In Memoriam: Past and Present NADA Leaders Pay Tribute to Bob Mallon
A funeral service for Robert P. Mallon, former president of the National Automobile Dealers Association and chairman emeritus of the NADA Foundation, will be held today at 11 a.m. PT at St. Frances Cabrini Parish in Lakewood, Wash. He died on August 3 in Tacoma, Wash., at 83. Memorial contributions can be made online to the NADA Foundation’s Ambassadors Program in Honor of Robert P. Mallon.
Mallon established the NADA Foundation in 1975. He served on NADA’s board of directors representing franchised new-car and -truck dealers in the state of Washington from 1972-2002, and was elected NADA president in 1978. He is the former president of Mallon Ford Inc. in Tacoma.
Here’s what past and present NADA leaders and others who knew him had to say:
Jeffrey B. Carlson
2016 NADA Chairman
Bob Mallon was an amazing force for good in the retail-auto industry. His passion was the charitable foundation, which grew and benefited many thousands as a result of his stewardship. l was most impressed, however, with his impact on DEAC, now the NADA PAC, in the state of Washington. Every year Washington state led all states in Presidents Club members as a result of Bob Mallon’s leadership. Perpetuity and Presidents Club members are, as anyone who new Bob, two of his great legacies.
Vicki Fabre, Executive Vice President
Washington State Auto Dealers Association
It was a supreme gift and privilege to know Bob. He has left an indelible mark on our lives and the industry he loved. In Washington state, not only was Bob a tireless advocate for dealers and the franchise system, but a widely recognized and respected visionary, a titan of a humanitarian for his lifelong work with the NADA Foundation. His passing has left a deep hole in our hearts.
William C. Fox
2015 NADA Chairman
A few years ago, I was privileged to introduce Bob at the annual NADA Foundation dinner in Tysons, Va. I remember describing Bob as an “automotive legend and treasure.” Bob was somewhat embarrassed but, of course, he gave a great speech and enthralled his audience. That’s the Bob Mallon that I knew.
John P. McEleney
2009 NADA Chairman
Bob was one of a kind. I never met anyone so passionate about assisting those in need, about his faith, his friends and family, and of course, NADA and the charitable foundation. Bob, a Notre Dame alumnus, like myself, was instrumental in my entering my family’s automobile enterprise over 40 years ago. My dad sent me to Tacoma as a college senior to discuss a career in a family-owned automobile dealership. That was the first time I met Bob. I had the pleasure of spending the better part of a day with Bob several weeks ago at his home in Washington. I can tell you even at that time, when he was dealing with considerable physical challenges, Bob was just as you would imagine—gracious, optimistic and inspiring. All of us at NADA and the automobile industry have lost a great man this week. It is said that none of us are irreplaceable, but Bob’s exemplary life may challenge that belief. I have no doubt he today sits at the right hand of God—in perpetuity.
CEO, Canine Companions for Independence
Canine Companions for Independence lost a good friend and steadfast advocate in Bob Mallon. Bob was a true ambassador for our organization, and we are grateful for all that he did for Canine Companions and adults, veterans and children with disabilities.
H. Carter Myers, III
2002 NADA Chairman /
NADA Foundation Vice Chairman
Bob Mallon was a visionary leader in the automotive industry, and he was also a great humanitarian who contributed significantly to the core fabric of NADA and the NADA Foundation. Bob’s contagious enthusiasm affected everyone he touched. There will never be another Bob Mallon. He will be missed!
John J. Pohanka
1976 NADA President
You always knew where Bob Mallon stood on an issue. He did not mince words and had the courage along with his convictions.
Former Auto Dealer, Columbus, Ohio
I have many great memories of Bob addressing regional Canine Companions for Independence graduation ceremonies across the country. Standing with the big cardboard check, in front of children, parents and adults (especially wounded veterans) about to receive their service dogs, he beamed with joy as he spoke about the generous and patriotic nature of America’s new-car dealers. Bob also always made a point of telling stories about the life of Frank McCarthy, and how his love of children and the importance of freedom of mobility was exemplified in the relationship between CCI and the NADA Foundation. If ever there was a true “Ambassador” of new-car dealers’ generosity and love of community it was Bob Mallon.
Mark N. Scarpelli
2017 NADA Chairman
As a dealer, an NADA director and now chairman of NADA, I’m honored to have worked with Bob Mallon over the years. Bob’s legacy lives on in our dealer community. Bob’s passion and dedication to the automobile business was unwavering through his decades-long service to advancing dealers and the goodwill they that they do every day in their businesses. Bob’s advocacy of family and community will live on. I can assure you of that! Bob Mallon, you are a champion in everything you touched. Thank you for touching our lives!
Richard E. Strauss
1992 NADA Chairman
It was readily apparent to me that Bob had a passion and commitment to NADA and the foundation that was unrivaled. For the 40 years the foundation has existed the leadership and drive for success was provided by Bob. During those 40 years, millions of dollars were raised to help people in need. For the most part those years have been happy and productive ones, notwithstanding the disappointments which have been an inevitable part of the difficult times we have experienced recently. Nevertheless, Bob’s enthusiasm for the foundation never faltered. He is simply a good man and he deserves to be recognized for his tireless efforts on behalf of NADA to ensure its existence as Bob would say “in perpetuity … forever.”
2008 NADA Chairman / NADA Foundation Chairman
I feel as if I could write a book about all my memories of encounters with the legendary RPM. Utilizing his persuasive talents, Robert P. Mallon inspired the formation of the National Automobile Dealers Charitable Foundation. With determination, he presided over and fostered the growth of our NADA Foundation for 40 years. His kind heart, passion for our industry and genuine friendship will be greatly missed.
NADA President and CEO
We cannot overstate the important place Bob Mallon held for nearly half of NADA’s 100 years in existence. From the time he became an automobile dealer in 1958 in his beloved hometown of Tacoma, Wash., to serving on NADA’s board and leading the association as president, he left a permanent mark on the retail-auto industry and with his fellow dealers. As a pioneer, he established the NADA Foundation and was instrumental in the success of the NADA PAC Presidents Club. He was a true gentleman and will be greatly missed.
David W. Westcott
2013 NADA Chairman
Bob always made you feel so special. Whether it was a call, a note or just seeing you at a meeting, that big, booming, positive voice was always there. It was always great fun to go with Bob to make his presentations. Bob was a great salesman. He always told the board during his presentations that eventually we would all sign up to be Ambassadors. Wow, how he will be missed.
Memorial contributions can be made online to the NADA Foundation’s Ambassadors Program in Honor of Robert P. Mallon. To donate by phone, call 703.821.7176. Check donations can be mailed to: NADA Foundation, In honor of Robert P. Mallon, 8400 Westpark Drive, Tysons, VA 22102. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: NADA Foundation
[back to top]