Williams nominated for national auto dealer award
— David Williams Jr., president of Anchor Buick GMC, was recently nominated for the 2017 TIME Dealer of the Year award, one of the automobile industry’s most prestigious and highly coveted honors.
Williams is one of 49 nominees from across the country who will be honored at the 100th annual National Automobile Dealers Association convention in January. They are chosen for their success in the auto dealing industry and their commitment to community service. A panel of faculty members from the Tauber Institute for Global Operations at the University of Michigan will select one finalist from each of the four NADA regions and one national Dealer of the Year.
Williams, 60, was nominated by his peers to represent the Maryland Automobile Dealers Association in the national competition.
Williams, who is well aware of the honor, having served on the state and national NADA boards of directors for many years, said he learned of the honor through an email from a national board contact.
“I was surprised and honored, but I don’t like to make a big deal of things that I do,” he said. “I’ve never sought the limelight.
I just see something that needs to be done and I try to get involved to fix it.”
Among Williams’ proudest accomplishments is the founding of the Cecil Business Leaders for Better Government political action committee in 2011, in reaction to the then-board of county commissioners’ decision to squash a brokered sale of the county’s sewer system to Artesian. He pulled together dozens of the county’s business leaders to lobby for progrowth stances. Since its founding, the local PAC has successfully backed nine winning county campaigns.
“It wasn’t self-serving, but because the county loses $4 million a year on their sewer system and we had it sold,” he said. “That decision cost the county.”
He has also been proactive in furthering education initiatives and in 1994 helped establish the Tall Oaks Classical School in Bear, Del., a Christian school for kindergarten through grade 12, where he recently retired as board chair. Originally homeschooling their seven children, Williams and his wife, Tracey, looked for placements for them, but were unsatisfied with the options available.
Together with other couples, the Williamses helped found Tall Oaks with a classical-style of education anchored by teachers with advanced degrees.
“Three years ago, Tall Oaks was rated the top school in Delaware in six of seven categories. We only came in second in SAT scores to St. Andrew’s School by a few points,” he noted.
A 1974 graduate of Elkton High School, Williams studied criminal law at the University of Maryland in College Park. He has always worked at the store founded by his father as Anchor Pontiac Buick in 1963, becoming the dealer in 1983. They relocated the business in 1999 and formed the Williams Family Automotive Group, which now includes Anchor Buick GMC, Williams Chevrolet and Williams Used Cars & Trucks, all in Elkton.
Williams said he didn’t always imagine himself running an auto dealership although he held his father in high esteem. His father’s decision to retire placed a bigger responsibility on his shoulders, and he took to the challenge.
“If we hadn’t moved the businesses to Route 40, we probably wouldn’t be here today,” he said, noting sales tripled upon the move from downtown Elkton due to better visibility and newer facilities. “The auto sales industry gave me a platform to put God’s gifts to use. It’s been a lot of hard work, but a fun ride.”
David Williams Jr., president of Anchor Buick GMC, was recently nominated for one of the national automobile industry’s most prestigious and highly coveted honors.