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NADA Makes Major Leadership Announcements



On October 20, the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) made several leadership announcements for 2021.

The 63-member Board elected Paul Walser as its 2021 chairman and Michael Alford as vice chairman.

“I’m humbled by the continued confidence of my fellow dealers,” said Walser, who represents Minnesota’s new-car dealers on the NADA Board. “I promise to do the very, very best I can, and I will be looking for a lot of hand-raisers, because this will be a team effort all the way.”

Walser, 65, who currently serves as NADA vice chairman, will succeed Rhett Ricart, president of Ricart Automotive Group in Columbus, Ohio, as chairman.

“I am honored and excited to serve as NADA’s Vice Chair in the coming year,” said Alford, 56, who currently serves as chairman of NADA’s Regulatory Affairs Committee and president of Marine Chevrolet Cadillac in Jacksonville, N.C. “I look forward to working with Chairman-elect Paul Walser, my fellow directors and the entire NADA team. I am grateful to be entrusted with this role and assure you that I will work tirelessly to advocate on behalf of the entire dealer body.”

Tom Castriota, owner of Castriota Chevrolet, Inc. in Hudson, Fla., was elected as secretary. Gary Gilchrist, president of Gilchrist Chevrolet Buick GMC, Inc. in Tacoma, Wash., was elected as treasurer. The new terms begin at NADA Show 2021 in mid-February 2021.

Additionally on Tuesday, Mike Stanton was named as the organization’s next president and CEO, effective as of January 1, 2021. Stanton, 52, succeeds Peter Welch, who has led NADA since 2013.

“NADA is a great organization representing one of America’s most important industries,” said Stanton. “It is an honor to be chosen for this role, in this pivotal time for dealers, and I am excited to get started.”

Stanton has served as Chief Operating Officer of NADA since 2018, where he oversees daily operations of the association. He previously served as Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the NADA Used Car Guide, which was sold to JD Power in 2015. Stanton also had several roles with NADA’s Industry Relations team advocating for dealers.

“NADA has been very fortunate to have had a number of truly outstanding leaders over the years,” said NADA Chairman Rhett Ricart. “I am confident that under Mike Stanton’s stewardship, NADA will continue to serve dealers and support their interests with any challenge no matter how great. I look forward to working alongside Mike and the NADA team as dealers continue to navigate the coronavirus pandemic and the changing automotive landscape.”

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