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John E. “Jay” Burchell, Jr.
“I always say, “We’re Making Friends ... and Selling Chevys!”
“Our success and our future, even in this digital world of today, is to make long-lasting relationships and take care of our customers for life,” nominee Burchell said. “I always say, “We’re Making Friends ... and Selling Chevys!”
A 1970 graduate of King George High School in King George, Virginia, Burchell earned a B.S. in business administration management from Madison College (now James Madison University) in Harrisonburg, Virginia, where he graduated in 1974. He also minored in psychology and accounting and was a member of Delta Sigma Pi, the professional business fraternity.
Burchell was originally looking for a position in advertising and marketing, but due to the tough job market in 1974, he decided to sell cars until he could find something else. “By November of that year, I knew the auto business would be my preferred line of work and my career,” he said.
His first job at Jim Price Chevrolet in Charlottesville, Virginia, prepared him for the future. “I was very fortunate because my dealer then, Mr. Jim Price, understood my desire to learn and he made a commitment to allow me to move through all of the sales, finance and service functions,” Burchell said. He also sponsored him in training at the General Motors Dealer Management Academy and classes at the NADA Academy. Looking for an ownership opportunity, Burchell took the next step in 1988 after meeting Mr. H. Carter Myers, III, he moved to Carter Myers Automotive, a multi-dealership operation in Virginia, and partnered at one of its stores, Heritage Chevrolet in Chester, in 1989. Today, 28 years later, Burchell continues to have a stake in the dealership and continues to run the operation.
For Burchell, nothing is more important than giving back to the community. “Specifically, I like to support our youth, as they will carry the burden and pleasure of the business environment in the next and future generations,” he said. “I try to stay very involved and keep my dealership and its associates engaged in that direction.”
In addition, Burchell has put his leadership skills to work for the Chester Family YMCA; the YMCA of Greater Richmond; Bon Secours St. Francis Medical Center Community Advisory Board; Virginia’s Gateway Region Economic Development Organization; and Holy Comforter Catholic Church (Charlottesville), to name a few. Active board member and Past Chairman of the Virginia Auto Dealers Association for 13 years; He is a Grand Knight, fourth degree, for the Knights of Columbus, and has contributed to the Chesterfield Center for the Arts, a theater and arts center set to open in Chester in 2017; Chesterfield Education Foundation; Kiwanis Club of Chester; Thomas Dale High School Key Club (Chester); St. Joseph Catholic Church in Petersburg, Virginia (capital building fund); and the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Richmond, Virginia (preservation fund).
Burchell was nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year award by Donald L. Hall, president and CEO of the Virginia Automobile Dealers Association. He and his wife, Joanne, have three children and nine grandchildren.