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Cleveland Heights, Ohio
“We’re doing our part to protect the environment for our children and grandchildren”
“I am proud that Motorcars Honda has been recognized as the first carbon neutral auto dealership in the world by BP Global,” nominee Gile said. “It is very rewarding that we are a green innovator in an industry not traditionally known for that kind of environmental stewardship.”
A 1968 graduate of Appleton West High School in Appleton, Wisconsin, Gile earned a B.A. in business management from the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire in 1973, where he was a member of Phi Sigma Epsilon fraternity.
Unlike many dealers, Gile started his career outside of the industry and never worked in sales. He landed a position as a controller at Fairchild Chevrolet in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1975 and became General Manager in 1978, later joining Motorcars Honda in Cleveland Heights as a managing partner in 1989. Eventually, he bought out his partner and also acquired Motorcars Toyota in Cleveland, which he still owns today.
“To learn the business, I would stay late, go home to eat with my family, then go back to work and stay until the wee hours,” Gile said. “I also spent – and still spend – a lot of my time reading about companies outside of our industry and how they approach things, as it’s always less expensive to learn from someone else’s mistakes.”
Today, his son Matt is general manager of Motorcars Toyota and son Trevor is general manager of Motorcars Honda. “Having my sons work with me every day is very gratifying,” Gile said. “I can’t think of a better way to spend time with them than having lunch together to discuss dealership issues, find new revenue streams, launch new businesses, plan and watch them grow and mature.”
And it was his family that inspired him to make a significant green investment in Motorcars Honda, adding solar panels over the dealership’s pre-owned lot and reducing the carbon footprint. “We’re doing our part to protect the environment for our children and grandchildren,” Gile said of his green initiatives. “I want my grandchildren to be able to see live polar bears, not stuffed carcasses and videos that show what they used to be.”
In addition, he and his sons participate in many auto dealer gatherings and meetings with local business owners to share their green innovations, showing how these changes can positively affect the bottom line. In recognition of the Gile family’s future-focused improvements, Cox Automotive presented them with their annual Leader in Sustainability Award in 2017 and Fixed Ops magazine with their Dealer of the Year for Innovation in 2018.
Gile has even gotten the community involved by hosting a Solar Car Derby for children, where kids ages 5 to 8 and ages 9 to 12 compete with solar cars built with kits provided by Motorcars Honda. He also supports youth charities, including Bluecoats, which provides financial support for families of police officers and fire fighters who die in the line of duty, and Flashes of Hope, an organization that raises funds to accelerate a cure for children’s cancer while honoring sick children through photography. Motorcars Cleveland, Gile’s auto group, was lead sponsor for that organization’s Big Shots and Little Stars benefit this past August. Gile is also on the board of Cleveland’s Metro Hospital and was chairman of the Metro Hospital Gala Event in 2017, which raised more than $2 million.
In addition, Gile has raised money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and has donated to numerous Chagrin Valley charities, as well as collected food, clothing and school supplies for various groups. He has also held a pet adoption event at his dealership to support the Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter.
Gile was nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year award by Lou Vitantonio, president of the Greater Cleveland Automobile Dealers’ Association. He and his wife, Georgia, have two sons.