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San Diego, California
“I enjoy working with my team every day as we endeavor to improve what we do for each other and our clients.”
“I enjoy working with my team every day as we endeavor to improve what we do for each other and our clients,” nominee Witt said. “I also enjoy consulting with the team at Lincoln as we work to improve the Lincoln brand.”
A 1963 graduate of Crivitz High School in Crivitz, Wisconsin, Witt attended the University of Wisconsin Green Bay and served 10 years in the Wisconsin National Guard, reaching the rank of captain.
Witt grew up around his family’s dealership, which is still in operation today in Crivitz, and set out on his own to open a Ford store in Denmark, Wisconsin, in 1977. “After the 1979 to 1980 downturn, I moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and became new-car manager for Foster Pontiac,” he said. “After six months, I was promoted to general manager and stayed there until I open my own Ford store in Cudahy, also in the Milwaukee market.”
In 1997, due to the success of that dealership, Witt was asked by the Ford Motor Company to move to San Diego and run a store that would consolidate several Lincoln Mercury dealerships under one roof. “After serious thought, my wife and I decided to take the unprecedented step of moving to San Diego to become a Lincoln Mercury dealer,” he said.
Today, Witt and his three sons, Todd, Scott and Patrick, operate one of the leading Lincoln dealerships in the country. “Working side by side with my sons and our loyal team of professionals is a joy,” he said.
Witt’s most important community contribution is his work with Father Joe’s Villages, a group that provides housing programs and services that strive to transform lives and to break the cycle of homelessness. He is currently the chairman of the board and has served as secretary of the organization.
“It has been my most rewarding experience to work with the team at Father Joe’s, as we endeavor to end homelessness in San Diego,” he said. “We provide many services and prepare more than a million meals a year. We also offer permanent, temporary and emergency housing, with thousands housed each day. We currently have a $532 million dollar project underway to provide an additional 2,000 permanent housing units with services to the homeless.”
In addition to his leadership role with Father Joe’s Villages, Witt is an avid fundraiser for the group and sponsors programs and events, including the annual Children’s Charity Gala. He is proud that he and his wife will be recognized by the group with a plaque on the decorative donor wall at the Therapeutic Childcare Center for their generosity and support.
On the civic front, Witt serves has secretary of the Enhance La Jolla Maintenance Assessment District, a new organization that will oversee improvements and beautification projects in the Village of La Jolla, California.
Witt was nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year award by Dean Mansfield, president of the New Car Dealers Association San Diego County. He and his wife, Ann, have four children and one grandchild.