MADA Foundation honors former WANADA CEO Mike Murphy for industry contributions

MADA Foundation honors former WANADA CEO Mike Murphy for industry contributions

The Maryland Automobile Dealers Association Foundation honored the memory of Maurice J. (Mike) Murphy, WANADAês CEO from 1955-1982, at its Annual Unforgettable Gala last week at Columbia Country Club in Chevy Chase. More particularly, Mike Murphy was inducted posthumously into MADAFês Legends Hall, established to honor –those in the industry who made our industry the powerhouse it is today.”

During his 27 year tenure as WANADAês second chief of staff, Mike Murphy transformed the DC centric Washington Automotive Trade Association into the major metropolitan market organization it became as Automotive Trade Association National Capital Area and, ultimately, Washington Area New Auto Dealers Association which WANADA is today. He did this working shoulder to shoulder with a host of Washington Area dealer leaders, the like of Wilson Howes , Wilson Pontiac and Honda, and Fred Bowis, Chevy Chase Cars, and dealer association executives the like of Cab Darrell, former CEO of MADA, all of whom have been similarly honored by MADAF at their annual Gala.

–The name •Unforgettableê descriptively sums up what we Maryland dealers are trying to accomplish through our statewide organization, namely, to never forget and hold sacred the memory of those industry leaders who went before us whose considerable contributions over time shaped our automobile business for the better,” said Sam Weaver, Chevy Chase Acura, MADAF chairman and Gala evening emcee. –Over a distinguished auto industry career, Mike chaired the North American dealer association group, Automotive Trade Association Executives, as well as the DC Citizens Traffic Safety Board, which laid the groundwork for Washingtonês highway system, in and around the Capital Beltway, and ran those memorable Washington Auto Shows in the 1950s, •60s and •70s,” said Weaver . –And with the dealer leaders in those years — any number of whom established second and third generation Washington area dealer organizationsãworked tirelessly with NADA, MADA and VADA in getting federal, state, city and county laws on the books that enhanced the auto industry for the benefit of all concerned,” he said.

A Washington, DC native who lived in the area his entire life, Mike Murphy attended the DC public schools attending and graduating from the University of Maryland, College Park with a degree in business. He married his wife of 66 years, Marguerite, before being commissioned in the U.S. Navy in World War II. Post war, Mike was the general sales manager at Community Auto in Bethesda, Md, an Oldsmobile dealership, after which he went with WANADA where his father, Richard Murphy, was CEO.

After working with Richard for four years, Mike took over as WANADA chief of staff in the mid 1950s.

Mikeês son, Gerry Murphy, came with WANADA after college on Mikeês watch in the mid 1970s, becoming WANADAês third Murphy to head the organization in the early 1980s. Engaged currently with WANADA as its general counsel, Gala emcee Sam Weaver called Gerry forward to respond to the recognition bestowed on his father and predecessor. –The automobile business was in Dadês blood and he was passionate about it, as was his father before him, who headed WANADA and had been a dealer himself before that,” said Murphy. –My family members who are here tonight and I are completely touched by the outpouring of heartfelt reflections on Dad weêve heard tonight, and are grateful to Sam, J.P. Bishop, Pete Kitzmiller and the entire MADA organization for putting this together,” he said.

–From a dealer association standpoint, tonight bespeaks how totally in sync MADA and WANADA are on behalf of Metro Washington and Maryland dealers, which Peter and John (OêDonnell) are so successfully carrying forward,” he said. –Mike Murphy was my hero and I couldnêt feel any prouder of his memory and our dealer organizations than I do right now.”

Upon stepping down as CEO of WANADA in the early 1980s, Mike Murphy remained connected with the organization for a number of years thereafter, consulting, principally, on the Auto Show. He passed in 2004 at the age of 93. Mike Murphy was the seventh industry leader recognized by MADAF at its Unforgettable Gala.

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