Steve Everett Wins National Recognition for Community Service

| November 19, 2015

Community

NEW YORK – The nomination of Steve Everett, vice president/general manager at Langdale Ford Co. in Valdosta, Georgia, for the 2016 TIME Dealer of the Year award was announced today by TIME.

AllyEverett is one of a select group of 50 dealer nominees from across the country who will be honored at the 99th annual National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Convention & Exposition in Las Vegas, Nevada, on April 1, 2016. The announcement of this year’s nominees was made by Meredith Long, publisher, TIME, and Tim Russi, president of Auto Finance for Ally Financial.

“The TIME Dealer of the Year award nominees are business leaders and pillars of their communities, who have each given generously to support important charitable causes,” said Russi. “Ally is proud to honor these dealers and to recognize their commitment to making a difference.”

“The new car business has been good to me and my family. I still get a thrill out of selling cars and making customers happy and managing a successful business,” nominee Everett said. “I am also proud that my business is a great place to work and where a good employee with a lot of ambition can still become a dealer.”

A 1972 graduate of High Point High School in Beltsville, Maryland, where he played varsity baseball, Everett attended Prince George’s Community College in Largo, Maryland. “Probably my biggest regret is that I did not graduate from college,” Everett said. “My goal is to ensure that my children and grandchildren do not make the same mistake.” His oldest daughter is an attorney and his second daughter is now in college. “It will be one of my proudest moments to have both of my children graduate,” he said.

LANGDALE FORDEverett’s road to the retail automobile business was winding. He started out managing grocery stores but always had a passion for cars. “I have always had a love affair with automobiles and have been intrigued by the car business,” he said. “I could look at a car and tell you its make, model and year immediately and probably could come pretty close to telling you what engine it had and some specifications about it. I still get excited every time my manufacturer introduces a new model. I can’t wait to find out all I can about it and especially drive it. I’m still a kid at heart when it comes to cars and trucks.”

While working in the grocery industry, Everett moved to Valdosta in 1976. It was there that he launched his retail automobile career after buying a new Pontiac. “During that experience, I became close to a few of the salespersons and especially the sales manager,” he said. Everett was hired at the dealership a few months later and had great success, eventually rising to general manager and purchasing a stake in the business. In 1992, he partnered with the Langdale family, taking over management duties of their Ford store and today also oversees the company’s Chevrolet dealership in Sylvester, Georgia. And he’s developed an apprentice program at his stores to hire, train, retain and develop young people. “I love helping young talent achieve great things in their career,” he said.

Despite having offers to open dealerships outside of Valdosta, Everett chose to stay in the town and has always been committed to its community. He’s been a member of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce since 1982. He is proud of expanding Ford’s “Drive 4UR School” campaign by pitting two rival schools in his area against each other to see who could generate the most test drives at his dealership. “We donate $20 for each test drive,” he said. “Our very first event resulted in more than 600 test drives and this year’s event resulted in more than 900. We have now donated more than $100,000 to the two schools in the six years the program has been in place. Ford tells us that no other dealership comes close to those numbers.”

While chairman of the Georgia Automobile Dealers Association from 2014 to 2015, Everett worked closely with dealers to promote the “Drive Out Hunger” campaign, a partnership with Action Ministries of Georgia. “We were able to raise almost $100,000 in our first year with this program,” he said. “I am confident that this partnership will grow in coming years and many more dollars will be raised to help fight hunger in our state.”

Everett is a licensed commercial pilot and a volunteer for Angel Flight Georgia and Mercy Flight Southeast, which flies people in need of medical treatments who can’t afford transportation. “I’ve flown many Angel Flight missions since 2005 and flew medical supplies to New Orleans two days after Hurricane Katrina struck,” he said. He is also currently the chairman for the Valdosta-Lowndes County Airport Authority.

Members of Northside Baptist Church in Valdosta, Everett and his wife serve as directors of the Nearly and Newly Married Sunday School Class. He is also serves on the Board of Directors for The Mailbox Club, an organization that provides bible lessons to children worldwide. “To be successful in this business and your community requires the support of a tremendous wife, which I am truly blessed to have,” Everett said. “All the awards and accomplishments are nothing compared to the joy of raising your children to be successful citizens in their communities.”

Everett was nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year award by Bill Morie, president of the Georgia Automobile Dealers Association. He and his wife, Patti, have two children and one grandchild

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5 Comments on "Steve Everett Wins National Recognition for Community Service"

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  1. My family has known Steve and all of his family for many years. I am so proud of all of Steves accomplishments, as well as all of his family.
    Steve is a friend to his friends.

  2. Judy Sobek says:

    Steve is my brother, and I am very proud of all he has accomplished. Our father would be bursting with pride, too.

  3. Myrna Ballard says:

    Congratulations, Steve! Your many contributions and accomplishments bring pride to your family, your business, and your community. Valdosta is lucky to have you!

  4. Daniel Everett says:

    As Steve is my brother as well, he has always been a pillar to the community and to his family. We are all proud of his accomplishments and wish him luck in Las Vegas.