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Charles (Chuck) Butler, Jr.
“It was very rewarding to serve for many years on the Northwest Ford Dealers Advertising Association board.”
“It was very rewarding to serve for many years on the Northwest Ford Dealers Advertising Association board,” nominee Chuck said. “This affiliation allowed me to form relationships with Ford regional executives and outstanding Ford dealers, as well as develop many fine advertising programs.”
A 1957 graduate of Alexander Hamilton High School in Los Angeles, California, Chuck attended Los Angeles Valley College in Valley Glen, California, where he was named to the All-Conference Water Polo team, and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), in Westwood, earning a B.S. in business administration in 1964. He also served in the United States Air Force.
Chuck’s career in the retail automobile business started at age 12, when he washed cars and dusted auto parts bins at his father’s Buick dealership in Oxnard, California. He later drove the parts truck and worked in all departments at Butler Buick, Opel, GMC Truck and American Motors in Torrance, California, and attended the General Motors Institute (now Kettering University) in Flint, Michigan, for further training. In 1965, he was named executive vice president and general manager of the dealership.
“As the dealer operator, I designed and constructed a state-of-the-art Buick dealership in Torrance and opened the facility in late 1966,” he said. “During the summer of 1973, we were the largest-volume Buick dealership west of the Mississippi.”
Chuck sold that business in 1974 and moved to Redding, California, where he partnering in another store. Two years later, he and his wife, Linda, made the permanent move to Oregon and founded Butler Ford in 1976. Today, the Butler Automotive Group encompasses four dealerships in southern Oregon, representing brands Acura, Ford, Peugeot, Alfa Romeo, Suzuki, Hyundai and Kia, and Linda is the assistant general manager. “This year we designed and built a new Ford Trustmark facility in Ashland,” he said.
An active member of the Rotary Club of Ashland, Chuck has served on the boards of the Ashland Community Hospital Foundation, Southern Oregon University Foundation (Ashland) and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (Ashland). “For the hospital foundation, I helped secure the donation of six acres of land near the hospital to be used for a senior residence facility,” he said. “We negotiated a 40-year lease on the property with a national retirement company that will establish a steady stream of income for the foundation.”
Chuck also participates in Ford’s Drive 4 UR School program, which donates $20 for every test drive at his dealership to area schools and organizations. For the past two years, he has offered free parking as a sponsor of the Jackson County Fair in Central Point, Oregon. And he supports many national and local organizations, including Boys & Girls Clubs of the Rouge Valley; United Way of Jackson County; Dogs for the Deaf (Central Point); Ashland Family YMCA; Britt Music & Arts Festival (Jacksonville, Oregon); HOPE Equestrian Center (Eagle Point, Oregon); Children’s Advocacy Center of Jackson County; and many more.
Chuck was nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year award by Greg Remensperger, executive vice president of the Oregon Automobile Dealers Association. He and his wife, Linda, have three children and six grandchildren.