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Herbert Yardley

Herbert Yardley

Massey-Yardley Dodge Chrysler Jeep
Plantation, Florida

“Massey-Yardley has maintained good relations with its customers and employees for 50 years. We have succeeded in a demanding market, and we take great pride in our employees, many of whom have been partners with us for more than 20 years.”

“Massey-Yardley has maintained good relations with its customers and employees for 50 years,” nominee Yardley said. “We have succeeded in a demanding market, and we take great pride in our employees, many of whom have been partners with us for more than 20 years.”

A 1945 graduate of Valley Forge Military Academy in Wayne, Pennsylvania, Yardley earned a B.A. in economics from the University of Florida in Gainesville in 1955, where he graduated with honors and received a Declamation Medal. He was also a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.

Yardley’s college tenure was interrupted when he volunteered for the United States Army during the Korean War. He served on the frontlines as an infantry company commander and was wounded in battle, receiving the Purple Heart for his sacrifice. He later returned to Florida to complete his degree and then went to work for the Chrysler Corporation in Detroit, Michigan, from 1955 to 1967.

“I was not the first Yardley bitten by the auto bug,” he said. “My father, who served with the U.S. Army in World War I, was part of the 1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy that drove 3,000 miles on the historic Lincoln Highway from Washington, D.C., to Oakland, California, and then by ferry to San Francisco. After the war, he went into the car business, only to reenlist at the start of World War II.”

In 1967, Yardley was hired by Bill Massey to operate a dealership in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, which was founded as Massey-Yardley Dodge. “Bill owned a string of very successful Florida dealerships and his business plan was to provide the location and initial capital while his partner was the operator,” he said. “I bought out Bill Massey in 1985, but the dealership remains Massey-Yardley to this day even at its new location in Plantation.”

Yardley credits his time working at the former Chrysler Corporation with making him a more effective dealer. “Having been a factory rep before I became a dealer allowed me to understand my supplier’s agenda and to address the needs of the supplier without letting the relationship deteriorate,” he said.

His leadership skills extended beyond the dealership, benefitting many groups and organizations in South Florida. He has lent his time and talent to the boards of WPBT2 (South Florida Public Broadcasting Station); and also as President of Volunteer Broward, a United Way of Broward Agency.

Herb was chairman of the Miami public television station’s board of directors during a difficult time. He shepherded the station as it transitioned from broadcasting an old-fashioned analog signal, and brought it into the digital era. He led the station as it purchased and installed modern, digital equipment. Under his watch he strengthen the station’s most well known program, the business news and analysis program “Nightly Business Report.” Herb laid the groundwork for the acquisition of a smaller public station in West Palm Beach. When he came onto the board, Channel 2 was a struggling station. When he left the chairmanship he had established Channel 2 as one of the preeminent television stations in the South Florida Media market, and the only Miami area television station to serve the entire South Florida metropolis.

Yardley also made an impact on the Village of Sea Ranch Lakes, Florida, when he served as mayor from 1990 to 1998. “I sought out like-minded residents and encouraged them to run for the board,” he said. “Together, we restructured our city's bureaucratic procedures, establishing a clear chain of command and removing inefficient processes. We also took steps to solve our environmental programs.” Community reaction was so positive, Yardley ran unopposed for his second term.

In honor of his wife, Catherine A. Yardley, who helped found the Museum of Discovery & Science in Fort Lauderdale, Yardley funded an exhibit at the museum that focused on how lungs work. She has since passed away. He has also contributed to the work of the COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) Foundation by donating monies to the group for each car sold at his dealership.

For his alma mater, the University of Florida, Yardley has supported many initiatives, including refurbishing the school’s Plaza of the Americas and funding the Yardley Garden at Ulster Hall on campus. He has also established a scholarship for the St. Thomas University School of Law in Miami Gardens, Florida, and annually Massey Yardley has a Christmas party for under privileged children and their parents where bicycles and other gifts are distributed.

Yardley was nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year award by Ted L. Smith, president of the Florida Automobile Dealers Association. He has three children.