Don Hall, President & CEO
Anne Gambardella, Esq.
Tommy Lukish, Esq.
Greetings from VADA,
The 2019 Session was a whirlwind of activity with lots of long days spent at the Capitol working on behalf of Virginia's franchised new car and truck dealers. Your association was integral in the passage of numerous bills that will benefit and protect you and your business.
One of these bills would make it easier for participants in a new car show to sell used vehicles at that show. The General Assembly also passed legislation to provide greater rights to dealers of a franchise that changes hands from one company to another. They passed a bill to streamline the mechanics lien process by making it easier to post notice of sale. Another bill that passed would formalize a process for DMV’s oversight of franchise matters. Two others would limit a manufacturer’s ability to exercise its right of first refusal in a buy-sell. You can read more details here.
As you can imagine, our bills required extensive work, and we were not alone in our efforts. We must thank the MANY dealers who took time out of their busy schedules to participate in the legislative process.
Before Session even began, we had dealers meeting with legislators in their respective districts. We had 40 dealers participate in our annual Assault the Hill event. When push came to shove on the right of first refusal bills, we had 26 individuals pick up the phone and call their elected representatives to explain how important the bills are to the dealers of this Commonwealth. Additionally, we had several individuals travel to Richmond, driving several hours, to appear/testify in the Transportation Committee Meetings.
There were countless dealers behind-the-scenes, including Executive Committee members, that were absolutely invaluable in this process. Among those were Treasurer, Tom Bates who is one of the largest contributors to our PAC fund. Without this support, our legislative success would not be possible.
As most of you know, when Session hits, I am working 14-16 hour days down at the Capitol with late-night meetings, calls and events. I am grateful for the senior staff that run VADA when I am not there: Jason Wilson, General Manager; Anne Gambardella, Chief In-House Counsel; Michael Burch, Chief Financial Officer; Michael Allen, GSIA Manager; Paul Stone, VADA Benefits & Insurance Manager; Steve Hoffman, VADA Benefits & Insurance General Manager; Ben Hoffman, VADA Benefits & Insurance General Sales Manager; Colin Royster, Senior Regional Field Representative.
Throughout Session, I had our two lawyers alongside me—Anne Gambardella, who has been with us for 21 years, and Tommy Lukish, who experienced his first time working at the General Assembly. Our team of three on the ground was able to succeed only with the help of those back in the office and the dealers who got involved.
I would like to thank Natalie Toler, who organized our very successful Assault the Hill event, and Kaitlin Carlyle, who managed all communications, including marketing materials.
All of you - staff and dealers - made a huge difference, and we sincerely thank you.
There are many ways to get involved at VADA, and one of those is participating in our annual Family Convention, which takes place this year at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, WV from June 23-26. We have got a great lineup of speakers and a host of fun events planned. Click here to read more and register.
As always, it is a pleasure to serve the new car and truck dealers of Virginia.
President & CEO