NADA elects Michael Alford as 2021 vice chairman

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The National Automobile Dealers Association elected Michael Alford as its next vice chairman, indicating he is likely to be the group’s chairman in 2022.

Alford, 56, president of Marine Chevrolet-Cadillac in Jacksonville, N.C., was elected to the 2021 post during the association’s board meeting Tuesday — held virtually this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Alford, a former banker who entered the family automotive business in 1992 and became owner in 1997, represents new-car dealers in North Carolina on the NADA board of directors and is chairman of NADA’s regulatory affairs committee.

“I am honored and excited to serve as NADA’s vice chair in the coming year,” Alford said in a statement. “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.”

Also Tuesday, the NADA said COO Mike Stanton would be its next chief executive. Stanton starts his new duties Jan. 1 and succeeds CEO Peter Welch, who is retiring at the end of the year.

NADA’s 63-member board of directors also elected Tom Castriota, who owns Castriota Chevrolet in Hudson, Fla., as secretary and Gary Gilchrist, president of Gilchrist Chevrolet-Buick-GMC in Tacoma, Wash., as treasurer.

Walser, 65, current NADA vice chairman and CEO of Walser Automotive Group in Bloomington, Minn., was elected chairman for 2021. He and Alford will start in their roles in February during the virtual 2021 NADA Show.

Walser got his start in auto retail in 1974 and was the association’s industry relations committee chairman. He will succeed 2020 Chairman Rhett Ricart, 63, who is CEO of Ricart Automotive Group in Groveport, Ohio, near Columbus.

“I’m humbled by the continued confidence of my fellow dealers,” Walser said in a statement. “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.”

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