The independent dealership associations in both Florida and Texas now have new leaders.

In the Sunshine State, a familiar name and a former dealer and 20 group moderator now is the overseer of the Florida Independent Automobile Dealers Association, as Chuck Bonanno started as executive director on Monday.

And down in the Lone Star State, the Texas Independent Automobile Dealers Association appointed former state legislator John Frullo as its new executive director.

Bonanno is familiar with association activities, having served as vice president of dealer development for the National Independent Automotive Dealers Association from 2016 to 2021. Most recently, he was a part of the team at Buckeye Dealership Consulting.

“It is an honor and a privilege to serve as the FIADA executive director, and I intend to make sure the association fulfills its mission to serve Florida’s independent dealers,” Bonanno said in a news release.

“I am a staunch believer in the association, and it is my goal to increase member participation, leverage our vendor relationships, improve our educational offerings, advocate for dealers in Tallahassee. Our staff pledges to provide excellent customer service to our dealer members,” Bonanno went on to say.

Bonanno has been an executive moderator for 20 groups for almost 20 years. Previously, he was an officer for a publicly held BHPH operation managing a portfolio in excess of $150 million with a staff of more than 100 employees.

“This is an opportunity that is incredible for FIADA and all dealers in Florida. To have someone with the experience, knowhow, and vast network that Chuck brings to the association, we couldn’t be more fortunate,” said Jason March, who is chair of FIADA’s board.

Bonanno replaced Ejola Cook, who had served as FIADA’s executive director beginning in May.

“We offer a heartfelt thanks to Ejola Cook, who stepped into the role of executive director this past year to help navigate the association through its reorganization, and to Jennifer Finlay, director of operations — Jen will continue to serve in this role — and built a new and stable foundation,” FIADA president Luis Giraldo said.

New TIADA leader

This month, Jeff Martin left TIADA to become the new executive director of NIADA.

And TIADA didn’t leave the post vacant for long.

TIADA appointed John Frullo as its new executive director. TIADA highlighted Frullo is a former Texas state representative from Lubbock and a longtime advocate for small business.

Frullo will assume the position effective March 20.

A certified public accountant, Frullo and spent the 10 years working in the financial, operational, managerial, and regulatory aspects of various businesses.  More recently, Frullo has owned and operated a successful and award-winning print, design, and promotional products company.

As executive director, Frullo will lead TIADA’s efforts to support and advance the interests of independent automobile dealers throughout Texas. He will oversee the organization’s operations, including legislative and regulatory affairs, education and training programs, and member services.

“I am thrilled to join the current TIADA team. They have done a phenomenal job building the TIADA into a powerhouse association, and I look forward to working alongside its members to promote and protect the independent automobile industry in Texas,” Frullo said in another news release.

“I am very familiar with TIADA and its mission from my time in the legislature. I have been extremely active within my own trade association, and I understand the important role associations play in the lives of their members,” he continued.

Frullo brings a wealth of experience to his new role, having served as a member of the Texas House of Representatives since 2010, where he focused on economic growth and job creation in Texas.

In addition, he has served as the Secretary/Treasurer and ultimately chairman of the board for the Printing & Imaging Association of MidAmerica.

“We are excited to welcome John Frullo as our new executive director,” TIADA president Ryan Winkelmann said. “His experience and leadership will be invaluable as we continue to advocate for the independent automobile industry in Texas. We look forward to working with him as we continue to grow our influence.”