African-American Automobile New Car Dealers


Even though several General Motors African-American dealers (Harris, Wilson, Woodruff) were involved with the establishment of NAMAD, there was uncertainty whether they needed their own association similar to those established at Ford and Chrysler. NAMAD was in place and some dealers believed there would be duplication of effort and they were having direct communication with GM management. As a result, no action was taken at that time.

In 1983, concerned about the growing problems faced by African-American dealers, GM established its own Black Dealer Advisory Council (BDAC) which included both dealers and representatives of its various components. Greg Baranco, (Pontiac-Atlanta) was selected president while Greg Williams (Buick-Omaha) was voted in as VP. Other dealers who played key roles were Jim Bradley, Al Johnson, Bob Nelson, Jr. and Bob Ross.

In 1988, the decision was made to be all inclusive and the council was re-organized as the Minority Dealer Advisory Council. Tony March, the Buick dealer in Hartford, was elected as president and he held that position for a total of 13 years.

The dealers, however, eventually recognized the importance of having their own, independent organization. In August of 1987, a number of African-American GM dealers (Greg Baranco, Jim Bradley, Chuck Harrell, Al Johnson, Tony March, Bill Scott, Greg Williams and others) came to Chicago to establish its own Association; the Black GM Dealer Association (BGMDA). The Association was incorporated in September, 1987. Greg Baranco was chosen president and the organization focused primarily on African-American dealer issues.

Again, however, like the decision made within MDAC in 1988, the dealers recognized the importance of being representative of all ethnic minorities and the Association was so restructured and re-titled GMMDA. Tony March was elected its first president. As part of the reorganizations process, the GMMDA was reincorporated in the State of Michigan, effective March 20, 1991. The "incorporators" who took a lead role in making this happen were Richard Davis (Battle Creek, Mi.), Chuck Harrell (Flat Rock, Mi.) and John H. Powell (Jackson, Mi.).

As the administrative responsibilities of GMMDA grew, it was recognized there was a need for a full time Executive Director who could not only coordinate all GMMDA functions but interact with GM's Minority Dealer Operations department and other industry entities. The following individuals have held that position:

Virgil Anderson 1988-1990
Willie Carter 1991-1995
Teresa McKissick 1996-1997
Marjorie Staten 1998-present

GMMDA primary mission remains the same today as it was stated in 1988:

"To promote, encourage and protect the viability of all existing General Motors minority dealers and to encourage through cooperative effort with General Motors Corporation, the installation of new minority dealers in viable opportunities."

Today, more than 200 of GM's ethnic minority dealers are GMMDA members. For additional information, go to the site.

GMMDA presidents

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