Minority Automobile Dealers

The story of the Chrysler Minority Dealers Association (CMDA) is a story about teamwork. In 1951, Rufus Dukes was the first African American person to be given and equity position in a Chrysler Franchise as a Chicago sub-dealer for Parts and Service. In 1963, Ed Davis was the first African American person to be award a Chrysler (Plymouth) franchise. There was only one minority-owned Chrysler dealership in the United States in 1968, and thus, the Chrysler Corporation established the first informal minority dealer training program in 1968 to meet the specific needs and ensure the success of minority-owned dealers, (including Chrysler/Plymouth, Dodge and Jeep/Eagle).

The Founding Dealers

At a May 31, 1980 meeting of the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers, (NAMAD) there were six African-American Chrysler dealers in attendance, and they concluded there was a need to establish their organization to represent themselves on issues unique to Chrysler. Although their numbers in comparison to both Ford and GM were small, they believed it essential to have their own 'voice' and thus, the Chrysler Black Dealer Association was established. Jesse J. Jones of Detroit, Michigan was the founder of the organization. The founding dealers in attendance were:


  • Keith Bullard - Chrysler-Plymouth - 1978/Philadelphia, PA
  • Ted Cochran - Dodge - 1968/San Francisco, CA
  • Jesse Jones - Dodge - 1980/Ferndale, MI
  • Doug Lambert - Chrysler-Plymouth - 1971 - Coatesville, PA
  • Frank Perry - Chrysler-Plymouth - 1979 - South Hill, VA
  • Fred Rhodes - Chrysler-Plymouth - 1973 - Tuskegee, AL

In the summer of 1984, the Black Chrysler Dealer Council was established which met with Tom Pappert, Chrysler’s Vice President-Sales, frequently to discuss key issues affecting African-American dealers. Mr. Jones and the members brought their concern to the management of the Chrysler Corporation that additional efforts were needed to retain and grow the number of minority-owned dealerships. Together, a group of visionaries designed a program that would prove to be the benchmark of the automobile industry. The Chrysler Black Dealers Association was formally incorporated in 1989. In 1991, the Association changed its name to the Chrysler Minority Dealers Association to reflect the diversity of its membership.

CMDA Presidents:

  • Jesse J. Jones, Jr. Founding President
  • Keith Bullard 1985 - 1986
  • Omar Letterman 1986 – 1987
  • William E. McIntosh, Jr. 1987 - 1992
  • N. Edward Fitzpatrick 1992 - 1994
  • Theresa C. Jones 1994 - 1996
  • Winston R. Pittman 1996 - 1999
  • Sanford L. Woods 1999 - 2001
  • Steve R. Rojas 2001 - 2003
  • Jesse J. Greathouse 2003 - 2008
  • Reginald T. Hubbard 2008 - 2009
  • Jerome Dillard 2009 - 2011
  • Carlos Hidalgo 2012 - 2013
  • Ralph Martinez 2013 - 2014
  • Damian Mills 2015 - 2016
  • James Davis 2016 - 2018
  • Ray Fregia 2018

A poster for past presidents.