Wil­liams nom­i­nated for na­tional auto dealer award

Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE - By JA­COB OWENS

jowens@ce­cil­whig.com

— 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.

ELK­TON

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.”

CECIL WHIG PHOTO BY JA­COB OWENS

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.

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