Donna Welker

Regional Vice President | Graham Oleson

Donna is a fiercely driven strategic sales and marketing executive. She is an idea generator, campaign developer and a results oriented professional. As the Regional Vice President of Graham Oleson, Donna has built a successful 17 year track record in marketing, branding, sales and leadership. By drawing on vast expertise to discern and cater to the unique needs of each client, Donna consistently raises the corporate bottom line by generating campaigns and promotions which in turn generate substantial market awareness and interest. With a passion for continued professional development, Donna's list of specialities extend to include the full spectrum of marketing.

NADA 2022 Annual Convention

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In 2021, The National Automotive Dealers Association committed to deliver a bigger, better, and more innovative convention in 2022 – and that’s exactly what they did. To say that the last two years have offered some significant challenges to our industry would be an understatement.  As we have been forced to change the way we not only do business but how we learn, network, and connect as a community, NADA made a promise to its members to make the 2022 National Automotive Dealers Association Convention the biggest and best experience in the history of the organization. ...and they delivered. Packed with over 100 educational opportunities, 600 exhibitors, and thousands of networking opportunities over the course of four days in sunny Las Vegas, the 2022 NADA Annual Convention sought to deliver an experience that not only made up for lost time caused by the global pandemic but also created an elevated space for industry peers and experts to reconnect and explore the latest tech and innovation in our field. Beyond the staggering number of attendees, exhibitors, and experts participating in the 2022 NADA convention, the organization introduce several new aspects to the conference.  Kicking off the festivities on Thursday, attendees were welcomed into the new home of the Las Vegas Raiders, Allegiant Stadium.  Featuring an electrifying performance from three-time Grammy winners Train, the inspired and energized crowd enjoyed a great night of networking and celebration – setting the stage for the incredible activities, panels, exhibitors, and educational opportunities that laid ahead. Among the most popular new features this year was the addition of the Dealer Learning Lab.  Embracing a TED Talk-style presentation format, topics ranged from variable and fixed ops to leadership and business operations, as well as several conversations centered around the biggest challenges facing the industry today.  Additionally, NADA offered a series of more traditional educational sessions designed to engage and inform our community.  With over 100 workshops and countless other educational opportunities throughout the course of the convention, there were sessions designed to support, inform, and inspire – from industry veterans to first-year members and attendees. From there, the 2022 NADA Annual Convention featured over 600 exhibitors from around the world.  Spread throughout two halls, the 2022 exhibitors delivered more than great conversation, mind-blowing innovation, and a strong showcase of products – they delivered hope, optimism, and a sense of dedication that was unapparelled.   Within each booth was a vendor eager to connect with other industry experts to find powerful solutions to rapidly changing market conditions and advancing technology. And finally, after days of connecting, networking, learning, and exploring, the National Automotive Dealers Association Annual Convention awarded the industry’s most prestigious award, Time Dealer of the Year.  With 47 dealers nominated and recognized for their excellence in business and community service, the Time Dealer of the Year award ceremony truly exemplified the countless ways its members selflessly give back to their communities on a local and national level.  While this award ceremony is always filled with inspirational people and incredible acts, the energy and commitment felt in this year’s event were simply captivating.  The 2022 Time Dealer of the Year was awarded to Bob Giles , owner of Giles Automotive located in Louisiana , of which Mr. Giles accepted the honor with the grace and gratitude one would expect from the recipient of such an incredible award.  In his speech, he challenged everyone in the industry to do their best in making a positive impact in their community through thoughtful, self-less acts of compassion and advocacy.  The powerful ceremony left the audience inspired and ready to make a difference in their own communities, and on behalf of all in attendance, I would like to congratulate the 2022 nominees for their contributions and the powerful example they provide all of us. The 2022 Time Dealer of the Year Nominees Included: Gary Ackerman, President/Owner of Gaudin Ford located in Las Vegas John Billard, Dealer Principal of Hempstead Ford Lincoln located in Hempstead, N.Y. Cary Bosak, Dealer Principal of Bosak Motors Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram located in Merrillville, Indiana Virginia Bowden, Dealer Principal of McClinton Chevrolet located in Parkersburg, West Virginia Steve Brown, President of Brown Motors located in Petoskey, Michigan Gregg R. Ciocca, President of Ciocca Ford of Quakertown located in Allentown, Pennsylvania Jason Courter, Owner of Honda Auto Center of Bellevue located in Bellevue, Washington Wyndi Damato, Principal/General Manager of Fitzgerald Ford located in Fitzgerald, Georgia Erik Day, CFO/Partner of Warren Henry Auto Group CFO/Partner located in Davie, Florida Winfred Dodge, Dealer of Bill Dodge Auto Group located in Westbrook, Maine Wayne Evans, Owner of Prairie Motors located in Stanley, North Dakota Ray Fregia Jr., Owner of Courtesy Ford Lincoln located in Danville, Illinois Robert “Bob” Giles, Chairman/CEO of Giles Automotive located in Lafayette, Louisiana  Terry Gilmore, Principal Owner of Paradise Chevrolet Cadillac located in Temecula, California James Gramm, Dealer Principal of Safford CJDR Springfield located in Springfield, Virginia Bill Griffis, Owner of Griffis Motors in Philadelphia, Mississippi Kelly Hirning, President of Hirning Buick GMC located in Pocatello, Idaho Jason Hoover, Owner/Dealer Principal of Midway Motors located in McPherson, Kansas Jack Kain Sr., Founder of Jack Kain Ford located in Versailles, Kentucky Gregg Kunes, Dealer/President/Owner of Kunes Country Ford-Lincoln located in Delavan, Wisconsin Steven Lillestol, President of Thief River Ford, Inc., located in Thief River Falls, Minnesota Christopher Lindsay, President and CEO of Lindsay Chevrolet located in Woodbridge, Virginia Daniel Luneau, Owner/Dealer of Handy Automotive/Handy Toyota located in St. Albans, Vermont Doug McElveen, Dealer/Owner of McElveen Buick GMC Summerville, South Carolina Pat McGrath, Dealer Principal of Pat McGrath Chevyland located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa David McNeill, CEO/Dealer of McNeill Chevrolet Buick Nissan of Wilkesboro located in Wilkesboro, North Carolina J. Douglas North, President of North Brothers Ford, Inc., located in Westland, Michigan Todd C. Ouellette Sr., Dealer/Owner of Long-Lewis Ford of the Shoals located in Muscle Shoals, Alabama Curtis Pascarella, Owner/President of Phillips Chevrolet located in Frankfort, Illinois Tony Pierce, Dealer Principal of Snowy Mountain Motors located in Lewistown, Montana John Platek, Dealer Principal of Betley Chevrolet, Inc., located in Derry, New Hampshire Daniel Reineke, Dealer Principal of Reineke’s Tiffin Ford Lincoln, Inc., located in Tiffin, Ohio Bob Rogers, President of Bob Rogers Chevrolet located in Paris, Arkansas Michael Schulte, Owner of Schulte Subaru located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota Dennis Schworer, President and Owner of Honda Cars of Bellevue, located in Bellevue, Nebraska Robert Serpentini Jr., President of Serpentini Chevrolet of Strongsville located in Strongsville, Ohio Joseph Shaker, President of Wellesley Mazda located in Wellesley, Massachusetts Robert Sickel, President of Pine Belt Chevrolet located in Lakewood, New Jersey Bob Siracusano, Owner of Sawyer Motors located in Saugerties, New York Brad Sowers, General Manager/Owner of Jim Butler Chevrolet located in Fenton, Missouri Michael Stoebner, General Manager/President of Honda Windward located in Kaneohe, Hawaii Annette Sykora, Partner of Smith South Plains Ford Lincoln located in Levelland, Texas Joseph Thurby Jr., Dealer of Thurby’s Riverside Ford located in Markleysburg, Pennsylvania Tim Urness, Dealer Principal of C. H. Urness Motors located in The Dalles, Oregon S. Mitchell Walters, President of Friendship Ford located in Bristol, Tennessee Chris H. Wilson, Dealer of Wilson Motor Company located in Logan, Utah Phil Winslow, Owner of Winslow BMW of Colorado Springs located in Colorado Springs, Colorado As I close this brief snapshot of the 2022 NADA Annual Conference, I would be remised not to share a quote from the organization’s Outgoing National Automobile Dealers Association Chairman, Paul Walser.  During his address to the convention, Chairman Walser said, “Imagine a workforce where diversity and inclusion are the standard, where we are the industry that encompasses everyone – so much so, that our efforts are respected and celebrated by other industries, government agencies, legislators, and everyday people looking for an opportunity or a career and where there is no shortage of people wanting to be part of it.” I couldn’t have said it better myself and I am proud to call myself a member of this tremendous community of consummate professionals.