SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Henry Mullinax, who served almost 40 years as a leader of national and state independent dealers associations, has been selected to receive the Michael R. Linn NIADA Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association.
The award, presented Tuesday during the 75th annual NIADA Convention and Expo at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas, was created to honor individuals who have contributed a career of exceptional and selfless service to the association. It is named for NIADA CEO emeritus Michael Linn, who became the first recipient in 2013 on his retirement from his longtime role as NIADA’s chief executive.
Mullinax was recommended for the award by Linn himself, which, he said, made the honor especially meaningful.
“I am so thankful that he lent his talents to independent dealers,” Mullinax said in accepting the award. “He made a difference for and in our industry. And to think that he believes I have also is very overwhelming. I am truly humbled.”
Mullinax has been a member of NIADA and Alabama IADA since he joined as a franchise dealer in 1978. He rejoined as an independent dealer in 1981, after he founded Mullinax Auto Sales in Oxford, Ala.
He became president of his local AIADA chapter in 1984 and has since served in every leadership position at the local, state and national level. He was AIADA president in 2006-07 and NIADA president from 2019-2020.
He's also served on numerous committees and has chaired the NIADA Services Board, the Legislative and Regulatory Committee and the NIADA Foundation Board of Trustees, among others.
Mullinax completed his term as chairman of the NIADA board of directors this week when the new slate of officers was sworn in – the first time he has not held an association leadership post in 38 years.
He has been named Alabama’s State Quality Dealer and presented with AIADA’s distinguished service award, and was inducted into AIADA’s Hall of Fame in 2008.
In his acceptance remarks, Mullinax said he did some “soul-searching” about what brought him to this point.
“The main reason,” he said, “was my answering the call to provide service to others.”
Mullinax’s service goes beyond the independent dealers associations.
His dealership awarded college scholarships to local high school graduates. He’s been a member of the Jaycees and the Chamber of Commerce, for which he’s served on the public affairs committee.
He’s also served on the Oxford school board and was president of the career tech program advisory board. And in 2018-19, he was a member of the governor’s task force on curbstoning.