Guest Speaker Makes Encore Visit to Professional Development Classes

Oct 4, 2021 12:00 AM

In Spring 2020 (pre-pandemic), students in Ms. Heidi Shadel’s Professional Development I and II classes (MGMT 110 and MGMT 310, respectively) had the opportunity to hear from guest speaker, Mr. Damon Lester, president of the National Association of Automobile Dealers (NAMAD). At Frostburg’s invitation, Mr. Lester made his second visit to the campus in October 2021 and presented to the two classes again in Dunkle Hall.

Mr. Lester shared with the students about his work with NAMAD, an industry organization committed to increasing equitable access for minority entrepreneurs and employees in the automotive retail sales, supplier, manufacturing, and service sectors. As president, he is responsible for membership outreach and recruitment, industry relations, dealership development, and government and media affairs.

He also spoke about the automobile industry being a key driver of the economy as well as the challenges the industry is currently facing with a decline in technicians in auto factories and dealerships. Finally, he touched on the various innovations that manufacturers are making such as autonomous vehicles, increasing the levels of vehicle connectivity, with an eye to both increasing affordability to the customer and enhancing environmental sustainability. 

Damon Lest and Sudhir Singh
Dr. Sudhir Singh, Dean of the College of Business, presents guest speaker, Mr. Damon Lester, with a certificate of appreciation from the College.

The students had the opportunity to ask several questions and Mr. Lester was gracious to answer them as well as provide advice to the students regarding future career endeavors and internship possibilities. Later in the day, Mr. Lester, accompanied by Mr. John Seaton, Area General Manager, Nissan Northeast Region, met with President Nowaczyk, Provost Mathias, and the three Deans to discuss collaborative possibilities. Opportunities for both internships and career prospects for Frostburg students with the Nissan corporation and auto dealerships were discussed, along with possibilities for project-based consulting for FSU faculty.