By now, you’ve likely experienced the lasting, upending effects of COVID-19 on your dealership, your family and your daily life. I know I have personally. My family has seen its daily routines turned upside down and our activities severely constrained. We have learned what it means to flatten the curve, to socially distance, and to have an annoying piece of cloth covering our mouths and noses.
For me and the new job, what started off as a great plan to meet with dealers across the state face-to-face came to a screeching halt in March. I am thankful that I had the chance to meet dealers in the Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, Austin, Lubbock, Amarillo, and Killeen areas, but I have miles and miles of Texas to go and I look forward to getting back out on the road again.
Another fallout of this pandemic was the cancellation of our annual TADA meeting scheduled for April 26-27 in Austin. This was the first time since World War II that an annual meeting has not been held and I missed the opportunity to begin developing new relationships.
For those of you I haven’t met or that didn’t get to read the last Dealer's Choice magazine, my background is in political advocacy, the last 16 years of which have been at the Texas Medical Association representing Texas physicians at the state and federal level. I am a strong believer in the philosophy that all politics is local and that grassroots advocacy is the foundation on which to build an effective association. TADA has a storied history on doing just this in its legislative advocacy and is also renowned nationwide for its stellar legal and regulatory efforts.
The TADA team has done a fantastic job keeping you up-to-date on what is happening at the state and federal level and helped work to ensure that dealers were classified as essential businesses and could remain operational in the pandemic. They have answered scores of questions and kept a finger on the pulse of what’s going on in Austin and Washington, D.C and out in dealerships across Texas. I was fortunate to have inherited such a committed team. I also am incredibly fortunate to have gained a fantastic group of regional executives. During the past several months I have seen them work their local government officials to ensure dealerships could provide needed sales and services to customers.
COVID-19 may have changed the way we do business temporarily, but it has already had a lasting effect…and the implications of this new disease are likely here to stay. With it, though, are elements of optimism. I am more convinced than ever of the essential role that franchised new car and truck dealers play in protecting the safety and security of Texans.
I am proud to now be a part of the dealer family. The article in the upcoming Dealers’ Choice magazine titled “Making a Difference“ highlights examples of what several Texas dealers have been doing for their communities during this pandemic. These are but some of the latest in the many local charities and endeavors dealers have supported over the years, decades and last century. Although it is impossible to predict what the next several months will hold, for TADA business goes on…focusing on the legal, legislative and regulatory issues that impact Texas dealers. We have the 87th Texas Legislature scheduled to convene on January 12, 2021 and we will be ready. Just as you are there for your customers and communities, your TADA is here for you.