Each year, MADA hosts a gala event with two purposes in mind; we raise funds for our scholarship program, and we also honor those whose efforts made the Maryland automobile industry the economic powerhouse that it is today by inducting them into our Hall of Fame or Legends Hall.
MADAF is proud to honor Jerry Fader as the fifth inductee into our Hall of Fame. The former president and COO of MileOne Automotive, Jerry began his career in the automotive industry in 1976 with Allstate Leasing, followed by the purchase of Seymour Chevrolet in 1978. He was instrumental in transforming this single Chevrolet dealership into what is now MileOne Automotive, the largest dealership group in the mid-Atlantic region, consisting of 76 dealership franchises representing 29 manufacturer brands at 40 locations.
Jerry served on the Maryland Automobile Dealers Association Board of Directors for 12 years and during that time he sat on various committees, including the Baltimore Auto Show committee. In 2006, he represented Maryland as our nominee for the TIME Magazine Quality Dealer Award.
Jerry graduated Summa Cum Laude from Western Maryland College, now McDaniel. He served in the U.S. Army attaining the rank of Captain in the 3rd Armored Division. He was a dedicated family man to his wife Rheda, his three boys and their wives, and his grandchildren.
MADAF is proud to recognize Frederick H. Bowis (1932-1993) as our fourth inductee into the Maryland Automobile Dealers Association Foundation Hall of Fame. Born in Washington, D.C., Fred attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, graduating with an engineering degree in 1954. He later attended American University and earned a law degree in 1963. Fred married Susan Hench in 1954; a union which produced three children and 6 grandchildren.
Fred began his automotive career in 1955. He began working at his father, Arthur Bowis’ dealership, Chevy Chase Motor Company, which was founded in 1939. Fred became president of Chevy Chase Chevyland in 1970 and retired in 1991. During that time, he received the Brand Name Foundation Automotive Retailer of the Year Award in 1973. He served on the Board of MADA and WANADA. He also served on the board of NADA. Fred also received the distinction of representing the Washington area as the 1980 TIME Magazine Quality Dealer of the Year finalist.
Fred was very active in his community and in his church. He served as an ordained elder, treasurer, and trustee on the board of directors at Bradley Hills Presbyterian Church. He served on several local community boards including the Bethesda-Chevy Chase YMCA, the Bethesda Boys Club as well as a long-time member of the board of directors of the Bank of Bethesda. Fred was a former president of the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rotary Club, as well as vice-president of the Bethesda Chamber of Commerce. Fred was the recipient of many community awards including the Rotary International’s Best Club President Award, the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Chamber’s coveted William Prescott Allen Award and the Salute to Youth YMCA Award of Montgomery County to name a few.
MADA is proud to recognize Robert L. Bell (1933-2011) as our third inductee into the Maryland Automobile Dealers Association Foundation Hall of Fame. Mr. Bell was born in Alexandria, Virginia and as a teenager was selected to be a Senate page. He proudly served in the Korean War and upon his discharge attended the University of Virginia. Bob married his childhood sweetheart, Rosemarie Carter, in 1951. Their union produced five daughters, 19 grandchildren, and 5 great-grandchildren with two more on the way.
Bob began his automotive career in 1956 as a management trainee at Ford Motor Company upon graduating from college. He worked at Ford as a field manager and retail manager for six years before opening his first dealership, Academy Ford in Laurel, with his friend, Tom Lynch. In 1979, Bob came to Baltimore and opened Bob Bell Ford in Glen Burnie. From that came the Bob Bell Automotive Group that today includes 7 franchises at 4 locations around Baltimore. Several of his son-in-laws and grandchildren are now involved in running and managing the family business.
Always involved in the Association, he served as a MADA Board member. Bob represented Maryland in 2001 as the TIME Magazine Quality Dealer of the Year nominee and was selected as one of the top five finalists that year. He was a true leader in our local industry.
Bob was active in his community, serving on the Civic Works Board, the Catonsville Community College Advisory Board and the Automotive Service Education Program. He was involved in the Baltimore Police Athletic League, the Baltimore Reads Literacy Program, and Serial 13, a program which supports police officers. He also donated a waiting room to the Upper Chesapeake Health Care Center.
Famous for playing the piano in a pink tuxedo, Bob became one of the best known automotive dealers in Maryland. He loved high performance cars, was an avid sports fisherman and won the White Marlin Open in 1992.
MADA is proud to recognize Robert B. Suddith (1932-2004) as our second inductee into the Maryland Automobile Dealers Association Hall of Fame. Bob began his automotive career as the Used Car Manager at Chevy Chase Chevrolet in Bethesda, MD. He enlisted in the United States Army, serving in the Army Corps of Engineers during the Korean War, and returned to Chevy Chase Chevrolet following the war. He purchased the Executive Pontiac dealership in Baltimore in 1968, but had to close it the day it opened as a result of riots in the wake of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King. He reopened the business and moved it to Randallstown, MD. He purchased Hoffman Chevrolet in Hagerstown, MD in 1980 and expanded the business in the years that followed.
Throughout his career, Bob was the recipient of numerous awards and distinctions in the industry. He served as Chairman of the Board for MADA; served as the Maryland Director on the National Automobile Dealers Association; and was the 1997 Maryland nominee for the TIME Magazine Quality Dealer of the Year Award.
Bob was also known for his extreme generosity and his philanthropic passions. He and Shelly founded the Suddith Charitable Foundation which gives annually to local schools, Boys & Girls Clubs, and also contributes to international needs. In 2003, the Foundation donated funds which went towards building a school for girls in India. Following September 11, 2001, Bob and Shelly opened Uncle Sam’s Workshop. They made and sold beaded flag pins, ultimately donating over $200,000 in funds to the families of 9/11 victims.
MADA is proud to recognize L. Wilson Howes (1928-2006) as our first inductee into the Maryland Automobile Dealers Association Hall of Fame. Mr. Howes, known to his family and friends as Wilson, was born in Baltimore and graduated from Richard Montgomery High School in 1947. He joined the Navy that same year and served as an engineer aboard the USS Albemarle. In 1948, he took part in Operation Sandstone, witnessing a test of the atomic bomb at the Eniwetok Atoll in Marshall Islands.
Wilson began his post-Navy career at Western Electric Co. but soon after took a job as a salesman at Wilson Pontiac in 1952. Six years later, he became vice president and general manager. He bought the dealership in 1970 and became a Honda dealer in 1973. Mr. Howes owed his business success to a single philosophy, “Take care of the customers because there isn’t an endless supply of them.”
Throughout his career, Wilson was the recipient of numerous awards and prestigious recognition. He served two terms as President of the Maryland Automobile Dealers Association, as well as serving on the board of the Washington Area New Automobile Dealers Association. Wilson represented Maryland as the 1995 TIME Magazine Quality Dealer of the Year nominee.
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