Charlie Gilchrist, President of Southwest Ford Auto Group, was recently elected to become 2018 National Automobile Dealers Association - (NADA) vice chairman.
When Gilchrist received word of the selection, he called it an "honor to serve with such an outstanding board."
"The National Automobile Dealer's Association team is inspirational in their drive to protect, influence and improve each dealer and I am excited to serve as vice-chairman next year and chairman in 2019," Gilchrist said. "We are facing many challenges, but also we have many opportunities as franchised new car dealers in the United States. This is truly the greatest business in the world, and I am so excited to be a part of it."
Gilchrist began his career more than 30 years ago as an accountant for Coopers and Lybrand after graduating from the University of Texas. He later moved into auto dealer operations as a controller for Ford Heavy Truck dealerships. Further transitioning saw Gilchrist move from a controller to General Manager of Southwest Ford and Nichols Ford before eventually purchasing Southwest Ford in 1986.
Gilchrist community service is easily visible seen by his participation on boards for Weatherford College and Weatherford High School Foundations. He is also a board member of the Texas Bank and the East Parker County Chamber of Commerce. Gilchrist was even awarded the James Doss Citizen of the Year Award by the Weatherford Chamber of Commerce and an eight-time Ford's President Award winner.
Southwest Ford has donated more than $1 million to various nonprofit organizations with an emphasis on educational empowerment such as Communities In Schools, United Way, Big Brothers and Big Sisters and many others.
The 63-person board of directors elected Gilchrist, 61, at its convention in Dana Point, Calif., on Oct. 3. Gilchrist represents Northern Texas' new-car dealers on NADA's board and is president of Southwest Ford and a Buick-GMC, Nissan, Volkswagen and Mitsubishi dealer.
NADA represents about 16,500 domestic and foreign new-vehicle dealerships.
The NADA story began in 1917 when 30 auto dealers traveled to the nation's capital to convince Congress not to impose a luxury tax on the automobile. They successfully argued that the automobile is a necessity of American life, not a luxury. From that experience, NADA was born.
Today, NADA represents nearly 16,500 new-car and -truck dealerships, with both domestic and international franchises.