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Kendall Lowe Hamilton
Devan Lowe Inc.
Rainbow City, Alabama
“My father has always operated his business with integrity, and I welcome the opportunity to follow in his footsteps.”
“The automotive business has provided me with many great opportunities, the most rewarding of which has been getting to work alongside my father,” nominee Lowe Hamilton said. “He has always operated his business with integrity, and I welcome the opportunity to follow in his footsteps.”
A 1992 graduate of Emma Sansom High School in Gadsden, Alabama, Lowe Hamilton earned a civil engineering degree in 1997 from Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama, where she was a member of Chi Omega and graduated summa cum laude. She also received an M.B.A. from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa in 2000, achieving honors there as well.
“I grew up in the car business,” Lowe Hamilton said of the dealership her father founded in 1983. “From a young age, I've always loved a challenge, so I chose the field of engineering as my major for that reason.” But while in graduate school, she talked to her father about shifting gears and joining the family company. “At the time, there were very few females in the business,” she said. “It seemed like an exciting challenge and an opportunity to take advantage of the skill sets I learned in business school and the analytical mindset I developed while studying engineering.”
Lowe Hamilton was named executive manager of the dealership in 2000 and dealer principal in 2013. She continues to work with her father and with her husband, Mark Hamilton, who is fixed operations manager. “Providing our employees with a place to make a living and take care of their families is another great opportunity which I don't take lightly,” she said. “I also relish the chance to be involved in and give back to the community that I grew up in and love.”
To that end, Lowe Hamilton is committed to the United Way of Etowah County and currently serves on the board of directors and chaired the county’s fundraising effort in 2007. “During that year, we raised $1,312,161, which exceeded our goal,” she said. “And our employees have been great supporters each year. The multiplier effect of all of the campaign dollars coming together to help our community is incredible and affects so many individuals in a positive way.”
Other United Way initiatives that Lowe Hamilton supports include the United Way of Etowah County Young Leader's Society (founding member), which promotes philanthropy and volunteerism among young professionals, and the Girlfriend Gala to benefit the United Way of Northwest Alabama’s Success by 6 program. “The event supports children's literacy and typically raises more than $60,000 each year for preschoolers to receive books from the Dolly Parton Imagination Library,” she said.
To promote education, Lowe Hamilton created the Devan Lowe Honor Roll in 2007, a program that offers Etowah County high school seniors the chance to win a car if they make an A-B honor roll during each grade period. “We fully fund the program and will award our tenth car next May,” she said. “Both parents and teachers have told us that it helps motivate students to focus on academics.”
Lowe Hamilton also volunteers her time and talent to the Chamber, Gadsden/Etowah County; Greater Gadsden Area Tourism; and Gadsden-Etowah County Industrial Development. She is proud to have been named one of 25 Under 45 by the Gadsden Times in 2015, among other awards she has received for leadership.
“The ability to invest my time and resources to make a difference in the lives of others in my community is one of the reasons why I love being a new-car dealer,” she said.
Lowe Hamilton was nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year award by Thomas R. Dart, president of the Automobile Dealers Association of Alabama. Her husband is Mark Hamilton.