In South Carolina, a place for personal and professional development

A Message from VADA President and CEO Don Hall

May 2024

This month marks a special anniversary for me: 50 years since I embarked on my Marine Corps training at Parris Island, South Carolina.

It was May ‘74 that I made the most important decision of my life, steering me off a bad path. The Marines transformed me and opened doors to opportunities — including the automotive industry, where I've been fortunate to serve for over 45 years.

I share this personal story to highlight the importance of recognizing challenges, welcoming new opportunities, and expressing gratitude to those people and organizations that have positively impacted our lives.

Challenges. Opportunities. Gratitude. All three are in play at our 2024 Annual Convention next month, back on the beach in South Carolina (with more comfortable accommodations than a military base). Our industry continues to evolve, and it's essential we embrace change and strive for continuous improvement in ourselves, our people, and our operations.

We've assembled a lineup of speakers who bring diverse insights to the table, and our event has attracted leaders from Virginia's legislative landscape. That includes Gerald Lackey, Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, and Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares. Their presence underscores the importance of our collective voice in shaping policy and advocating for our industry's interests.

AG Miyares will address the franchise system and Virginia's zero-emissions vehicles mandate. His insights will be crucial for understanding the state and federal regulatory landscape affecting our industry.

Our expert panel will dive into EPA regulations, dealer operations and concerns, and the ever-evolving landscape of EVs. VADA '24 is your chance to stay on the leading edge and hear from experts as they forecast the industry's future.

Laying the groundwork for 2025

Looking ahead, I want to emphasize the significance of the upcoming election year in 2025. With 100 members of the House of Delegates up for election and re-election, it's imperative we remain proactive in supporting candidates who understand and champion our industry's needs. Post-convention, we’ll be raising funds for the Virginia Auto & Truck Dealers Political Action Committee — but you can be one of the first dealers to do so now.

Additionally, as we approach this year's congressional and presidential elections, let us recognize the importance of civic engagement and advocacy on both the state and federal levels.

To that end, I want to extend a special thank you to those who gave generously to the NADA PAC through participation in April’s phone “Drive for Dollars.” These funds support Virginia’s Congressional delegation and are used by NADA nationwide to support policies that support you.

Thanks to VADA chair David Dillon, former VADA and NADA chair H. Carter Myers III, future chair Dan Banister, former VADA chair and current PAC chair Chris Lindsay, and Mike Suttle, past VADA chair and our NADA Board Member for Virginia, for making the trip to our HQ in Richmond to make these calls.

As we prepare to convene in June, let us embrace the opportunity to learn, connect, and reaffirm our collective commitment to excellence.

Together, we will navigate the challenges ahead and seize the opportunities that lie on the horizon. I’ll see you on the beach.