The American International Automobile Dealers Association has named Richmond, Ky.-based auto dealer Steve Gates as its 2021 chairman.
Gates, 69, was appointed to the position throughout the affiliation’s annual meeting Wednesday — held nearly this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. He succeeds Jason Courter, who’s CEO of Honda Auto Center of Bellevue and Honda of Kirkland in Washington.
Gates is a third-generation dealer who owns Gates Auto Family, which operates dealerships in Kentucky, Tennessee and Indiana. The dealer group sells Audi, Ford, Lincoln, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Lexus, Nissan and Toyota autos.
“Becoming chairman of AIADA is by far the biggest honor I’ve ever received,” Gates mentioned in a press release. “I can promise you that day in and day out I will do everything I can for this industry and AIADA. I’m excited and ready to go.”
As chairman, Gates mentioned he plans to concentrate on getting sellers extra concerned in AIADA — the primary commerce affiliation for sellers of imported autos — by its Dealer Visit Program, which permits sellers to attach one-on-one with members of Congress.
“My plan is to attend every meeting I can, including regional and mid-level meetings, to get more people involved in AIADA,” he mentioned. “We have so many dynamic young dealers on our board of directors, and I want to see that represented in AIADA’s overall member involvement.”
Gates has been a part of AIADA’s board of administrators since 2014 as nicely as an outspoken advocate for sellers on Capitol Hill. In 2018, for instance, he testified on behalf of the affiliation’s members on the affect of proposed Section 232 tariffs on autos and auto components throughout a Senate committee listening to.
Along with Courter — AIADA’s speedy previous chairman — Gates is joined on the board by fellow sellers John Connelly, chairman-elect, and Mike DeSilva, secretary/treasurer.