Dodge is a 1996 graduate of Bentley College (now Bentley University) in Waltham, Massachusetts, where he earned a B.S. in management. He also attended the NADA Academy in 1997 in preparation to take over the family store, which was founded in 1970.
“I have worked hard to prove to my employees that I earned the position I am in and wasn't handed a golden egg,” he said. “I would never ask my team to do something I haven't done myself.”
And that includes janitorial duties, working in reconditioning and gaining experience in each department in the dealership, from service writing to F&I (Finance & Insurance) to sales to buying cars at auctions.
“Working in all individual departments in-depth was invaluable in learning the proper ways to manage the entire store – and eventually, all of our dealerships,” Dodge said.
Today, the Bill Dodge Auto Group, which he owns with his father and sister, encompasses stores throughout Maine in Westbrook, Brunswick and Saco, representing brands BMW, Buick, Cadillac, GMC, Hyundai, Infiniti, Kia and Nissan.
Dodge is also an active member of the Maine Automobile Dealers Association, currently director of the group’s workers’ compensation board, and he has served as chair from 2010 to 2012 and vice chair from 2008 to 2010.
“I was responsible for leading the association through the General Motors bankruptcy and the challenges it created for car dealers in Maine,” he said. “I now oversee the workers’ compensation trust as we self-insure a majority of the state’s dealers to cover work- related injuries and employee illnesses.”
On a local level, the Bill Dodge Auto Group sponsors a wide array of community activities and the company’s mascot, Otto the Moose, is a fixture at area events. “The automotive business has allowed me to interact with individuals and organizations that impact our surrounding communities,” Dodge said. “I have been able to give to many schools, charities, businesses and individuals that were in need.”
He is proud of his association with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bath/Brunswick, where he was president of the board in 2017. “My work with this group has been very enlightening as the number of youths in our communities that need support is shocking,” Dodge said. “This organization focuses on at-risk kids and helps ensure they get the guidance and direction they need to become productive adults.”
Dodge’s auto group has been a sponsor of the organization’s Big Swing Golf Tournament since 2006. “This year, we raised $50,000 which allows us to help 50 kids by matching them with a mentor,” he said.
He is also involved with People Plus, which provides activities for older individuals to remain engaged in their communities, and the Brunswick Area Teen Center, where teens in grades 6 to 12 can gather after school or in the summer in a safe environment.
Other initiatives that Dodge supports include Veterans Count Maine, a program of Easterseals that provides resources and services to veterans, service members and their families; WPOR’s Christmas Is for Kids, which helps make the holidays brighter for children in Maine; Camp Sunshine, a retreat for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families in southern Maine; the Salvation Army; No Kid Hungry; and many more.
Dodge was nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year award by Tom Brown, president of the Maine Automobile Dealers Association. He and his wife, Sharon, have four children.