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Robert H. Garff is Chairman of Garff Enterprises, Inc.; a Salt Lake City based Corporation founded in 1932. Robert’s responsibilities within the community include his service as former Chairman of the Board for Deseret Book Company, and as board member for organizations such as Intermountain Health Care, the Salt Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Utah Commission on Volunteers. Previously, Robert served as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the Olympic Winter Games of 2002.
Robert has held various community, business and religious leadership positions during his career, including Speaker of the House of Representatives for the State of Utah, former board member of First Security Bank, and former chairman of the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce. Robert serves today in many positions for the American Cancer Society. The National Advisory Board for the College of Business for the University of Utah recently honored Robert as a member of their prestigious business Hall of Fame.
Mr. Garff and his wife, Katharine, have five children and eighteen grandchildren. They reside in Bountiful, Utah.
John Garff is the CEO of Garff Enterprises, Inc. He received his Bachelors of Science Degree from the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business and earned his M.B.A. from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
He currently serves as a board member on the National Advisory Board for the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business. In 2010, John served as President of the New Car Dealers of Utah.
John resides in Salt Lake City with his wife, Amy, and their five children.
After being rejected from medical school, Brett went to graduate school and received his MBA from Arizona State University and Thunderbird. It became quickly apparent to him that he is better at managing spreadsheets than a scalpel.
Early in his career, Brett worked for Convergys in Paris, France as Director of Finance Europe. Brett oversaw all of Finance and Accounting for Convergys in France, Sweden, and the UK and was instrumental in leading the business to a profit for the first time in ten consecutive years.
Brett eventually left Convergys to work for the Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Organizing Committee, where he served as CFO. Brett was instrumental in the financial turnaround and success of the 2002 Olympic Games that ultimately generated a $100 M+ profit. After the Olympics, Brett was named a Finance Expert by the IOC and given assignments for 10 years to help current and future Organizing Committee plan and host Olympic Games. Brett currently sits on the Utah Athletic Foundation Board.
After the 2002 Olympics, Brett joined Ken Garff Automotive where he is currently the CEO and oversees all automotive operations and acquisitions. Brett loves and thrives in the auto industry because he feels (and is known to say), “there’s always need for another good spreadsheet.”
Brett is married and has 4 children. Brett’s hobbies include working, golfing, boating, skiing, and trying to crack funny jokes. Ultimately, his favorite thing to do is spend quality time with his wife of 25 years, Traci.
Matthew grew up in Bountiful, Utah and graduated from Woods Cross High School. He received his Bachelor of Science Cum Laude in Accounting from the University of Utah in 1999, and he received his Masters of Business Administration with a Marketing Emphasis from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania in 2004.
Matthew was put to work early in the car business by his father where he swept dealership floors, mowed lawns and sold his first car at the age of 14. Matthew operated six Ken Garff Ogden franchises where he increased customer satisfaction scores and gained market share. He was also the Vice President of Business Development for Vehix.com.
Matthew joined the Ken Garff team because he wanted to further his knowledge of the automobile business and wanted to join the family business that was founded by his grandfather, Ken Garff.
As the Executive Director of Asset Management, Matthew now manages the real estate assets owned by Ken Garff subsidiaries. He oversees real estate properties, construction, maintenance, purchases, and sales.
Matthew and his wife, Nicole, have four children. He enjoys hunting, skiing, and spending time with his family.
Dax grew up in Casper, Wyoming and started his automotive career at a very young age; working his way through junior high and high school pumping gas and working on cars at small independent repair shops. Dax started his professional career and schooling in Phoenix, Arizona, and in 1996 he accepted a position with the American Honda Motor Company, which took him from Los Angeles to Ft. Lauderdale and almost everywhere in between.
Over a 17-year period with the American Honda Motor Company, Dax held many field positions including District Technical Manager in the Acura Service Division, District Parts Manager in the Honda Parts Division, and Assistant Service & Parts Zone Manager in Northern California for five years and South Florida for three years. His last assignment at Honda was as the National Manager of Service and Parts Marketing, in which he was responsible for Fixed Operations marketing and was involved in strategic planning for the Service Division.
Dax joined the Ken Garff Automotive Group because of the group’s vision of changing the automotive industry. In his role as Vice President of Dealership Operations, Dax oversees a team responsible for setting strategy and executional support for all dealerships in the area of sales, F&I, service, parts and collision center operations. He is most proud of his opportunities to help develop people so they can succeed.
Dax lives in Park City, UT with his wife, Christina, and his two children, Magnus and Esme. He loves mountain biking, motorcycling, and outdoor recreation in general. Dax’s greatest personal achievement is his family.
Growing up in Salt Lake City, Utah, Phil studied Accounting and Finance at Utah State University, graduating Cum Laude. Phil received his CPA license in Texas, where he earned his MPA from the University of Texas with Cum Laude honors.
Phil worked as a Finance Manager for the Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Organizing Committee and as a Senior Accountant for PriceWaterhouseCoopers. He joined the Ken Garff Automotive Group and served as both the CFO and the de facto Vice President of Business Operations for a number of years.
As the Vice President of Business Operations, Phil leads the operational efforts of an ever-growing automotive group.
Philip and his wife live in Bountiful with their four children. He enjoys basketball, reading, hiking, skiing and spending time with his family.
Michael lived in Massachusetts as a child and then lived in Utah since he was 11 years old. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting from the University of Utah in 1992 and then received a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in 1995.
After Michael was an associate in the Salt Lake City law firm Scalley & Reading from 1995 to 1999, he joined the Salt Lake City law firm Ray Quinney & Nebeker P.C., where he was a shareholder and director and served as Vice Chair of the firm’s Automobile Dealer Law Practice Group. He was also a member of that firm’s Business Development Committee and its Recruiting Committee. Michael also served for one year as Chairman of the Business Law Section of the Utah State Bar.
In 2007 Michael joined the Ken Garff team as Vice President and General Counsel in order to help the company expand its footprint into other states. He oversees all legal matters for the company and provides counsel to the owners, executives, and management of the company. He also is a contributing member of the National Association of Dealer Counsel and has particular experience in the automotive, real estate, technology, and e-commerce industries.
Michael is married and has four children and two stepchildren. He enjoys healthy living, working out, hiking in the mountains, spending time near the ocean, and occasionally binge watching a great show.
Alice, originally from Chicago, IL and Charlotte, NC, went to Virginia Tech for her undergraduate degree and then studied at University of Maryland for her MBA. As the Vice President of Human Resources, Alice is responsible for the human capital side of the business in partnership with the human resource team and all the business leaders.
Before coming to the Ken Garff Automotive Group, Alice was the Chief People Officer at Crescent Communities, LLC, a leading real estate investment and development firm.
Ken Garff’s Mission Statement, “to be the most esteemed automotive group,” resonates with Alice and connects her to the company culture. She loves working with people who are proud of their company and are committed to the Mission of the company. Ken Garff has highly committed and engaged people, exactly the place Alice wants to be. She enjoys the transparency at Ken Garff and the willingness to listen to different perspectives.
Alice’s personal philosophy for leading people is to treat everyone with respect and kindness and to value differences. You never know what amazing things people can do when given the opportunity to contribute their talents. Alice is proud of developing talent and watching people grow in their careers. Alice hired her successor at Crescent Communities three years ago and helped develop her into the Chief People Officer she is today.
Alice and her husband Dan reside in Salt Lake, where they recently moved, which has been their dream location for over 15 years. She is an avid equestrian and competes in hunter jumper when possible. She loves fitness and likes to hike mountains whenever she can. She also loves her dogs and spending time with them. A deep thinker, Alice loves learning and having deep conversations about current events.
Alice’s greatest personal achievement is mentoring her step-daughter and her nephew into the successful adults they are today.
A Salt Lake City native, Jim graduated from Brigham Young University with a Masters of Accounting. After graduation, Jim worked as an auditor for Deloitte and Touche, became a CPA, and had an extensive career at American Express, where he worked for over 20 years in a variety of financial and risk management related roles supporting prepaid and credit card products.
In 2015, Jim accepted the opportunity to become the Chief Financial Officer of Ken Garff, leveraging his experience and insight to add value to the automotive group. As Chief Financial Officer, Jim provides financial and accounting support for Garff Enterprises and other affiliated companies. He loves working with the great, dedicated people at Ken Garff and is always happy to provide information and perspective that has led to solid business decisions.
Jim currently lives in Salt Lake City with his wife of 25 years and his six children, 3 girls and 3 boys. Jim loves traveling, but he also makes time at home for doing home improvement projects and gardening. As a true family man, Jim considers his great marriage and terrific kids as his greatest achievements.
Growing up in the Midwest, Mark graduated from Ricks College with an Associate in Automotive Small Business Management and then graduated from Utah State with a Bachelor’s in Accounting. Mark put himself through college by working as an automotive technician both at Ricks and Utah State.
After college, Mark enjoyed a unique career, being able to say that he has worked both for the IRS and for Sports Tower as a Bungie Jump Master (although not at the same time). In December of 1993, Mark joined the Rick Warner Automotive Dealerships as an Internal Auditor. When the Ken Garff Automotive Group bought the Rick Warner Dealerships in 1998, Mark began working in the IT Department. He was named the Chief Information Officer in 2003.
Mark is responsible for all technical aspects of the dealerships. He and his highly capable team work hard to take care providing technical solutions to help stores run more efficiently. He is especially proud of his work on building Ken Garff’s proprietary Apps system and Kornerstone’s Contract Admin System. He is also extremely proud of his great team of IT Directors.
Mark is married and has three children. Like a true automotive enthusiast, Mark loves anything with a combustion engine that can do work, including cars, motorhomes, generators, and more. His first car was a yellow 1975 Honda CVCC, but his favorite is the 2015 Dodge Challenger Hellcat. His greatest personal achievement? Living through teenagers.
Brad received his Masters of Accounting from Brigham Young University. Before joining the Ken Garff Automotive Group, Brad served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Rick Warner Automotive Group in Salt Lake City.
Brad is a partner with the Ken Garff Automotive Group, and he currently serves as President and CEO of the Kornerstone Insurance group of companies. Kornerstone provides F&I products that are sold to automotive customers. They also provide risk management and administrative services to the automotive group. Brad is proud of the partnership relationships that he has built over his career.
Brad resides in Salt Lake City with his wife, Brenda, and their three children. Brad is a fan of the Chicago Cubs baseball team, and he considers serving others as his greatest personal achievement.
Born and raised in Salt Lake City, Rick has always been in sales. When he was 12, he started selling health care products door to door. Rick received his Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Utah and a Dealership Management Degree from the General Motors Dealer Academy. Before joining the Ken Garff Automotive Group, Rick worked for a computer appliance company called Stokes Brothers.
Rick joined Ken Garff because of his love and admiration for the Garff family and the principles behind the business. He is responsible for developing initiatives that make a difference in the lives of the community. Rick also works with the Ken Garff dealerships on large community sponsored projects along the Wasatch Front.
Rick is proud of the opportunity to develop and launch the Keys to Success, Road to Success, and Code to Success education programs. These programs influence almost 300,000 students attending high schools and elementary schools in Utah.
Rick is married to Jennifer Garff Folkerson and together they have two children, Richard G. and Jacob R. Folkerson. Rick loves athletics and sports, fly fishing, hunting, gardening, and riding bikes. His greatest personal achievement is his wife and family.
Tony is a Utah native and has lived in the state his whole life, with the exception of two years living in England. Tony studied business at the University of Utah and started his career in the automotive business while attending the University. His first job was selling Toyotas in downtown Salt Lake, and within three years he was running a small Datsun dealership in South Salt Lake. In 1977 Datsun offered Tony his own dealership in St. George, Utah.
Through the late 1970s and 1980s, Tony and a business partner purchased a number of dealerships in St. George. In 1992 he sold his interest in his St. George dealerships and later joined the Rick Warner Automotive Group. He became a partner in that group and was responsible for four of their dealerships in Salt Lake and Orem.
In 1999 the Rick Warner Automotive Group sold to the Ken Garff Automotive Group and Tony became a partner with the Ken Garff Group. Tony managed dealerships for the Ken Garff Group until 2006, when he was asked to become VP of Business Development. In that role, his main responsibilities were to find acquisition opportunities for Ken Garff and to manage construction projects outside of Utah.
Having been in the automotive business for over 45 years, Tony is most proud of being one of the youngest dealers in the state, surviving some difficult economic times, and being part of the team at Ken Garff that has contributed to its growth.
Tony has been married to his wife, Wendy, for over 45 years. They have 4 children and 7 grandchildren. Tony and his family all love sports, including University of Utah football, and they all love to spend time at Lake Powell. He still has ties in St. George and travels there as much as time permits. Tony and his wife love to travel, and because of the auto business, have been all over the world.
A true family man, Tony’s greatest personal achievement is his family and his marriage.
Matt is a Salt Lake City native who graduated from the University of Utah as an English major and a Watching Utah Sports minor. After graduation, Matt worked at ad agencies ThomasARTS and Axist41 in account management and strategic planning. During this time, Matt went back to the University of Utah to get his MBA.
Matt worked with Ken Garff as a client during his time at ThomasARTS. When the call from Ken Garff came, asking Matt to make the jump from agency life to corporate life, he couldn’t pass up the opportunity.
As the Vice President of Marketing, Matt oversees all marketing activity on the brand level, managing the internal marketing team, and working closely with the different regions and dealerships on their marketing. Matt appreciates Ken Garff’s focus on changing the industry, breaking dealership stereotypes, and trying to make the car-buying process more enjoyable for the customer.
Matt loves and has helped develop the “We Hear You” campaign (though it wasn’t his idea, in spite of what he may tell you). He’s always proud when people make jokes about listening or big ears when he tells them that he works for Ken Garff.
Matt lives in Salt Lake City with his wife and three children. When he has the time, he enjoys gardening, baseball, historical and biographical novels, mid-1980s Nintendo games, yelling about the misuse of the Oxford comma, and eating well. His greatest personal achievement is being the 3rd place finisher in the 2011 Utah State Fair pie eating contest.
Jason started in the automotive business in 1984 at Great Basin GMC in Salt Lake City, UT in the accounting department while attending the University of Utah. After graduating cum laude with a degree in Finance and a minor in Spanish, he became the full time F&I manager at Great Basin.
In 1988, Jason became the F&I manager at Ken Garff Honda. In 1989, Jason went to work for American Financial & Automotive Services of League City, Texas as a district manager. His responsibilities included consulting and training with some of the largest dealer groups in the country. His clients included Red McCombs, Group One, Ken Garff, Larry Miller, and hundreds of other dealership organizations of all sizes. While at AFAS, Jason learned the inner workings of some of the finest F&I operations in the automotive industry. After nearly 14 years at AFAS, including service from 1995 to 2002 as the Divisional Manager over the company’s largest division, Jason returned to Ken Garff.
CEO Brett Hopkins recruited Jason with a vision of where the company was going. Jason always thought the car business could be different, and that he could help make it an honorable profession where people would love to work, and he saw this as his chance to make this dream a reality.
In his role as Utah Market President, Jason oversees the regional operations for all of the Ken Garff stores in Utah. Previously, he served as the Vice President of Sales and Finance. He continues to serve on the Executive Committee of Ken Garff and is heavily involved in Dealership Operations.
Jason and his wife, Shelley, have 4 children. In the community, he is involved with The Utah Down Syndrome Foundation, The Boy Scouts of America, and other youth organizations. He enjoys anything outdoors and counts running the Boston, New York, and Marine Corp Marathons as some of his greatest thrills. He is proud of the humanitarian efforts that his children have been involved with, including 16 or so schools that have been built as a direct result.
Born and raised in Southern California, Larry Smith is a Cali guy through and through, surfing and all. After graduating from high school, Larry worked at UPS for one and a half years before moving on to the automotive business as a salesman. Larry graduated from NADA (National Automotive Dealers Association) in 2004.
Before joining the Ken Garff Automotive Group in March of 2009, Larry worked at Huntington Beach Dodge. As the Regional Vice President, Larry oversees the regional operations for all of the Ken Garff dealerships in Southern California.
Larry is most proud of all that he has learned in his 30 years in the automotive business. The industry has played an important role throughout his entire adult life. He often reflects on how lucky he has been to help so many of his friends and family through every step of the process of owning a car.
Larry is married to Corin Smith and has four sons. Larry’s family is the most important thing to him. He has a very close relationship with his parents and his sister and her family. Larry loves going on bike rides and hikes with his family. As a Cali guy at heart, Larry still loves surfing. He also plays competitive baseball every Sunday and travels all over the country for tournaments 2 to 3 times a year.
Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Allen attended to Texas A&M. He owned an export company before getting into the car business in 1999. Allen started his automotive career at Munday Chevrolet for 4 years, then spent 11 years at Davis Chevrolet before coming to Garff.
He joined Ken Garff after meeting with Brett Hopkins and hearing about the company’s philosophy. Allen believed dealerships should be “un-carlike”, transparent, and employee-centric, and knew that the Ken Garff Automotive Group was the right fit.
As the Regional Vice President, Allen oversees the regional operations for all of the Ken Garff dealerships in the Houston area.
Allen has been married to his wife, Kheli, for over 16 years and have four boys. Allen is a sports enthusiast. He loves to golf and enjoys watching his boys play sports. Allen is also a huge fan of the Texans (original PSL owner), the Astros, and the Rockets. His first car was a 1970 Pontiac GTO Judge that his great grandma bought brand new in 1971. He wishes he still had it.
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