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GMMDA and Reynolds Honor Tony March as the 2007 GMMDA Trailblazer of the Year
SOUTHFIELD, MICH. – Thurs., Feb. 8, 2007/ DiversityBusiness.com --General Motors Minority Dealers Association (GMMDA) member and board member emeritus Tony March has been named the 2007 GMMDA Trailblazer of the Year in honor of his significant contributions to the GM minority dealer network and to increasing diversity representation in the auto industry. The award, sponsored by The Reynolds and Reynolds Company, was presented to March last week at the association’s 18th Annual Scholarship & Awards Banquet in Las Vegas.

“The cornerstone of Reynolds long-standing partnership with GMMDA is a shared commitment to leadership and integrity in the auto industry,” said Teresa Beasley, Reynolds partnership executive for minority dealer development. “Our company strongly supports and applauds GMMDA’s efforts over the last 20 years and is proud to honor Tony March with this award.”

“Tony is very deserving of this award,” said GMMDA president Desmond Roberts. “Not only has he demonstrated exceptional longevity and success in the business, his career has been marked by diligent and purposeful efforts to ensure that other minorities have the opportunity to achieve that same level of success. His advocacy has led to the formation of great organizations like the GMMDA and NAMAD. Many of us would not be dealers today if it were not for March.”

A native of Florida, Tony March graduated from the General Motors Minority Dealer Academy and opened his first dealership – Tony March Buick - in 1985 in Hartford, Conn. He expanded the dealership to include GMC in 1990 and in 1993 became one of the first 24 Saturn dealers in the country.

In 1998, he added Mazda and Mitsubishi franchises and an additional Saturn franchise. He also partnered with Ernie Hodge to establish the March/Hodge Holding Company, which oversees 19 dealerships in 7 states.

Since becoming a dealer, March has received numerous accolades for his exceptional performance and distinguished community service including the prestigious Time Magazine Quality Dealer Award in 2007. He received the Edwin D. Biagas Sr. Diversity Advocacy Award in 2002 and was named Entrepreneur of the Year by the U.S. Department of Commerce in 1999, Dealer of the Year by Black Enterprise Magazine in 1999 and Dealer of the Year by the Connecticut Automobile Trade Association in 1996.

A staunch champion of diversity within the auto industry, March served as chairman for 13 years of the General Motors Minority Dealer Advisory Council (MDAC) and was instrumental in driving for inclusion of all ethnic minorities. He advocated the formation of the GMMDA as an independent voice to speak and act on behalf of minority dealers and served as its first president. He continues to support the mission of the GMMDA as a board member emeritus. His advocacy efforts also include involvement with the GM National Dealer Advisory Council, the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers, the Connecticut Auto Dealers Association, and the Greater Hartford Auto Dealers Association.

His generosity and dedication also extend to the community. A volunteer and contributor to the relief of the less fortunate in urban Hartford, March was chairman of the 2000 Cannon Greater Hartford Golf Tournament which raised $1,600,000 for local charities. He has also served as state chairman for the United Negro College Fund since 1991 and provided UNCF with a $100,000 scholarship award through the Tony March Foundation in 1996.

The GMMDA is a non-profit organization that represents the interest of over two-hundred minority owned General Motors dealerships across the country. The mission of the GMMDA is to promote, protect and encourage the viability and profitability of all existing General Motors dealers, and to encourage, through cooperative efforts with General Motors, the installation of new minority dealers in viable and profitable opportunities.

PRESS CONTACT
Delisha Upshaw
(248) 552-9040

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