Washington National Opera Honors Jack Pohanka

The world-renowned Opera House at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts was the Washington venue last weekend for the 2019 Washington National Opera Gala at which John J. Pohanka of Pohanka Automotive Group was recognized and honored for his longstanding and steadfast support of WNO and opera as an art form.

Co-chairs of the WNO Gala, Jacqueline Mars and Camille Biros, praised Jack Pohanka for his invaluable leadership and countless contributions to WNO and the world of opera over his nearly 30 years as a WNO trustee, which included chairing the WNO Board. Spotlighted were his roles as a pivotal player in negotiating WNO’s artistic affiliation with the Kennedy Center in 2011 and as a founder of the DC Richard Wagner Society. He was further recognized for launching the Talking Opera Series that brings exciting commentary about the rich history and performance of the opera in America and the world.

The full audience in the Kennedy Center Opera House last Saturday night was treated to a star-studded program hosted by Christine Ebersole, which highlighted a number of opera classics sung by world renowned performers on stage for the occasion, including Christine Goerke, Alan Held, Soloman Howard and Latonia Moore.

Jack Pohanka’s highly regarded credentials as an auto industry leader were also spotlighted, starting with his being chairman of Pohanka Automotive Group founded in Washington in 1919 by his father, Frank Pohanka. He was also recognized as a former chairman of both NADA and WANADA; the founder of National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), which to date has certified two million technicians; the founder of National Auto Technician Education Foundation; and founder of Capital Automotive REIT.

A native Washingtonian, Jack graduated from Sidwell Friends earned his college degree from Princeton University. Continuing the family tradition at Pohanka Automotive is Geoff Pohanka, who works in tandem with his Dad, Jack, in the organization; and his daughter-in-law, Anne Kline, who serves with him on the WNO Board of Trustees.

WANADA wishes Jack Pohanka all the best on last weekend’s well deserved recognition, complementing his long and distinguished career!

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