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Chris Meier

Chris Meier

Herzog-Meier Auto Center
Beaverton, Oregon

"Outside of my achievement in running a successful business, what I am most proud of is my work with charities throughout Oregon and, specifically, my efforts to help generate substantial charitable contributions to support their valuable work"

“Outside of my achievement in running a successful business, what I am most proud of is my work with charities throughout Oregon and, specifically, my efforts to help generate substantial charitable contributions to support their valuable work,” nominee Meier said.

A 1985 graduate of Jesuit High School in Portland, Oregon, Meier earned a B.A. in political science from the University of Washington in Seattle in 1989, where he was a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity.

After working outside of the auto business as a financial consultant and export broker in Portland, Meier returned to Beaverton in 1993 and the dealership his father, Jim Meier, owned with a partner. “Like many of my peers, my start in the auto industry first began as a teen with the usual tasks of sweeping floors and washing cars,” he said. “I worked in other industries both to expose myself to different career paths, as well as to provide a broader appreciation of the opportunities afforded by the auto industry.” He recently celebrated in 25th anniversary at Herzog-Meier Auto Center.

Meier attributes his success to the unwavering work ethic instilled in him by his father, who is his partner in the dealership along with Mike Herzog and Tom Herzog. In addition, his ability to go beyond his comfort zone and try new methods has contributed to the growth of his business.

“And I believe in the power of continuing education,” he said. “I have been in a Volkswagen 20 Group [dealer network] for more than 21 years, and while the faces have changed over time, I have learned more about how to be a successful operator from the dealers in that group than any other resource.”

Meier is a strong proponent of dealers working together to advance the industry as a whole. He is actively involved in his local association, the Metro Portland New Car Dealers Association, and has served as president and vice president of the group. He was instrumental in bringing management and production of the Portland International Auto Show in-house and helped create the show’s Sneak Peek Charity Preview event that raises money for numerous charities.

“We have generated and paid out more than $6 million in contributions for a variety of national and local charities from our preview event,” he said. Some of the organizations that have benefitted include JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation); Victory Academy (school for children with autism in Sherwood, Oregon, and Meier is also on the board of this group); The Freshwater Trust (restores freshwater waterways); Meals on Wheels People (Portland-area Meals on Wheels group); SEI (Self Enhancement Inc., helping underserved youth reach their full potential); Brian Grant Foundation (provides tools to improve the lives of people living with Parkinson’s disease); and Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland Metropolitan Area.

He has also held leadership positions at the Oregon Auto Dealers Association. “After attending an NADA conference in Washington, D.C., I saw the need for organizations like ours to protect the well-being of our members and the importance of having our voice heard legislatively,” he said. “I am proud of the contributions I have made to both our associations and what that impact has meant to local charities, businesses and our communities.”

On a local level, Meier’s dealership has long supported the Beaverton Education Foundation by providing scholarships and donations to enhance continuing arts education in the school districts around his dealership. “Without our support, many of these students would no longer have the passion or ability to further their education in the visual arts, and our support allows them to pursue their dreams,” he said.

Meier was nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year award by Greg Remensperger, executive vice president of the Oregon Auto Dealers Association. He and his wife, Betsy, have two children.