In the 92 year history of the Texas Automobile Dealers Association, there are only nine dealers who have been designated as a TADA legend. Going forward, only two dealers per year will receive recognition as a Legend. Essentially TADA’s lifetime achievement award, it will never take long to call the roll of this revered group.
The two recipients of the award for 2009 have much in common. Both second generation dealers, sons of larger than life pioneer Texas car dealers, this years Legends took their organizations to even greater heights of influence, prestige and service to Texas. Our honorees both have their family name on their dealerships and each has a new generation of the family in the dealership to care for their customers, their employees and their community.
Ramsay H. Gillman is the owner/chief executive Officer of The Gillman Companies.
The son of a pioneer automobile dealer, he began his automotive career working in the parts department of his father’s Pontiac dealership in downtown Houston. After attending the General Motors Dealer Management Institute and other specialized schools, he became an authorized dealer in 1967. He has since that time become one of the most successful private capital dealers in the country as well as one of the most respected.
Ramsay Gillman and his father, Frank, built their Pontiac-GMC franchise into one of the largest in the nation for those brands. Today, Ramsay and his daughter Stacey and sons Jason and Chris, operate fourteen dealerships with a variety of makes, both import and domestic in six Texas cities. The Gillman organization has grown considerably over the years, but Ramsay Gillman remains one of the most trusted and highly regarded dealers in the industry. Dealers across the country look to Ramsay for counsel and leadership.
He is one of those dealers that everyone wants to emulate. His leadership goes beyond his community and his state. In fact, he served as the Director of South Texas for the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) from 1989 through 1999 and was elected as President of NADA in 1997. During his years as a Director, Gillman was a member of the NADA Industry Relations Committee, the NADA Regulatory Affairs Committee and was Chairman of the NADA Government Relations Committee in 1993 and in 1999. Currently, Gillman serves as a Trustee for the NADA Charitable Foundation and for the NADA Dealers Election Action Committee. Ramsay has helped raise over one million dollars through the years for the Dealers Election Action Committee, which gives our dealers a voice in Washington D.C.
He has also served as President of the Houston Automobile Dealers Association, Vice President of the Texas Automobile Dealers Association, and was appointed Vice Chairman of the Texas Motor Vehicle Commission from 1984 through 1987 by the Governor of Texas.
Ramsay received the 1996 Sports Illustrated All-Star Dealer Award, presented by the American International Automobile Dealers Association, for his lifelong contribution to the automotive business and commitment to numerous charitable organizations.
For his many years of continued support, the Sickle Cell Association of the Texas Gulf Coast awarded Gillman their Humanitarian Award for the year 2000. Ramsay and his wife, Stevie, were co-chairpersons for the Sickle Cell Association of the Texas gulf Coast 2001 Gala. Mr. & Mrs. Gillman are also active participants and sponsors of the Tracey Lawrence Annual Golf Tournament benefitting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Other charitable organizations that receive support from the Gillman family include the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo Youth Scholarship Program, which provides shelter for abused women and their children, the Earning by Learning Program, which rewards young children from reading books, the Ronald McDonald House, and the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Gillman Companies holds an annual charity golf tournament benefitting the Fort Bend County Women’s Center.
Ramsay Gillman may be one of the most influential automobile retailers in the country, but he is first a family man, a husband, father and grandfather, whose legacy will endure through a new generation of Gillman’s to serve Texas.
A dealer who gives of himself in every aspect of his life and who has made a difference in the lives of countless others, Ramsay Gillman is a true TADA Legend.