2010 NADA Chairman Plans to Draw from Legal Training

The National Automobile Dealers Assn. has elected Edward C. Tonkin as chairman and Stephen W. Wade as vice chairman for 2010. It's humbling to be elected by your peers to such an important position, says Tonkin, vice president and general counsel of Ron Tonkin Dealerships in Portland, OR. Tonkin, who earned a law degree from the University of Washington, says his legal knowledge will help him lead

The National Automobile Dealers Assn. has elected Edward C. Tonkin as chairman and Stephen W. Wade as vice chairman for 2010.

“It's humbling to be elected by your peers to such an important position,” says Tonkin, vice president and general counsel of Ron Tonkin Dealerships in Portland, OR.

Tonkin, who earned a law degree from the University of Washington, says his legal knowledge will help him lead the trade group through a myriad of legislative and regulatory challenges in 2010.

“I like the idea of being part of the solution, not part of the problem,” he says.

Tonkin will be the second NADA chairman in a row to follow his father in the position. Ron Tonkin led the association in 1989. Current chairman John McEleney's father preceded him.

Tonkin became a new-car dealer in 1981 after spending much of his childhood and adolescence helping his father at the family's dealerships.

Active in his community, Tonkin has served as a board member of the Temple Beth Israel Congregation, Portland Metropolitan Sports Authority and Metropolitan Family Service.

The Tonkin group sells and services Acura, Chevrolet, Dodge, Ferrari, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Lotus, Maserati, Mazda, Nissan, Scion and Toyota brands. It will soon add an Audi franchise. It also represents three motorcycle lines.

Wade is president of Stephen Wade Auto Center in St. George, UT.

He became a new car-dealer in 1973. He served as president of the Utah Auto Dealers Assn. in 1981 and has represented Utah's new-car dealers on NADA's board of directors since 2002. Currently, he's chairman of NADA's Industry Relations Committee.

Wade served on the board of Dixie State College for 11 years was chairman for seven years. He's a charter founder of Sun First Bank of St. George and owns southern Utah's only TV station, KCSG.

Wade's dealerships sell and service Chevrolet, Cadillac, Honda, Nissan, Mazda and Toyota brand vehicles, and he owns a power sports store that sells Yamaha, Suzuki, Honda, can-am and Polaris products.

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