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Holiday Chevrolet Cadillac
"The most rewarding aspect of my automotive career has been working with my brother to grow the business that my father founded."
“The most rewarding aspect of my automotive career has been working with my brother to grow the business that my father founded,” nominee Hudgins said. “I know he would be happy to see how far we have come today.”
His father, affectionately known as “Big John” Hudgins, had a larger-than-life personality and was the star of his own advertisements. “He was a people’s guy and he trained me how to be that way from a very young age,” Hudgins said.
A 1976 graduate of Middlesex High School in Saluda, Virginia, Hudgins has worked at Holiday Chevrolet Cadillac for his entire professional career. “I started working for my dad at 12 years old,” he said. “I worked my way up from the bottom. The first store I worked in had dirt floors in the service dept. We have come a long way since those days.”
In 1985, he graduated from General Motors University of Automotive Management, which helped prepare him to take over the dealership. “The thing that really got me hooked on this business was parts and service,” he said. “Eventually I got into sales, but I always learned more on the fixed side of the business.”
Today, he owns the dealership with his brother, Michael, who is the sales manager. “The next projected leader behind me is my daughter, Aris, and she will be a third-generation dealer,” he said of Aris Hudgins, who graduated from the NADA Academy in 2012. He has also assumed leadership roles at the Virginia Automobile Dealers Association, having served on the board of the group for many years and as its chairman in 2009.
Hudgins added, “My dad taught me a lot about the business and I learned from him how to exceed people’s expectations. He was the best you would ever see.”
And the community spirit Big John fostered is continued by Hudgins today. His company supports the local fire and rescue squads by supplying training dummies and he sponsors everything from charity fishing tournaments to golf events to fashion shows. Some of the organizations he sponsors include Vettes-4-Vets, a car event fundraiser for veterans groups; Williamsburg Revolution (youth baseball league teams); YMCA Bright Beginnings program (helps children by providing new clothes and school supplies); Grove Christian Outreach food drives in Williamsburg; and many others.
A member of the Williamsburg Lions Club since 1994, Hudgins received the Good Samaritan Fellowship award in 2005 from the Lions Charity Foundation of District 24-D. This honor recognized his outstanding service to the community and his fundraising efforts.
Hudgins was nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year award by Don Hall, president and CEO of the Virginia Automobile Dealers Association. He and his wife, Michelle, have two children.