WANADAs new, young CEO reaches out to similarly situated dealer members

WANADAês new, young CEO reaches out to similarly situated dealer members

Reminiscent of President John F. Kennedyês inaugural address in 1961, where the youngest man ever to get elected to the highest office in the land at age 43 spoke of –Ä the torch (being) passed to the next generation,” WANADA President John OêDonnell, 46, hosted a small gathering of Washington area dealers where bold, fresh ideas of younger executives were vetted and explored, and, yes, all in attendance were about the same age or younger than John. –Trade associations need to regularly reach out to their members, and in the case of WANADA, thatês our Washington area dealers,” OêDonnell said, referencing what he described as an intimate setting for the dozen or so who joined him for dinner recently at the Columbia Country Club in Chevy Chase, Md.

The youth factor — if the historic, middle 40s age range that Kennedy set 53 years ago still holds true — is important, too, because the next generation, indeed, needs to take up the torch whether itês the nation-state, the dealership, or the dealer association, if the enterprise is going to continue to deliver what it was set up to do in the first place.

OêDonnell took the opportunity to include his senior staff at the event, which, like him, is of the next generation. Correspondingly, there were also next generation dealer leaders from WANADAês Board of Directors at the dinner which provided the basis for a successful setting to impart to the more newly engaged what their WANADA dealer organization does concertedly on their behalf.

Ok, so some attendees — including the host — were less youthful than Jack Kennedy when he made his torch-has-been-passed speech at age 43. Simply, fast forward to the current president, Barack Obama, widely regarded as youthful, when in 2009 he was elected at age 47. Then realize that today, in 2014, President Obama at 54, wouldnêt have been youthful enough to merit an invitation to John OêDonnellês youthful and bold WANADA dealer dinner party. And there you have it.

More of these events are planned in the fall. For more information, please contact Kristina Henry at WANADA, (202) 237-7200 or kh@wanada.org.

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