Jeb Bush, Jay Leno and Beck Weathers to Keynote 2015 NADA Convention in San Francisco
The four-day “Automotive Industry Event of the Year” runs Thursday, Jan. 22, to Sunday, Jan. 25
McLEAN, Va. (July 14, 2014) – San Francisco will host the 2015 National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Convention & Expo from Thursday, Jan. 22, to Sunday, Jan. 25. This will be the 16th time that the NADA convention has been held in San Francisco since 1949.
The keynote speakers include former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and NADA Chairman Forrest McConnell, III, on Friday, Jan. 23; Jay Leno and NADA Vice Chairman Bill Fox on Saturday, Jan. 24; and inspirational speaker Beck Weathers on Sunday, Jan. 25.
Elected as the 43rd governor of the Florida in 1998, and re-elected by a wide margin in 2002, Gov. Bush reformed education, cut taxes every year during his tenure and led the state to the highest job growth in the nation. His second term ended in Jan. 2007. He currently runs his own consulting business, Jeb Bush and Associates, with clients ranging from small technology start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. He is also chairman of the Foundation for Excellence in Education, a national foundation focused on education reform; co-chairman of the Barbara Bush Family Literacy Foundation; and chair of the National Constitution Center. Bush is co-author of Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution, released in March 2013. He is the son of former President George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush. He lives in Miami with his wife Columba, and they have three children and three grandchildren.
McConnell is the 2014 NADA chairman, and president of McConnell Honda/Acura in Montgomery, Ala. He is a third-generation new-car dealer, attorney and represents Alabama’s franchised auto dealers on NADA’s board of directors. The family started out in the business as Hupmobile and Scripps-Booth dealers in 1919, and through the years they have owned and operated multiple dealer franchises. As NADA chairman, McConnell is currently promoting the consumer and manufacturer benefits of the franchised dealer network, and leading NADA’s efforts through intense regulatory challenges facing dealers, such as efforts by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to eliminate an auto dealer’s flexibility to discount interest rates on consumer auto loans at dealerships.
Leno, an award-winning comedian/host and best-selling author of children’s books, hosted the “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” for nearly two decades. Following in the footsteps of legendary NBC late-night hosts Steve Allen, Jack Paar and Johnny Carson, Leno became host of the “Tonight Show” in May 1992. Currently, he is performing stand-up comedy in top venues across the U.S., and continues to work on his Web venture, “Jay Leno’s Garage” which highlights his passion for automobiles. In his spare times, he enjoys working on his collection of classic cars and motorcycles.
Fox is the 2014 NADA vice chairman, and a partner in Fox Dealerships, Inc., selling Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Honda, Jeep, Ram, Scion, Subaru and Toyota brand vehicles in the upstate New York cities of Auburn and Phoenix. Since his election to the NADA board of directors in Feb. 2006, he’s held numerous leadership positions, including chairman of the Public Affairs and Regulatory Affairs committees—where he championed dealers’ interests through an immense number of challenges, particularly the Great Recession of 2008 when the industry was hardest hit. This year at NADA, he is advocating on behalf of dealers in a world of changing technology and an endless stream of government regulations. His platform is built on the security and betterment of the dealer businesses. As a member of NADA’s board of directors, he represents franchised new-car dealers in the state of New York. He has served on the board and committee of the New York State Auto Dealers Association for more than a decade. As an attorney, he is admitted to practice law before all New York state courts, including the Federal District Court for the Northern District of New York, and the U.S. Supreme Court.
On the night of May 10, 1996, a violent storm swept over Mt. Everest with heavy snow, subzero cold and hurricane-force winds. Within 24 hours, eight climbers, including three professional guides, were dead. Weathers, an amateur climber, was severely injured, lying unconscious on the mountain’s icy rocks about 300 yards from camp. His wife and family were notified of his death. Miraculously, he awoke after the storm barely alive. With his hands and feet severely frostbitten and vision impaired, he astonished his fellow climbers by returning to camp. Dr. Weathers, an accomplished pathologist, lost his right hand and part of his left hand to frostbite. His story, a triumph of the human spirit, was the inspiration behind the No. 1 best-selling book, Into Thin Air, by Jon Krakauer, which is being made into a movie, titled Everest, set for release in 2015.
Considered the “Automotive Industry Event of the Year,” the NADA convention includes dealer-manufacturer franchise meetings, hundreds of educational workshops for dealers and their managers, several hundred exhibitors on the expo floor and numerous networking events.
The American Truck Dealers (ATD) Convention & Expo runs concurrently with the NADA convention at the Moscone Center. The NADA expo runs Jan. 23-25.