Manheim and AutoTrader.com presented the first-ever National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers (NAMAD) Innovation Award to Steve Ewing, president and CEO of Wade Ford of Smyrna, Ga. The 2014 NAMAD Innovation Award honors a leader in the industry who has positively impacted their organizations and the industry. The award was presented to Ewing during a reception on July 11 as part of the 2014 NAMAD Conference, held at the Fontainebleau from July 9-12, 2014.
“I am humbled by this award,” Ewing said. “It is very rewarding to be honored by NAMAD, but I must take a moment to credit my talented team at Wade Ford for their dedication to our customers, the dealership and the Ford brand.”
Ewing was selected as the first recipient of this award for the leadership he demonstrated through implementation and adoption of new technology and improvement of processes at Wade Ford. Under Ewing’s leadership, the 40,000 square-foot dealership recently underwent a $2 million renovation to help provide an enhanced customer experience at all the franchises’ touch points. Ewing is also a multi-year recipient of the Ford Motor Company President’s Award, as well as a member of the Ford Dealership Advisory Board.
“We are grateful to Manheim and AutoTrader.com for the sponsorship of the conference and for the partnership on this award,” said Damon Lester, president of NAMAD. “We are pleased to honor Steve Ewing for his contributions to the automobile industry.”
During the selection process, the NAMAD Board recommended members who embodied this award, and representatives from Manheim, AutoTrader.com, Kelley Blue Book, vAuto and VinSolutions voted on a recipient based on the following criteria:
- Demonstrates the ability to innovate, inspire and lead their organization and effect change, relevant to the industry.
- Demonstrates the ability to create and implement a vision for their organization, and drive insights and opportunity through technology.
- Demonstrates success at implementing or promoting technology, and applying it to people and processes that impact customer value.
“We are proud to not only sponsor this award but to be an important part of this conference,” said Bruce Jackson, Division Vice President of Sales, Southeast, at AutoTrader.com. “It’s a privilege to honor Steve Ewing for the leadership he has shown at Wade Ford.”
A Detroit native, Ewing has held various positions in his 20-year career in the automotive industry, including salesman, sales manager, general manager and operator. He purchased Wade Ford, which started in Atlanta in the 1930s before moving to Smyrna in the 1980s, 12 years ago after selling his Ford dealership in Pennsylvania.
Wade Ford, located off South Cobb Drive near King Springs Road in Smyrna, was the first Motor Trend Dealership, which ensures buyers of previously-owned Ford vehicles that they are fully inspected and under warranty. The dealership averages 1,500 pre-owned and 1,400 new vehicle sales annually.