SAN FRANCISCO — The American International Automobile Dealers Association announced that California dealer Howard Hakes will serve as its 2019 chairman. Hakes, who is the president of Hitchcock Automotive Resources in the City of Industry, Calif., officially accepted the position at AIADA’s 49th Annual Meeting and Luncheon, held today in San Francisco. During his remarks, he emphasized the need for dealers to engage in the legislative process that impacts their businesses.
“If we want our stores to survive and thrive in these next crucial years, we need to be involved,” said Hakes. “We need to speak out and let our collective and our individual voices be heard, and we have to do so before too much more time passes.”
Hakes is a 28-year veteran of the auto retail industry, an active member of his local community, and an engaged participant in local, state, and national politics. He is a certified drug and alcohol counselor, serves on the board of the California Republican Party, is Vice-Chairman of the Republican party of Los Angeles County, and was appointed by the president to serve on the Department of Health and Human Service’s Drug and Alcohol Prevention Board.
Hakes named threats to global trade as the greatest challenge facing international nameplate dealers today: “Protectionism is the biggest threat to us today and we need people to stand up and do something about it.”
Serving alongside Hakes in leadership positions on the 2019 AIADA Board of Directors are Immediate Past Chairman Brad Strong (Salt Lake City), Chairman-Elect Jason Courter (Bellevue, Wash), and Vice-Chairman Steve Gates (Richmond, Ky.). Also during its Annual Meeting, AIADA presented Newport Beach, California dealer Dave Conant, owner and CEO of the Conant Auto Retail Group, with the 2019 David F. Mungenast Sr. Lifetime Achievement Award.