME Dealer of the Year award.

Additionally, Don is a member of the American International Auto Dealers Association, where he served as Chairman from 2002-2003. Also, Don is a three-time Chairman of the Subaru National Retailers Advisory Board.

Tim Jackson

Colorado Auto Dealers Association

Tim Jackson, a Hamilton, Missouri native, started a successful automotive service center and then transitioned to association management with the Missouri Junior Chamber of Commerce (Jaycees) and the Missouri Police Chiefs Association (MPCA), where he helped pay off a 20-year mortgage 17 years early.

In 1995, he became chief staff officer of the United States Jaycees, managing 3,000 chapters and 400,000+ members. As Colorado State Director of the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) in 1997, he met CADA’s Bill Barrow. Tim joined CADA on November 1, 2004.

Tim’s priority was passing legislation to protect Colorado dealers. Over 18 years, he secured 23 franchise law changes and resisted Sunday sales repeal efforts. He initiated over 900 Legislative Grassroots Meetings (LGMs), calling them “our secret sauce” for legislative victories.

He organized the Clear the Air Foundation (CTAF), recycling 6,500+ high-emitting vehicles and providing scholarships for 100+ auto tech students. CADA also donated $1 million in 2012 for a scholarship endowment.

Tim built relationships among Colorado’s new car dealers, organized the Denver Auto Show, and maintained a high industry profile. During his tenure, CADA’s revenues and assets more than doubled, growing from $5 million to over $12 million. Tim is renowned for his energy and relentless advocacy for the auto industry.

Joe Luby

Luby Chevrolet

In 1920, the Luby family entered the car business in Denver, when Sam Luby, one of five brothers, purchased a Ford dealership.

Three years later, Sam and brother Louis took on the Hudson-Essex franchise. A third brother, Henry, joined them in 1930, when the family dropped Ford, Hudson and
Essex and became Chevrolet dealers.

As a boy, Joe Luby started working for his brothers doing odd jobs and working in the parts and sales departments. The business was prospering in 1956, when Joe, affectionately known as ‘Papa Joe,’ bought out his brothers. Two advertising campaigns, ‘I Love Luby’ and ‘Papa Joe Luby,’ kept things booming for the dealership into the 1970s.

The dealership left downtown Denver in 1972, and moved into a new dealership structure on South Wadsworth Boulevard in Lakewood. After longtime General Manager Joe Tittman resigned in 1974, he searched for a successor, and for three years, used several men in the key position. Then in 1977, Richard Fleischman, Joe’s son-in-law, joined the company as vice president and general counsel.

Joe was Colorado’s nominee for the 1987 TIME Quality of the Year award.

One of Colorado’s four oldest dealerships, Luby Chevrolet was sold in 1998 to Houston- based Group 1 Automotive, Inc.

G. Russel “Russ” Lyons

Lyons Motor Company

G. Russel “Russ” Lyons was involved in athletics as a baseball pitcher for the St. Louis Browns before enlisting in the Army Air Corp for six years. Russ moved to Denver from Illinois in 1948 to coach the Denver Chevrolet Basketball team, while serving as sales manager for Murphy Mahoney Chevrolet.

He became part owner of Pike-Lyons Chevrolet in Boulder in 1954. He bought the dealership in 1957 and changed the name to Russ Lyons Chevrolet. In 1964, he built new facilities at 2525 Canyon Blvd.

He owned the dealership until he sold to Bob Fisher in 1974. He bought Jeffries Motor Co. in Boulder in 1971, changed the name to Lyons Motor Co., then later sold to his son, Tom Lyons.

Russ served as National Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Basketball Chairman for 12 years and later was manager and chairman of the U.S. Olympic AAU basketball team for three Olympic Games.

He was manager of the first American athletic team to visit the Soviet Union in 1958. He managed the U.S. Olympic basketball team at the Sapporo Olympic Games in 1964 and was assistant manager of the U.S. Olympic team at the Mexico City Olympic Games in 1968.

Russ Lyons was Colorado’s nominee for the 1970 TIME Quality Dealer of the Year, while he owned the Chevrolet dealership. He passed away in 1996 at the age of 85.

Jack Maffeo

Craig Chevrolet

Jack Maffeo was born in Denver in 1914. He graduated from North High School, followed by serving as a Major in the U.S. Army during World War II.

Jack began his automotive career in a parts warehouse for Chevrolet. After returning from the War, he joined Craig Frederick Chevrolet in Arvada as a sales manager.

In 1950, he established Maffeo Chevrolet Cadillac in Torrington, Wyoming. Four years later, he sold that dealership and became an owner and general manager of Craig Chevrolet.

During his time as a Chevrolet dealer, Jack was very active in the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association and in community affairs. In 1982, Jack was Colorado’s nominee for the TIME Magazine Quality Dealer award.

Jack retired in 1985, and moved to Scottsdale, Arizona where he renewed his passion for golf.

He was married to Jeanne for 62 years. They were blessed with three children, Linda, Bill and Joan, along with three grandchildren who were the apples of Jack’s eye.

Gene Markley

Markley Motors

When Fred Markley moved to Fort Collins, 13-year-old son Gene was already getting involved in the automobile business. He learned the business by working odd jobs, from sweeping floors to working in the shop.

Although Gene took a job as a civil engineer after graduating from Colorado State University, he couldn’t stay away from the car business. By the early 1950s, he was fully involved in the family dealership.

Throughout the years, Gene committed himself to improving the automobile industry and its reputation with the public. He was a member of many auto-related organizations. In 1971, he was Colorado’s nominee for the TIME Magazine Quality Dealer Award. He served as the president of the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association and the Motor Vehicle Dealer Board.

Gene always believed in giving back to the community in the way it had given to him. He was committed to philanthropy and improving his community. Gene volunteered in many positions, including the Poudre School District Board, Poudre Valley Hospital Foundation Board and the Rotary Club of Fort Collins Board, where he served as president.

Gene served as the past president of the Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce. He received many accolades for his generosity and time, including the Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Hope Award, Better Business Bureau’s Torch Award, the Northern Colorado Community Foundation’s Founders Award and Bravo Entrepreneur Lifetime Achievement Award.

According to a letter Gene wrote to his great-granddaughter Ashlee in 2005, one of the greatest highlights of his life was becoming President of the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association. His family knows Gene would be humbled and very proud to be inducted into the Colorado Automotive Hall of Fame.

Robert H. Markley

Markley Greeley

Robert “Bob” Markley was born in Fort Morgan in 1926. When he was 10 years old, Bob’s family moved to
Fort Collins.

Upon graduation from high school, he joined the Coast Guard and spent two years on the eastern seaboard. In 1946, he enrolled in Colorado A&M (CSU) and received a bachelor’s degree in Business Economics. After that, he was awarded a commission as second lieutenant in field artillery and honorably discharged in 1955.

While attending college, Bob worked for his father — who was his mentor and best friend — at Markley Motor Sales where, among a wide variety of tasks, he drove trucks from Detroit to Fort Collins.

Bob became a junior partner in the business, learning all aspects of automotive sales and service. Later, he became business partners with his brother Gene. Together, they sold Chrysler Plymouth Dodge products. In 1968, when he had an opportunity to purchase a Volkswagen dealership in Greeley, Bob sold his share of the Fort Collins business to his brother and moved his family to Greeley.

In Greeley, he expanded the original Volkswagen business and added more franchises, which included Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Saab, Mazda and Isuzu. His sons David and Danny joined him in the business after they graduated from college. David has an automotive bachelor’s degree.

Bob feels strongly about contributing to the community and did this by serving two terms as Greeley mayor. He was a board member of the Poudre Valley National Bank, Longs Peak Boy Scout Council, United Bank of Greeley, the Salvation Army, and CADA. Bob served as the president of the boards of the Lion’s Club, United Way, and Greeley Auto Dealers Association. He was also founder and president of the Fort Collins Country Club.

Bob was awarded the Quality Dealer Award from the Chrysler and Dodge corporations and was Colorado’s nominee for the 1990 TIME Quality Dealer of the Year award.

Bob has been blessed with six children through two marriages, and has packed a lot of living into his 94 years. He is so proud to have been associated with such outstanding dealers in Colorado for more than 45 years.

Todd Maul

John Elway Dealerships

In 1981, Todd Maul’s automotive career began at a small store with a great teacher in Hastings, Nebraska at Jerry Spady Pontiac, Cadillac, GMC, AMC, Jeep, Renault and DeLorean.

He moved to Denver in 1984 to work for Bill Crouch Motor Company. One year later, he was recruited by Spedding Chevrolet, where he met Marshall Chesrown.

Between 1986 and 1997, Marshall Chesrown bought a number of dealerships with Todd as his right-hand man. In May 1997, he and his partners sold all six of the stores to AutoNation. Between 1997 and 2001, Todd ran 18 One Price stores. He then moved to Florida and ran 28 stores for AutoNation.

Returning to Denver, he ran 56 AutoNation stores in Arizona, Nevada, Colorado and Washington. By 2007, Todd was running 80 dealerships for AutoNation. Two years later, he left AutoNation and took a year off.

In 2009, Todd and his partners acquired their own stores. John Elway Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram in Greeley was opened in 2010; Burt Chevrolet (now John Elway Chevrolet) was then added. In 2012, Todd and his partners purchased Mike Shaw Chevrolet/Saab, and it became John Elway Chevrolet. In 2014, that store was traded for Don Massey Cadillac, which is now John Elway Cadillac.

Todd served on the national Chevrolet Dealer Council from 2014 – 2018, as Chair of the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association and was Chair of the Denver Auto Show’s Charity Preview Party in 2014.

He is active in the community through each store. John Elway Dealership Group proudly supports many organizations, including National Sports Center for the Disabled, TLC Meals on Wheels, Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, Boys and Girls Club of America, National Jewish Health and many local schools and youth sports.

Todd founded Carrie’s Cause, a charity that honors his late wife and raises funds for poinsettias that volunteers hand deliver to nursing home residents during the holiday season.

In 2018, Todd was Colorado’s nominee for the TIME Dealer of the Year award. Also, Todd was recognized as Colorado’s Dealer of the Year in 2017.

Todd and wife Lisa have six children and seven grandchildren.

George McCaddon

McCaddon Oldsmobile Cadillac Buick GMC

Denver native George McCaddon was born on September 11, 1920 to George Damen McCaddon and Gertrude Maxwell McCaddon. During World War II, he served as a pilot and captain in the United States Army Air Corp from 1942 – 1945.

His wife, Mary, to whom he married in 1943, also was a native of Denver.

George started his automotive career at Greenlease-O’Neill in Kansas City. He loved the business and actively pursued a franchise opportunity in Colorado. In 1958, he established the McCaddon Oldsmobile Cadillac Automobile dealership in Boulder. McCaddon (Motors Holding) is currently in only the third location since 1958, and all have been located in Boulder.

George McCaddon was Colorado’s nominee for the 1978 TIME Magazine Quality Dealer Award for his outstanding work as a dealer, as well as his valued contributions in the community. He was elected to multiple terms as director of the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association and served as its president in 1976.

His dealership received many awards over the years for service excellence and he was recognized personally within the Boulder community as an outstanding businessman. George was proud of his tenure on the CADA Board of Directors and being elected president. He felt it was a most rewarding and fulfilling time in his career.

Doug McDonald

McDonald Automotive

Douglas McDonald is CEO of McDonald Automotive Group, a family owned group of 11 dealerships and a collision center in Littleton, Lakewood, Greeley and Fort Morgan.

Born in Yakima, Washington, his father, Stanley McDonald, started selling Dodge automobiles in 1926, two years out of high school. In 1949, he bought a Dodge Plymouth and Truck store in Roswell, New Mexico. Stanley bought the second store, a Volkswagen franchise in New Mexico in 1958 and a third Volkswagen store in Denver in 1964.

In 1965, Doug and his parents, along with his wife Linda and their two small boys in tow, opened the Volkswagen store on South Broadway. In 56 years, that store has grown from one new car franchise to 11: Volkswagen, Audi, Hyundai, Genesis, Volvo, Polestar, two Mazda stores in the Metro Denver area, Toyota in Greeley and Toyota and Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram in Fort Morgan.

Doug and Linda met at the University of Oklahoma. Today, Linda and Doug have five sons, 18 grandchildren and three great grandchildren. Three sons run the current operations as the third generation. Michael serves as President, Jim as Vice President and Bruce as Insurance Director.

Doug has represented his industry locally by serving as District Director, Vice Chairman and Chairman of the Board of the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association and served twice as the national Chairman of the U.S. Volkswagen Dealer Council. He was Colorado’s nomination for the 1991 TIME Quality Dealer of the Year award. He served on the Board of Regents for Colorado Christian University and as Board member of Encounter Church and Marilyn Hickey Ministries.

Over the years, McDonald Automotive Group has supported organizations such as Children’s Diabetes Foundation with two golf fundraisers (one in Denver and one in Las Vegas), Denver Rescue Mission, Salvation Army and many local organizations, schools and churches.

John Medved

Medved Autoplex

Raised in Detroit, John Medved grew up close to his family, church and poverty. He worked delivering newspapers, as an iron worker on a Chrysler assembly line, and selling new cars to fund his college education. After graduating from college, he joined the Navy and entered flight school. After
his military service, he returned to the automotive business.

John purchased Craig Chevrolet in 1988 and that year, formed Medved Chevrolet, Inc. From 1988-2020, he served as CEO/President of Medved Autoplex, and developed it into one of the largest multifranchise automotive retail outlets in Colorado. During the early 1990s, Medved was the country’s largest Geo dealership and was still ranked as one of the top-performing dealers in metro Denver when he sold his interests in 2020.

In 1995, the company purchased Castle Rock Ford Lincoln Mercury, now known as the Medved Autoplex Castle Rock, and along with Ford, sold Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram, Chevrolet, Buick and GMC. The Medved dealerships were the largest employer in Castle Rock and the second largest employer in Wheat Ridge.

John is dedicated to his core values: Family, community and work. His community involvement includes major sponsorship of several schools, such as the University of Colorado and the University of Northern Colorado.

He actively participates in chambers of commerce in the communities where he does business, and his generosity is well known in the medical community. John is past president of the Metro Denver Automobile Dealers Association and has served as the board director of the Jefferson County Economic Development Commission, Castle Rock Economic Development Company and the Southeast Business Partners Association.

He has been the past president of the Local Marketing Group for Chevrolet and Cadillac, and was appointed by two governors to sit for two terms on the Motor Vehicle Dealer Board, where two years were served as president.

John has received many honors and awards, including Pillars of the Community Award in 2000, Businessman of the Year by Wheat Ridge and Castle Rock, and was Colorado’s nominee for the 2009 Colorado TIME Dealer of the Year award.

John has been married for 43 years, is the father of six children and grandfather of 13 grandchildren.

Larry H. and Gail Miller

The Larry H. Miller Company

Schoolmates since age 12 and sweethearts since they were teenagers, Larry H. and Gail Miller built an automotive empire encompassing seven Western states, the Utah Jazz, Salt Lake Bees, and a movie theatre chain. Based in Utah, the company sold its existing 69 dealerships, including 13 in Colorado, to the Asbury Automotive Group in December 2021.

After high school graduation in 1962, Larry worked briefly in construction before going to work at an automotive parts store. With his photographic memory, he knew every part in inventory. When he and Gail were married in 1965, Larry asked for – and was refused – a raise. He moved on, eventually landing in 1970 at Colorado’s Stevinson Toyota as parts manager. His phenomenal success led to becoming general manager and then operations manager for Stevinson’s five dealerships.

Chuck Stevinson asked Larry to instruct his sons in the business, which he did; however, while vacationing in Utah in 1979, Larry agreed to purchase his first Toyota dealership, which was just the beginning. His first Colorado purchase was Tom Lyons Hyundai in Boulder, followed by a Hyundai and two Toyota dealerships – owned by Gene Osborn, who Larry knew from when they worked together at Stevinson.

While Gail was home raising the couple’s five children, Larry always kept her informed of the business. As he bought and sold dealerships and other automotive businesses, Gail said she questioned why. The first dealership supported their family, but Larry said he kept going to keep providing jobs and returning resources to the community, which would support their businesses in a virtual cycle. Not surprisingly, dealers wanting to sell sought out Larry because they admired his ethics and acumen.

The Millers’ mission is to use their resources to enrich lives. In that vein, there is also a scholarship fund for diverse, first-generation students at the University of Utah. They viewed their businesses as ways to enhance their community.

Larry died in 2009 from diabetes and Gail realized, as the owner, she had to immerse herself in the business. She also ramped up her philanthropy by focusing on education, health, women, children, and homelessness. Larry’s diabetes led to supporting the University of Utah’s “Driving out Diabetes” initiative.

Both Larry and Gail are in the Utah Automobile Dealers Hall of Fame, and Gail has been recognized by Cox Automotive as its Woman of the Year.

Jim Morehart

Morehart Murphy Regional Auto Center

Jim Morehart was 16 when he began working at Morehart Chevrolet during the summers. In his senior year at the University of Colorado, his father passed away, and Jim dropped out of school to work full time, then later finished his bachelor’s degree at Fort Lewis College.

He was fortunate his father had many loyal employees and dealer friends who helped him those first few years, because Jim took over the business at 22. His father’s underlying philosophy of life and business was “treat your fellow man with dignity and respect,” advice Jim has followed his entire career.

Jim is proud to have 51 years in this business and for being able to raise his family in Durango. To survive the Great Recession, Jim and GM Jeep dealer Pat Murphy merged their dealerships on January 1, 2009 and became Morehart Murphy Regional Auto Center franchised to sell Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Ram, Jeep, Dodge, Chrysler and Subaru.

With the dedication of their employees and business partner Greg Rowland, the business has thrived and continues expanding with a newly completed Subaru facility.

The many changes that have occurred in his 51 years include the number and variety of products offered by domestic and foreign manufacturers; vast improvements in vehicle safety, emissions, technology, quality and reliability and a focus on the customer experience.

Challenges going forward include continuing to meet growing customer expectations, navigating the digital world, satisfying manufacturers’ requirements and the emergence of major online retailers into the automobile business.

Because an automobile dealership incorporates all business disciplines under one roof — marketing, sales, service and financing — Jim believes no other trade performs all of these business disciplines. He feels it is what makes the automobile business a challenging and exciting business model.

Jim owes much of his success to his loyal customer base in Southwestern Colorado, and will continue to support the community through his focus on education, youth, health care and human services. Jim was Colorado’s nominee for the 2004 TIME Dealer of the Year award. He is honored to be included in the inaugural class of the Colorado Automotive Hall of Fame.

Married for 50 years, Jim and Jane have three daughters, and their families all reside in Durango.

Doug Moreland

Moreland Auto Group

When asked who Dealin’ Doug Moreland credits as his life mentor, he’s quick to tell you it’s his dad. Doug’s father gave up a college football scholarship to serve in the war. Upon return, he married and supported a family of eight. Despite working two jobs, he never missed his kids’ events — and demonstrated that family is most important in life.

Doug put himself through college and because he needed a job that worked with his school schedule, decided to be a car lot boy. In 1968, while working for Reno Dodge in Nevada they said, “Why don’t we teach you how to sell cars?”

After his first sale, a Chevy Corvair, Doug knew this was the career for him. His success at Reno Dodge got Chrysler’s attention and in 1980, Doug was asked to go to Denver, sight unseen, to fix a failing Dodge store. Seeing just how bad it was, Doug thought he’d made a terrible mistake and was headed home.

Because of a missed flight and some gentle urging from wife Candi, (buckle up buttercup!), Doug stayed and turned around Cherry Creek Dodge in less than a year. After the first month with positive cash flow, he let staff buy a coffee pot!

Doug is proud that his dealerships give great people the opportunity to provide a good life for their families. He was Colorado’s nominee for the 2011 TIME Dealer of the Year award. Being inducted in the Colorado Automotive Hall of Fame the same year he celebrated working in Colorado 40 years had a great ring to it – and he’s all about rings!

He believes in giving back to our communities. Doug & Candi support the Cancer League of Colorado, in honor of family members, and hope that a cure will be found one day.

He knows innovation makes better vehicles and that families need a reliable, affordable vehicle, along with the freedom of personal transportation.

He feels people need a relationship with a local dealer for advice, expertise and service for their second-largest purchase. Giving the customer the best care is always the key to success… that and the best Dealin’ Doug Deal. Nobody beats a Dealin’ Doug Deal!

Brian O’Meara

O’Meara Motors

Brian O’Meara always figured he’d end up in the family automobile business, but it was his stint as a musician that gave him the financial ability to buy in early.

Brian’s mother insisted her children acquire a background in the arts, so at Regis Jesuit High School Brian played the trumpet and the guitar, which led to forming a band – The Daniels – that was very successful locally and even went touring with ‘60s-era national acts.

He says that he was wise enough to see there wasn’t much future in music. He’d worked off and on for his family’s O’Meara Ford dealership, and studied business at the University of Denver, but it was Brian’s success playing rock music that earned him enough money that he had the ability to purchase a stake in O’Meara Ford in 1968.

Taking advice from his dealer colleagues, Al O’Meara, Jr. promoted Brian to general manager in 1974. At just 26, Brian thought he’d benefit from more seasoning, but he was suddenly in charge, and had to learn quickly. He says Al gave him the flexibility to make mistakes, learn important lessons and achieve success. They made a good team.

Now he’s following the same path for the next generations of O’Mearas. Sons Evan and Paige wanted to continue in the family business. Brian says they have a close relationship and collaborate well as co-equal vice presidents of O’Meara Ford. And while Brian continues as CEO, he and his long-time partner and wife, Bonnie, spend much of their time in Arizona.

Ford has been the O’Meara family’s mainstay, but they’ve made additions and subtractions over the years: motor homes, a rental company, Isuzu and Suzuki franchises. Brian says he was happy with the successful Ford store but his sons argued that survival in an automotive landscape increasingly dominated by corporate dealerships depended on growing. So 10 years ago they bought a Volkswagen franchise followed by purchasing a GMC point from Doug Moreland five years ago. Brian helped with financing, but has just a small stake.

Colorado charities are important to the O’Mearas and Brian’s philanthropic endeavors have touched thousands of lives. He is a long-time board member and donor for the University of Colorado Eye Institute. He supports the Morgan Adams Children’s Cancer research effort. And as a replica model plane enthusiast, he’s worked with Wings Over the Rockies. He and Bonnie founded Warbirds Over the Rockies model airplane event, which has provided funding for mental health research.

Besides their model airplane passion, Brian and Bonnie stay fit by hiking, traveling and dancing the tango.

Al O’Meara, Jr.

O’Meara Ford

Alfred O’Meara, Jr. was the second generation in what has become one of Colorado’s oldest and most enduring automotive families. After two years at Notre Dame University, 19-year-old Al, Jr. returned in 1938 to steer the dealership his father began in 1913 into the future.

When Pearl Harbor was bombed, the O’Mearas bought up every available part, a strategy that kept O’Meara Ford alive while Ford manufactured war materiel instead of cars.
Al joined the Navy in 1942, serving as skipper of a Saipan-based LCT troop carrier and escaping a Japanese kamikaze bombing raid. He rejoined the dealership in 1946, continuing his education at the University of Denver.

Al built on his father’s successes to become a success in his own right. He chaired CADA, the Metro Denver Automobile Dealers Association and served as national chair of the Ford Dealer Council in 1955 and 1972. He also chaired the Ford Dealer Advertising Association. His leadership roles led to being named Colorado’s nominee for the 1975 TIME Quality Dealer of the Year.

Al made a critical decision in 1968 to move the dealership from its location in downtown Denver to a larger space in unincorporated Adams County at 104th and I-25 — now Northglenn. That year, O’Meara and son Brian, who had joined him in the business, sold the family’s heavy truck franchise to O’Meara’s brother and his son, since Ford would not allow the brothers to be partners in each other’s business.

O’Meara’s strong Catholic faith led to supporting the Little Sisters of the Poor Queen of Heaven Orphanage. He also chaired the Colorado Business Pioneers’ O’Fallon Trust and served on the boards of Loretto Heights and Regis Colleges, Blue Cross and Blue Shield and St. Joseph Hospital. He founded a yearly scholarship at the University of Denver for Colorado Native American students.

O’Meara helped to train 19 young men who became dealers themselves. His son, Brian, carries on the tradition with three sons active in the O’Meara dealerships.

Alfred O’Meara Sr.

O’Meara Motors

Tuberculosis brought Al O’Meara, Sr. to Colorado, and Henry Ford’s automobiles gave him a successful business. The son of Irish immigrant farmers and one of 10 children, Al disliked farming, but he was great with a wrench. So he left the farm and went to work for Ford in 1906, making $1 a day.

A fan of Henry Ford, Al viewed him as a Michelangelo-type of genius who encompassed a broad range of skills, including engineering, finance, management and people motivation. Seven years later, Al left Michigan for Colorado, where he lived in an outdoor tent and beat tuberculosis. Al’s grandson Brian observed that Al never fully recovered. While his character was strong as an ox, his body was not.

Ford set up a distribution network of locally owned businesses and offered a dealership opportunity to Al. in 1913. In those early days, dealers were required to live within 10 miles of the dealership and Ford required franchisees to put their name on the building and decreed that one family could only own one Ford dealership. Al built his at 14th & Broadway, near the trolley stop. He’d ride the trolley up and down Broadway, talking to people about cars and offering free driving lessons.

When the city condemned the Broadway property for a new library in 1953, the dealership moved to Colfax and Lipan. In the late ‘60s, at Ford’s behest, the dealership moved to Northglenn.

After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Al knew Ford would convert to building airplanes. According to grandson Brian, Al bet it all, calling every dealer and buying every car and part he could, including a lathe to manufacture his own parts, if necessary – all at retail and on credit. While one bank turned him down for a loan, another agreed.

During World War II, there were no cars to sell. According to grandson Brian, Al essentially became a used car dealer who sold parts and service. Most of the time, you could find him in his overalls, working on cars.

Al lost one wife to peritonitis. He married again and had seven children, which started a now-four generation-strong auto dynasty. In keeping with his strong family ethic, he supported the Little Sisters of the Poor orphanage and quietly paid for other Irish immigrants’ passage to the U.S.

At the dealership, Al’s philosophy lived on in the three O’Meara generations who followed him: “Love Fords. Love what we do. Our employees and customers are paramount. Can’t have one without the other.”

Mary Pacifico-Valley

Rickenbaugh Auto Group

Mary Pacifico-Valley attended the University of Colorado in 1975. When she dropped out, her parents held the line, and she learned very quickly she had to make her own way.

She had friends whose father worked at Rickenbaugh Cadillac and took a job there, first as a sales assistant, then working throughout the service department.

Mary’s path to owning Rickenbaugh Cadillac Volvo in downtown Denver and Infiniti of Dacono is a classic American success story. She understood she still needed an education, so she enrolled in night classes at Regis University and ultimately received a master’s degree in Business and Finance.

With her degrees, Mary was appointed Rickenbaugh’s controller and had the opportunity to directly work with Kent Rickenbaugh. He was her mentor; she learned to run the business with integrity and professionalism, along with how to treat customers.

By 2000, Mary had become the dealer of record, and built on Kent Rickenbaugh’s legacy. Today, the Rickenbaugh Collision Center has expanded to become one of the largest in Colorado. Mary’s greatest accomplishment was opening the Infiniti store in Dacono in 2013, where she now spends most of her time, while her nephew manages the Denver stores.

Mary is passionate about involving more women in the automotive industry and was a founding member of the General Motors Women’s Retail Initiative. She served on Cadillac Motor Car Division’s Dealer Council and Volvo’s Dealer Advisory Board. She is a past president of the Metro Denver Automobile Dealers Association and is currently on Colorado Automobile Dealers Association’s Board of Directors.

When it comes to community work and philanthropy, she concentrates on Denver- oriented causes, including Toys for Tots; the Dumb Friends League; Max Fund; Regis Board of Trustees and the Mount St. Vincent Home for abused, neglected and traumatized children. She’s similarly focused on local charities in the Dacono- Frederick-Erie communities.

Mary was Colorado’s nominee for the 2019 TIME Dealer of the Year, one of only two women among the nominees across the country, and one of only three Colorado women nominated since the award was created 50 years ago.

Lee Payne

Planet Honda / Planet Hyundai

Like many kids from car families, Lee Payne grew up in and around his dad’s dealership, dusting parts bins beginning at age 10. Also like many kids from car families, he considered other careers before joining the family business.

His father, Leo Payne, relocated to Colorado from Michigan in 1963, bought a Pontiac dealership in 1965 and over the years represented more than a dozen brands. Lee’s father was his most influential mentor, giving Lee a framework of integrity and doing the right — not the easy — thing.

Lee joined his father’s dealership in 1982, two weeks after graduating from the University of San Diego, working his way up to become general manager for Leo Payne. When Leo retired and sold the business in 1991, Lee briefly worked in the mortgage business, but missed automotive.

The day he turned 35, Lee, along with his wife and business partner Olga, sat down to plot their future. Fortuitously, Classic Honda in Golden was for sale near Leo Payne’s original location. Owners Jesse Carraway and Barry McCallan generously provided advice and help and the purchase was finalized in early 1996, with four investors and an operating partner.

Lee eventually purchased the entire business, adding a Hyundai franchise in 2000 and taking on Genesis in 2019. He bought Mountain Chevrolet in Glenwood Springs, along with his brother and his wife, and sold his interest to them in 2014.

He attributes his automotive success to anticipating where the industry is going and adapting accordingly, including adopting technology, new pricing strategies and developing a talented staff. Lee was Colorado’s nominee for the 2003 TIME Dealer of the Year award.

He’s proud of helping found the CADA-sponsored Clear the Air Foundation. Also, Lee and Olga are involved in a charity that builds schools in Uganda, and locally with Silver Lining House, which supports homeless youth and young people aging out of foster care.

The Payne dynasty will continue. Lee’s son, Jamie, is the general manager of the Hyundai store and will eventually purchase Lee’s business.

Leo Payne

Leo Payne Automotive Plaza

When two half-brothers invited Leo to join them in their Flint, Michigan used car business in the early 1950s, little did Leo Payne know that this was the beginning of a lifelong career in the auto industry.

By his late 20s, he was a Ford dealer in tiny Jackson, Michigan, quickly followed by a Chevrolet Dealership in Dexter. Yet he and wife, Joan, wanted to leave Michigan and its miserable winters behind. So early in the 1960s, he and Joan had enough and headed to California. When they stopped for a visit in Albuquerque, an acquaintance suggested they check out Denver. As they continued on their way west, after stopping one snowy night in Raton, New Mexico, they awoke to the sight of snow-covered Rockies under blue skies. That’s when they fell in love and headed north.

Starting from a rented used car lot at Sixth Ave. and Broadway in Denver until his retirement in 1991, Leo’s business grew into one of Colorado’s largest dealers, representing Pontiac, GMC, Jeep, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, Saab, Subaru, Nissan, Hyundai and Mazda, along with RVs.

While in his early 30s, Leo had the opportunity to buy into Ray Sparks’ Pontiac dealership in Golden. An old gas station with a one-car showroom, Leo built a new store, taking on Jeep. Within five years, he’d bought out Sparks and expanded to 14 acres on Wadsworth.

Leo, who his son Lee described as an innovator who was willing to try different things,

also owned Volkswagen and Nissan-Jaguar stores in California. In fact, Leo preferred buying and selling dealerships more than running them. He was the consummate dealmaker.

Leo generously supported many charities and causes. He served as president of the West Chamber of Commerce and was involved in his church. He views his seven children — three of whom are in the auto industry — as his proudest achievements.

Leo’s best people advice he has ever given: Do the right thing. The best business advice? The first loss is the best loss. You’re going to make mistakes.

Now 91 years old, Leo and his wife of 25 years, Gloria, split their time between Castle Rock and Florida.

Bob Penkhus

Penkhus Motor Company

Bob Penkhus was born in Ames, Iowa in 1949 and moved to Colorado in 1951. In 1957, his father opened the Volvo store in Colorado Springs. As a child, he was a fixture around his father’s dealership and grew up learning the business. It was natural that he would join his father in the business upon his graduation from the University of Denver with degrees in business and marketing.

In October 1973, he began his own Mazda store at the Pikes Peak Avenue location. In 1977, he became president of Penkhus Motor Company and has expanded operations to three stores.

Over 30 years, Bob’s concern for his customers and employees and enthusiasm for the products has resulted in continued success. He has been a member of the Mazda President’s Club, which recognizes the top 50 Mazda dealerships in combined sales and customer loyalty. Bob Penkhus Volvo is one of the ten oldest Volvo dealerships in the country; Volvo recognized Bob in 2007 for 50 years of service and acknowledged him as a Volvo Dealer of Excellence. Bob was Colorado’s nominee for the 2016 TIME Dealer of the Year award.

A business leader in his community, Bob is a participating member of the Colorado Thirty Group, which is comprised of leaders throughout the State of Colorado who have an interest in our military defense. In addition to his commitment to military charities in Colorado Springs, Bob has initiated the Military Appreciation Program, which is offered to personnel serving overseas. It provides them with peace of mind that their family is taken care of with no-cost emergency repairs to their vehicles.

Bob and his wife are committed to supporting many local and global charities. He was awarded the Pikes Peak Chapter of the American Red Cross 2011 Humanitarian of the Year for his support of the 2010 earthquake victims in Haiti. Not content to simply write a check, Bob, a pilot himself, flew doctors, nurses, supplies, civilians and media in and out of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. He shuttled 44 people and more than 2,000 pounds of medical supplies over 7,139 nautical miles in 30 + hours.

Bob and Leslie have three children and nine grandchildren.

Larry Pomarico

Southwest Dealer Services

Colorado’s dealers rely on several ancillary businesses. Larry Pomarico’s SouthWest Dealer Services (SWDS) was often their choice for finance and insurance services, training and more. SouthWest, which he and a partner founded, was one of three big life passions. The others were sports and animals. He lavished time and attention on all three until his death in 2021 at age 65.

Larry’s parents were part of the North Denver Italian community. After two years in Texas, they broke tradition, moving to East Denver. Larry graduated from Machebeuf High School. He earned a marketing and finance degree at the University of Northern Colorado. In high school he played football, basketball, baseball, and played his favorite, football, for two years in college.

After college, Larry went to work for Petro-Lewis. After the 1980s oil and gas slump, he jumped around for a couple of years, even trying to be a professional gambler in Las Vegas. He found his niche in the mid-‘80s working for Pat Ryan & Associates. Larry’s sister, Roxann Bihr, says that Larry was interested in their stellar sales training program. It was his introduction to the automotive industry. Rather than moving on, Larry kept moving up in the company becoming a manager and eventually division vice president.

Larry and his partner founded SWDS in about 2000 and poured energy into building the company. When Acrisure bought SWDS in 2019, Larry continued as president, with more than 400 employees in 30 states. He was known for being a leader and mentor, having a ready smile, great attitude, and rock-solid integrity.

An avid sports enthusiast, at one time Larry held season tickets for the Rockies, the Avalanche, Nuggets and Broncos. He rarely missed a Broncos home game, often taking his father, nephew and lifelong friend Dan. Larry coached football teams from pee wee through junior high for about 15 years, winning several championships.

Larry donated generously to animal charities. He grew up with pets and as an adult educated himself about animal mistreatment. He fiercely loved his adopted shelter English bull terrier and it led him to rescue other dogs. During a brief mid-life marriage, Larry and his wife bought land in Castle Rock to start a sanctuary where they rescued dogs for horses and llamas. The couple divorced in 2015. After moving several times, Larry found the perfect property in Parker, moving with his dogs, planning to get serious in retirement about dog and donkey rescue. His unexpected death prevented him from realizing his dream.

Roland Purifoy

Purifoy Chevrolet

Roland Purifoy was born in Mobile, Alabama in 1915. After his father’s death, he began working for a Chevrolet dealership in Missouri in 1929 at age 14. In 1940, he opened Roland’s Body Shop and ran it for two years before joining the U.S. Army. He was severely wounded during World War II and spent two months in an Austrian hospital, before returning home.

Roland’s wife owned a beauty shop in Missouri and had saved enough money for the couple to move to Colorado, where Roland opened a used car lot and rental car
company. In 1954, he became the owner/operator of Purifoy Motors in Colorado Springs. Five years later, he decided he wanted to be a Chevrolet dealer, so he bought the store in Fort Lupton. Purifoy Chevrolet was established in 1961.

He wanted his new Chevrolet dealership to be built on the foundation of integrity, honesty, ethics and more importantly, customer satisfaction. He accomplished this by doing business the “right way” and making sure every aspect of the dealership was up to his very high standards.

For the next 30 years, Roland worked hard to get his dealership to the top. He believes in the philosophy of “lead, follow or get out of the way.” That philosophy contributed to his receiving Colorado’s nomination for TIME Quality Dealer Award in 1993.

Roland was a member of the Fort Lupton Chamber of Commerce, Masonic Lodge, Rotary Club and El Jebel Shrine Club of Denver. He founded the Fort Lupton Development Corporation, and he supported the Shriners Hospital Burn Center in Galveston, Texas.

In 1972, he was appointed by Governor John Love as a Colorado Goodwill Ambassador to promote business and industry in Colorado. He, along with other dealers, started the Horn Dealer’s Association, and served as president. Also, he served as the mayor of Fort Lupton for two terms.

Jim Reilly, Sr.

Reilly Buick

A native of Colorado Springs, Jim Reilly loved life to the fullest and brought joy to those around him. Jim graduated from General Motors Institute in Flint Michigan, worked for the GM proving ground as a young engineer and served as a pilot in the Army Air Corps.

In 1952, Jim began his career in the automotive industry by helping his father, a Rolls Royce mechanic, at the Strangs Garage dealership, learning every aspect of the business — from parts to service to sales.

At 13, his first official job with the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb was to help his father take gasoline samples before and after the race. In 1961, as general manager and vice president, he had the vision to move the dealership from downtown Colorado Springs. He built the first dealership in what is now Motor City and founded Reilly Buick in 1986.

Jim’s involvement with community activities and car industry associations was exemplary. He was a frequent participant in many educational programs and contributed to numerous charitable organizations.

As a NADA director, he implemented air-quality inspection and auto maintenance standards on city, state and national levels. Jim felt the expansion and division of the Government Relations Committee was one of his most important contributions to NADA Board of Directors. He was Colorado’s nominee for the 1995 TIME Quality Dealer of the Year award.

Jim held several titles within the US Auto Club, was zone supervisor and race official for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb and the Indy 500. He was associated with the Pikes Peak International Hill climb for more than 80 years and served in many capacities — from chief steward to president. As president of the Hill Climb Association, he started the “Over the Hill Gang” and the Pikes Peak Hill Climb Educational Museum. Jim was in the first class of inductees to the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Hall of Fame.

A man of the utmost integrity, loyalty and humility, he had a rare gift of being able to encourage people and help them.

John Schenden

Pro Chrysler Plymouth Jeep

John Schenden grew up in Detroit, where his father worked for General Motors for 40 years. He was one of five children in a family where his parents believed in hard work, a parochial education and family.

John worked for the Chrysler Corporation for 30 years in sales and marketing. During that time, promotions prompted his family to relocate 11 times; two of those moves took him to Denver.

The third time he came to the Mile High City, it was for good. In 1993, John purchased an interest in Pro Chrysler Plymouth Jeep. He completed the purchase of 100 percent of the stock in 2002, and sold the business to The Larry H. Miller Group in 2014. Also, John was a partner in Santa Maria Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram Fiat in California from 2011 until 2019.

Throughout his career, his greatest satisfaction came from developing and promoting employees, which made his business better. John met all the requirements to be Chrysler’s first national five-star dealer, out of nearly 4,000 dealers. Also, he was awarded F&I Magazine’s Dealer of the Year in 2008.

John believes that giving back to the community is part of any successful business. As such, he supported high school bands, charity golf tournaments and provided 2,000 books each year for students in low income-area schools. His theory is if you can read, you can do anything!

John was Colorado’s nominee for the 2002 TIME Quality Dealer award. He was past chairman of the Denver Metro Dealers Association and past chair of the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association (2006). John was one of three board members who hired Tim Jackson as President and CEO of CADA. He was the first Colorado Dealer to enroll in NADA’s President’s Club, the Dealer Election Action Committee.

Governor John Hickenlooper appointed him to the Motor Vehicle Dealer Board in 2011. He served on the board of the Metro North Chamber of Commerce (2001- 2009) and was appointed to Saint Anthony’s North Hospital Board in 2008. Also, he honorably served as a sergeant in the United States Army Reserves (1993 -1999).

Lisa Schomp

Schomp Automotive Group

Born in 1952, Lisa Schomp was the fourth of Ralph Schomp’s six daughters. After graduating from high school, she followed her father into the car business. Convinced Lisa would not make it in the male-dominated industry, Ralph insisted his 19-year-old daughter learn from the ground up. She worked her way through virtually all departments over 12 years.

Lisa was the third-generation owner and president of the Schomp Automotive Group, which was founded in 1941 by her grandfather, Roy Weaver, who owned Weaver Beatty Oldsmobile, Empire Oldsmobile and Arapahoe Motors. After World War II, Weaver’s son-in-law, Ralph Schomp, joined the company and renamed it Ralph Schomp Oldsmobile.

As owner and president, Lisa introduced her revolutionary ‘One Price – No Hassle’ sales philosophy to the Denver market in 1993, and eliminated commission-based sales, which transformed car buying into a pleasurable experience for customers and salespeople alike.

She also recognized the buying power of women and added female-friendly touches like fresh flowers and women’s magazines in her showrooms. Sales and customer satisfaction rose dramatically and soon Schomp Automotive was rated the Top Woman-owned Company in Colorado by The Denver Business Journal and ColoradoBiz magazine. Schomp is the largest family-owned and operated dealership group in the state.

Lisa served on the Colorado Motor Vehicle Dealer Board and as president of the Metro Denver Automobile Dealers Association. She was named the National ‘All-Star Dealer’ by the American International Automobile Dealers Association in 1997 and was inducted into the Automotive Women’s Hall of Fame. She has received two awards from The Denver Business Journal. Also, Lisa was chosen as the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association nominee and Top 5 finalist for TIME Magazine’s Quality Dealer Award.

Lisa has contributed to area chambers of commerce and public education foundations, the Colorado State Patrol’s “Alive at 25” safe driving program for teens and established one significant annual sale that benefits the Children’s Hospital Colorado Burn Center.

Lisa and husband of 45 years, Mark Wallace, are the parents of three adult children, all of whom share ownership in the Schomp Automotive Group.

Ralph Schomp

Ralph Schomp Oldsmobile and Ralph Schomp Imports

In 1910, Ralph Schomp was born in Woodland, California. He was raised in Brownsville, Oregon by his aunt and two much older siblings, as his mother passed away when
he was born.

This upbringing instilled in him a strong work ethic that earned him a scholarship to Willamette University. He then received a degree in architecture from the University of Oregon. Ralph moved to San Francisco to become an architect, established his own business there and was contracted to design and build the Colorado exhibit for the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition. There, he met and married Katherine (Kay) Weaver, daughter of automobile dealer, Roy Weaver.

When the U.S. entered WWII, Ralph enlisted as a second lieutenant. After returning home, he managed Bluhill Foods in Santa Ana, California until the factory was sold. Ralph, Kay and their five daughters relocated to Colorado, where his father-in-law owned a Bluhill Foods factory and three Oldsmobile dealerships.

After managing another Bluhill Foods, Ralph went on to manage Arapahoe Motors and transformed it into a viable and thriving business. In 1965, Ralph became the dealer of record and renamed the dealership Ralph Schomp Oldsmobile. He then expanded by adding Land Rover, MG, BMW, Alfa Romeo and Honda lines to his business.

He opened Ralph Schomp Imports on West Dartmouth Avenue; when both stores were beyond capacity, he helped design a new facility in Littleton. Ralph trained daughter Lisa to become a dealer, and was transferring ownership to her just before he died.

Devoted to his own family, Ralph deeply cared about his employees and their families. He understood how valuable a reputation for excellent customer service and honesty was.

Ralph was active in the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association and gave back to the community. He was proud to be Colorado’s nominee for the 1976 TIME Quality Dealer of the Year award. He would be honored to be part of the inaugural class of the CADA Hall of Fame and would be very proud that his daughter, Lisa, is being honored, as well.

Keven Shaugnessy

Phil Long Dealerships

Colorado Automotive Hall of Fame inductee Kevin Shaugnessy was CADA’s nominee for 2023 TIME Dealer of the Year.

Kevin’s career grew from a temporary gig in sales to executive vice president and partner at the Phil Long Dealerships without having a family automotive background or formally studying or training to be a dealer.

At age 18, his sense of adventure led him far from Dayton, Ohio to Eastern New Mexico University, where he loved blue skies, wide-open spaces and pickups. An injury during his final semester forced him to drop out. He took what he thought would be a short-term job at Ken Johns Lincoln-Mercury. He loved it, and a “car guy” was born.

He learned as much as possible. Recruited by Rich Ford, he blossomed under the mentorship of Mike Blair. When Blair moved to San Antonio, Kevin went along, but stayed behind when Blair came to Colorado in 2005. A new opportunity arose in 2006 at Phil Long Ford Denver. Kevin and his wife, Holly, visited, loved it, and relocated in October 2006.

Successful as general sales manager, Kevin became general manager in 2011. He bought an interest and became managing partner in 2013. Five years later he became VP of operations and partner for the Phil Long Family of Dealerships. Today there are 16 dealerships in Colorado and New Mexico, representing Audi, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, Genesis, Honda, Hyundai, Jeep, Kia, Lincoln, Mercedes-Benz, Ram, Subaru and Toyota.

Kevin embraced Phil Long’s customer-centered philosophy of business, recognizing that the negative reputation the industry sometimes has earned must be changed one customer at a time; treating people right at all levels breeds success.

He also embraced the group’s philanthropic ideals, furthering community partnerships. He leads the Corporate Sponsorship and Philanthropy Committee and serves on the board of the nonprofit Mount Carmel Veterans Service Centers. He also oversees Phil Long’s annual United Way workplace campaign, which over the course of the partnership has raised multiple millions of dollars to support neighbors in need.

Kevin and Holly Shaugnessy, his wife of 28 years, have two teenage children. “I have a remarkable family and all that is pretty good motivation for wanting to be successful and try to make the world a better place while we do it,” he says.

Mike Shaw

Mike Shaw Automotive

In 1968, Mike Shaw graduated from Texas A&M with a bachelor’s degree While there, he was a member of the Corps of Cadets, a Distinguished Military Student and was first recognized for his leadership abilities.

He applied his skills to a lifetime of leadership in business and community service. His appreciation of the importance of a great education drove him to support many service projects that helped youth, especially the disadvantaged, to get an education.

Mike is a self-made entrepreneur, who began working in the automobile business while attending graduate school. In Denver, he made his mark for selfless service and brought those same values to the various communities where he had dealerships.

As a result of his involvement, Mike received many awards from groups, including The Boy Scouts of America, the Latin American Education Foundation and the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce.

As a business leader with high standards of personal integrity and respect for his employees, he has a lengthy list of honors, including the Denver Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s Business Man of the Year, and the first minority auto dealer to be awarded the nationally acclaimed TIME Dealer of the Year award in 2012.

Mike has contributed financial and leadership support to community service organizations throughout his life. The Adams County Animal Shelter and Adoption Center, St. Joseph’s Hospital Foundation Board, Kempe Children’s Foundation, Girl Scouts, the El Pomar Foundation and the National Jewish Medical and Research Center are but a few that have benefitted from his involvement.

He currently owns and operates two dealerships, Toyota and Kia in Corpus Christi, Texas. He has served on a variety of automobile organizations, such as the national advisory boards for the Toyota Dealers Council, General Motors, Chevrolet, GMAC and SAAB. He also is a member of the Economic Advisory Council for the Federal Reserve Bank.

Married to Nancy for 52 years, they have three children and three grandchildren.

Kent P. Stevinson

Stevinson Automotive, Inc.

Kent P. Stevinson was born in Kansas City, Missouri on September 1, 1957. He attended Arizona State University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in Business Management and Economics.

Since 1995, Kent has served as President of Stevinson Automotive, Inc., which is the parent company for the Stevinson dealerships of Toyota East, Toyota West, Chevrolet, Jaguar and Porsche, Lexus of Lakewood, Lexus of Frederick and Hyundai of Longmont.

Before 1995, Kent held various positions in the family-owned dealerships. He worked in the business office, service department, parts department and as a sales manager and general manager.

Kent’s major accomplishments include being inducted into the 2020 Colorado Business Hall of Fame, the Elite of Lexus for Lakewood (23 times) and Frederick (13 times) dealerships, the Toyota President’s Award (14 times), along with several other awards over the past 36 years. He was Colorado’s nominee for the 2000 TIME Quality Dealer Award.

He has been involved in many community and service associations, including founder of the Denver Active 20/30 Children’s Charities, the Denver Rescue Mission, Jeffco Action League, Denver Police Activities League for High Risk Children, Colorado Westernaires, Fort Carson Returning Home Soldier Program, Wounded Warriors and the National Western Stock Show.

Jim Suss, Sr.

Suss Pontiac GMC

Jim Suss joined the automotive industry in 1946. Having both factory and retail experience gave him the tools needed to run a successful dealership. His time as a Buick zone manager brought him to Denver, and that’s when Jim knew Colorado was his forever home.

He managed several local dealerships, awaiting the opportunity to have his own dealership. He realized that goal in 1980, when he opened Suss Pontiac GMC. Dick Deane was a mentor and partner who helped Jim realize his dream of owning a dealership.

Volunteering was a major part of Jim’s corporate game plan. The Suss men have been leaders in Rotary, the Chamber of Commerce, the Boys and Girls Club, the Community College of Aurora, the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association and many other community betterment projects.

Jim achieved many civic and industry honors, including Colorado’s nominee for the prestigious TIME Quality Dealer of the Year award in 1992.

A great family man, Jim was married to Ann for 63 years. They have six children, 11 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Jack TerHar

Sill-TerHar Motors, Inc.

Jack began in the automotive industry at Sill-TerHar in 1961, cleaning parts bins at the age of 7. His career progressed to cleaning floor drains and ultimately, during his high school years, was promoted to the lube rack. After graduating from Broomfield High School, Jack spent a short time as a clothing salesman at the Denver Dry Goods Company.

He returned to the family dealership in February 1973, and began selling cars. He was the proud caretaker of the Sill TerHar brand for more than 45 years. Jack takes great pride in the fact that Sill-TerHar remains an independent dealership, now run by Greg Larson the current caretaker of the Sill TerHar brand.

Jack has served multiple years on the Ford Dealer Council, where his position ended up being Product Chairman. His love for product led to recognition as Young Leader of the Year from the National Automotive Hall of Fame when he was 29. He also served on the Volvo Dealer Council and served as Chairman of the Jaguar Council. He was Colorado’s nominee for the 2010 TIME Dealer of the Year award.

Jack is most proud of his team at Sill-TerHar Ford, for winning the President’s Awards for customer satisfaction, which has been his number one priority for 47 years.

Hugh Tighe, Jr.

Skyline Dodge

Chicago transplant Hugh Tighe, Jr. fell in love with Colorado when he was in the U.S. Air Force, stationed at Buckley Field. He served in the Air Force from 1943 – 1945.
After his military service, Hugh returned to Denver and completed his education at the University of Denver. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Airport Management, he joined Continental Airlines as a pilot, ferrying chickens.

Yet Hugh really found his passion in the automotive industry, joining Pueblo’s Vidmar- Mathis Oldsmobile as a salesman in 1951. That marked the beginning of a 55-year love affair with cars.

He briefly returned to Chicago to manage a Dodge dealership. Refusing to do business with Chicago’s mob, Hugh instead returned to Denver. He bought the Thomas Hyer Motor Company at 18th and Downing – another Dodge franchise – in 1962, renaming it Skyline Dodge. He moved the dealership to an old Safeway store at 7100 E. Colfax in 1965. Skyline Dodge found its permanent home in 1969 at 750 S. Colorado Blvd.

Skyline was a fixture on Colorado Boulevard until 1986, when Hugh determined his property was too valuable to remain as a dealership. He sold the dealership, but found a new outlet for his love affair with cars, working another 20 years as an automobile broker. He passed away in 2014.

Hugh was a respected figure in Colorado’s auto industry. He was chairman of the Metro Denver Automobile Dealers Association in 1977 and chaired CADA in 1982. He was Colorado’s nominee for the 1985 TIME Quality Dealer of the Year award.

Hugh married Sandra Hawkersmith in 1969. They had two sons, Hugh III and Steven. He served as a member of the University of Colorado Foundation Board and president of the Porter Memorial Hospital Foundation. He was active in Denver Rotary and served twice as president of the Denver Athletic Club.

Barbara Vidmar

Vidmar Motor Company

Barbara Vidmar graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Speech and Hearing Therapy from Colorado State
University in 1971 and was named Outstanding Alumni from CSU in 1984.

For nine years, Barbara was president of Vidmar Motor Company in Pueblo, and oversaw the day-to-day operations. Beginning in 1998, she became very involved with the American International Automobile Dealers Association (AIADA), serving as membership chairman, then government relations chairman, and finally as the first woman chairman of the board of directors.

As chairman, Barbara encouraged collaboration within the industry, worked to have an arbitration process instituted for consumers and helped create a reliable database to track repair history on every automobile involved in an accident, including notification by the insurance industry of any title that was branded “scrap” or “flood damaged.”

Other professional accomplishments include serving on the board of directors for the National Automobile Dealers Association Charitable Trust Foundation, and the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association. She was Colorado’s nominee for the 2006 TIME Dealer of the Year — and was only one of two ever to be nominated from Pueblo.

In 2006, Barbara went on to become a member of the Pueblo City Council, then the following year, vice president of the Council. In 2008, she served as its president. In these roles, Barbara was involved with the Pueblo Economic Development Corporation, helped define a mission statement and code of conduct for the Council, coordinated involvement with the Vestas location project and ensured the Pueblo Police and Municipal Court Building construction was on time and under budget.

Barbara’s community involvement is deep and wide and includes organizations such as the Parkview Medical Center Board, United Way President’s Council, Pueblo Chamber of Commerce Business Leader of the Year and the Pueblo Community College Hall of Fame.

Bud Wells

Colorado’s 2021 Honorary Inductee

Bud began work at The Denver Post in 1968, after 11 years at the Sterling Journal-Advocate and a year at the Rocky Mountain News. At the Post, he attained the position of Page One Editor, then in the mid-1970s, oversaw the creation of an automotive news section for the Post. Soon, he became the paper’s auto columnist.

He is a native of Wray, where his father, Dale Wells, opened a Chrysler/Plymouth dealership in 1935, then added the Ford/Mercury franchise in 1939.

In the 1980s, Bud operated a car sales business in Sterling, served as publications director for Curtis Publishing Co. history book division in Dallas, and was with the Pueblo Chieftain for 1.5 years.

He rejoined the Rocky Mountain News in 1991, became editor of the Advertorial Department and wrote about cars. In 1996, Bud authored “The Colorado Car Book,” a look at the 100-year history of the automobile in this state. He returned to The Denver Post in 2000 and continued to write weekly automotive columns.

Bud retired from the paper in 2003, though continued his car columns — and in 2021, is still writing about cars for The Denver Post. Living in Greeley since 2005, Bud wrote weekly auto columns for The Greeley Tribune, in addition to The Post.

In 2009, Bud was honored when the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association named its board room after him for his “extensive commitment of time, energy and passionate reporting on all aspects of Colorado’s automotive industry.”

Bud has driven and reviewed 2,450 new cars and trucks, including the Porsche Cayenne on the frozen lakes of Whitehorse in the Canadian Yukon. In 2012, he was presented the Lee Iacocca Award “for dedication to excellence in perpetuating an American automotive tradition.” In 2014, he worked with CADA President and CEO Tim Jackson in overseeing “The 100-Year Deal,” an automotive history including a reprint of The Colorado Car Book.

He is a member of the Denver Press Club, Rocky Mountain Automotive Press and United Methodist Church.

A close advisor and confidant has been his lovely wife of 65 years, Jan. They have five children, 13 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.

Gene Wilcoxson

Wilcoxson Buick Cadillac GMC Truck

In 1924, Harold Eugene “Gene” Wilcoxson was born in Scott City, Kansas. He served in the U.S. Army from 1943-1946. After his service, Gene attended Pueblo Junior College, followed by the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree.

For two years, Gene was a salesman for Vidmar-Mathis Motor Co. In November 1951, he was recalled to active duty during the Korean War, and when he returned, Gene went to work as the new car sales manager for W.A. Wills Ford. He then was a partner in Wills- Wilcoxson Pontiac in Council Bluffs, IA.

In 1956, he partnered in Silver State Cadillac, Colorado Springs, and from 1961-1967, he was a partner at W.A. Wills Buick-Cadillac. From 1967 on, Gene was the owner and president of Wilcoxson Buick-Cadillac-GMC Truck in Pueblo.

In the early 1980s, Gene helped found — and was very active with — the Pueblo Economic Development Corporation. He was instrumental in the effort to bring three weaker economic development groups together, uniting them as one cohesive entity called PEDCo. He and other business leaders formed the entity to diversify and save Pueblo’s economy after cutbacks at the CF&I Steel Corp.

He served as a liaison between Pueblo’s business community and Fort Carson commanders to pave the way for Pueblo businesses to more easily do business with the
U.S. Army’s Fort Carson post near Colorado Springs.

Gene served as past president and board member of the Greater Pueblo Chamber of Commerce and was honored by the Chamber as 2005 Citizen of the Year. He was president of Colorado Automobile Dealers Association in 1976 and was Colorado’s nominee for the 1977 TIME Magazine Quality Dealer award.

He passed away in 2009. Gene was described as a true gentleman who was continuously helpful in any way to promote his hometown.

Phil Winslow

Winslow BMW of Colorado Springs

A Chicago native who grew up in Iowa, Phil Winslow came to Colorado when his father purchased a Volkswagen/Porsche dealership in Colorado Springs. Just before he graduated from Cornell College in 1961, his father called to see if Phil was interested in joining him in the business. Two days after graduating, he was on the job.

Phil’s father died in 1964, making him the youngest VW dealer in America — with a steep learning curve. While his father had taught him about accounting, he spent a lot of free time with mechanics at the dealership, who taught him about cars. Then sales people and managers taught him how the dealership worked.

He married Ann, a Texas native, in 1976. Ann served as the executive director of the Colorado Springs Automobile Association and the Colorado Spring Executives Association. She brought her love of cars and her business skills into the dealership. Phil has often quipped that Ann is really the ‘car guy.’

In 1983, Phil bought a BMW franchise and operated both dealerships until he sold the Volkswagen store in 2003, as BMW had become the main part of his business. In addition, he owned and sold two motorcycle dealerships.

Service has always been key to his business success, as parts and service can support a dealership as it rides the ups and downs of the economy. Also, Phil feels that service is where relationships are cemented, as that’s where customers are addressed on a more personal, first-name basis. Through building and maintaining these strong, often personal relationships, Phil trusts customers will return to buy another car.

Phil recognizes the growing challenges from corporate dealers with cash, strong support and a deep well of talent. His plan is for one of their three sons to assume ownership one day, working with the dealership’s GM/partner. Phil and Ann are happy it will stay in the family and remain a force in Colorado Springs.

The Winslows have deep roots in their community. The University of Colorado-Colorado Springs College of Business bestowed on them a Lifetime Entrepreneurship Award. Phil has been a trustee of the State Colleges of Colorado and served on the Uniform Consumer Credit Code Board. The dealership supports the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, the Colorado Springs Conservatory, Children’s Literacy Center and several scholarship funds at UCCS, as well as many others.

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