Dear Colorado Dealer:
One of the most compelling questions for any organization is, “How do we ensure our future?” At last November’s CADA Board of Directors’ four-year strategic planning meeting one of the initiatives we agreed on was to make a concerted effort to engage the next generation of automobile dealers and top managers.
We’ve made some efforts to do that in the past. One that’s been very successful has been taking a next generation dealer on our annual NADA Washington Conference trip to expose them to the national politics that influence the industry. Now we’re making an effort to interest younger leaders – age 45 and under – in issues affecting our industry at the state level, creating awareness of the need for a strong dealer association acting on our collective behalf, and letting them know CADA welcomes their participation.
The initial meeting of CADA’s Next Generation Dealer Program was held on June 3rd at the Vehicle Vault automobile museum in Parker. The group is made up of dealer principals/owners and top-level managers from dealerships throughout the state. We had an excellent turnout.
The meeting started with a brief description of CADA and its efforts and how getting involved with CADA could benefit their dealerships, for example by influencing state and national elected officials. They heard from Colorado House Majority Leader Crisanta Duran, Representative Alec Garnett, Senate GOP Chief of Staff Jesse Mallory and CADA lobbyist Melissa Kuipers, as well as representatives of dealerships from all over Colorado. The Colorado Oil and Gas Association’s Sara Landry also shared perspectives gained from a young professionals group that COGA has. We enjoyed dinner together and then had a tour of the Vehicle Vault – an incredible facility with an impressive collection of vehicles.
“This was a great kickoff event for an even greater concept,” said Whitney Medved, operations manager at Medved Castle Rock. “It will be an opportunity to hear some different perspectives, hopefully semi-regularly. And since we’re all in Colorado we can share ideas about how to make the industry do better in our own state.”
Focusing on getting younger dealers and managers interested is an idea whose time has come, according to Donnie Chrismer, executive manager of Korf Continental in Sterling. “It’s very important to keep young people interested in CADA. It’s one of the leading auto industry associations in America. If we can start a successful program for young dealers and managers here perhaps it will go nationwide.”
We understand that sitting in a long meeting is not what this next generation wants. There needs to be some interaction and it needs to be fun. That’s why we thought the Vehicle Vault would be an ideal venue. And according to Donnie Chrismer, “It was a good social event, too. It was good to meet some other young people, build some new relationships and do some networking.”
Thom Buckley, Chairman
Colorado Automobile Dealers Association