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Carriage Chevrolet Inc.
“Through hard work and commitment, I was able to advance through the ranks of management and become a dealer operator.”
“I began as a sales representative in a small dealership at a young age,” nominee Vowell said. “Through hard work and commitment, I was able to advance through the ranks of management and become a dealer operator. The satisfaction that comes with that opportunity to succeed has been most rewarding to me.”
A 1959 graduate of Ruleville Central High School in Ruleville, Mississippi, Vowell studied business at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg and Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi. He also served in the Mississippi Army National Guard.
Vowell started his automotive career in 1964 at Kossmans Inc., a small store in Cleveland, Mississippi, before moving to Memphis, Tennessee, to become a general sales manager for a large dealership. He owned Heritage Motor Company in Vicksburg, Mississippi, from 1981 to 1985 and was dealer operator at Carriage Motor Company in Huntsville, Alabama, from 1985 to 1989. In 1998, Vowell founded his current dealership, Carriage Chevrolet in Fayetteville and his son, Judd, is general manager.
A charter member of the Better Business Bureau of Middle Tennessee, Vowell served as the first chairman of the group’s advisory board in 2000. “Helping establish the chapter was especially rewarding to me, as I regard the Better Business Bureau to be one of the most important organizations for the promotion of ethical business practices in the community,” he said.
Vowell also served as president and vice president of the Rotary Club of Greater Huntsville and is a member of the Fayetteville-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce. He provides vehicles to local highs schools for driver’s education courses and sponsors high school booster clubs, plus he has donated hole-in-one car prizes for the annual golf tournament and foundation fundraiser for Motlow State Community College. In addition, he supports the Melissa George Neonatal Memorial Fund for the Huntsville Hospital Foundation.
A recipient of the 2016 Andrew Jackson Award from the Tennessee Automotive Association, Vowell is deeply proud of this recognition from his peers. “It has to be the most meaningful honor I have received, simply because it comes from the people who understand the responsibility that we, as dealers, have to our customers, our community and our industry as a whole,” he said.
Vowell was nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year award by Roberts V. Weaver Jr., president of the Tennessee Automotive Association. He and his wife, Lady Jane, have two children and four grandchildren.