A top-level realignment at JM Family Enterprises has elevated octogenarian founder Jim Moran and his daughter, Pat Moran, to the positions of honorary chairman and board chairman, respectively, and awarded the presidency to the company's longtime general counsel, Colin W. Brown.
The Deerfield Beach, FL-based JM Family Enterprises made the first change in its chairmanship 32 years after the one-time Ford and Hudson dealer in Chicago, Mr. Moran, then 50, became a five-state distributor for Toyota vehicles in the Southeast.
Still active in the business and a frequent visitor to the JM Lexus dealership he owns in Margate, FL, Mr. Moran named his daughter Pat president and CEO in 1989, six years after she joined the fast-growing company.
To the Southeast Toyota Distributors (SET) group, Mr. Moran added financial service operations called World Omni Financial Services and JM&A Group in the early 1980s. The privately owned company as a whole grossed a reported $6.2 billion in 1999, more than 2-1/2 times what it did 10 years earlier.
In becoming president, Mr. Brown, 51, continues as company chief operating officer, a position he received in 1997. He also continues to oversee corporate relations.
Prior to joining JM in 1992, Mr. Brown had served as general counsel for two Fortune 500 companies - Fuqua Industries of Atlanta and Cannon Mills of Kannapolis, NC.
One of only two car dealers to be featured on the cover of Time Magazine, Mr. Moran achieved the rank of top-selling dealership in Courtesy Motors, Chicago, pitching its new Ford and used vehicles himself on late night movies beamed on TV across the Midwest.
Prior to buying a struggling Ford store in 1948, Mr. Moran purchased a Sinclair gas station for $380 and began selling used cars from it after military service in World War II.
Among his firsts as a dealer were free seatbelts he installed; an "on the spot" delivery system; a 100% "guaranteed" used car covered by a written warranty, and a reconditioning "assembly line" that could turn out up to 800 units a day.
He and his wife, Jan, are community activists in both Broward County, where JM Family Enterprises is headquartered, and in Jacksonville, FL, site of a JM facility near the Port of Jacksonville. He received honorary doctorates from Northwood University in 1987 and Florida State University in 1997.
A cancer victim and survivor at age 46, Mr. Moran celebrated his recovery by opening JM Pontiac dealerships in Homestead and Hollywood, FL. These have since been sold, leaving him with the charter Lexus store, which now is Lexus's top-volume outlet.
Pat Moran, 55, who joined the family firm in 1984, spoke of her years as a working mother when she was honored in January at an NADA convention banquet given by the Women's Automotive Assn. International in Orlando, FL. Ms. Moran, whose variety of JM Family posts included group vice president of sales for SET, has three children and four grandchildren.
Mr. Brown, a graduate of Williams College and the Duke University School of Law, and his wife Cynthia have three children.
JM maintains customer service centers in Mobile, AL, and St. Louis, both serving World Omni. The Mobile center is being expanded because of growth of a new division, CenterOne Financial Services.