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Bert Ogden Auto Group Wins Buick and GMC’s 2022 Dealer of the Year Award

A Triumph in the Rio Grande Valley

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In an atmosphere buzzing with excitement and anticipation, Mr. Robert C. Vackar and Janet Ogden Vackar stood center stage, beaming with pride and achievement. The Vackars were recognized with two of the most coveted distinctions conferred by GMC Corporation. Captured in the picture above, the two honorees, Mr. Vackar and his spouse, Janet Ogden Vackar, are seen being heartily congratulated. Steven Burns, the charismatic Regional Director for Buick and GMC South Central, is seen extending his warm congratulations to Mr. Vackar. Adding to this honor was the presence of Natasha del Barrio, CEO of Bert Ogden Auto Group, and Billy Kelley, the General Manager of GMC and Buick. The award-winning duo was also flanked on the left by the dedicated Ali and Steve Kuhl, who manage the Buick GMC Zone based in Houston. The celebration was filled with heartfelt acknowledgments and shared joy. The officials from Buick and GMC, during their addresses, emphasized the success of the company as being due to the individuals within the organization. Further adding to this sentiment, Mr. Vackar humorously attributed his triumph to "and also hiring a Billy Kelley." Photo by Roberto Hugo Gonzalez.
In an atmosphere buzzing with excitement and anticipation, Mr. Robert C. Vackar and Janet Ogden Vackar stood center stage, beaming with pride and achievement. The Vackars were recognized with two of the most coveted distinctions conferred by GMC Corporation. Captured in the picture above, the two honorees, Mr. Vackar and his spouse, Janet Ogden Vackar, are seen being heartily congratulated. Steven Burns, the charismatic Regional Director for Buick and GMC South Central, is seen extending his warm congratulations to Mr. Vackar. Adding to this honor was the presence of Natasha del Barrio, CEO of Bert Ogden Auto Group, and Billy Kelley, the General Manager of GMC and Buick. The award-winning duo was also flanked on the left by the dedicated Ali and Steve Kuhl, who manage the Buick GMC Zone based in Houston. The celebration was filled with heartfelt acknowledgments and shared joy. The officials from Buick and GMC, during their addresses, emphasized the success of the company as being due to the individuals within the organization. Further adding to this sentiment, Mr. Vackar humorously attributed his triumph to “and also hiring a Billy Kelley.” Photo by Roberto Hugo Gonzalez.

Texas Border Business

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By Roberto Hugo Gonzalez 

It was a great day of celebration at Bert Ogden Auto Group, located in the heart of the Rio Grande Valley. They stood proudly as the winners of the prestigious 2022 Dealer of the Year awards for the legendary GMC and Buick brands. The distinguished couple, Robert C. Vackar, Chairman of the Board and Chief Performance Officer of the Bert Ogden Auto Group, and his wife, Janet Ogden Vackar, Co-Owner and President of Marketing graciously accepted the accolades amidst the lively atmosphere of their team.

Robert C. and Janet Ogden Vackar. Photo by Roberto Hugo Gonzalez
Robert C. and Janet Ogden Vackar. Photo by Roberto Hugo Gonzalez

Steven Burns, Regional Director for Buick and GMC South Central – a region spanning several states—personally delivered the exhilarating news. His territory impressively spreads across eight states: Texas, Alabama, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, and Oklahoma, with a portion of Illinois added.

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Amazed by the outstanding sales performance of the Bert Ogden Auto Group, Steven praised the team. “The staggering volume of vehicles sold here is astounding! They are outperforming dealers in mega-metropolises bustling with millions of people, such as New York City and Detroit. The overwhelming reception of our luxury vehicles, especially our Sierras and Buicks, reflects their exceptional work.”

Steven recognized today’s celebration as a twofold triumph – Dealer of the Year for both Buick and GMC. “These are distinct honors, and this dealership has triumphed in both individual Buick and GMC awards for 2022,” he noted.

Billy Kelly, esteemed as an outstanding leader, commands the helm of the GMC and Buick dealerships located in Edinburg, Texas. These dealerships stand as proud establishments under the ownership of Robert C. and Janet Ogden Vackar. Not only does Billy consistently drive his team to reach the pinnacle of sales achievements, but he also surpasses all established metrics of success. The wall of awards that the dealership boasts of is a testament to Billy's relentless pursuit of excellence, of which he stands proud. The team is the product of Robert C. Vackar and Janet Ogden Vackar's vision, with Natasha del Barrio at the helm as the CEO of Bert Ogden Auto Group. Photo by Roberto Hugo Gonzalez
Billy Kelly, esteemed as an outstanding leader, commands the helm of the GMC and Buick dealerships located in Edinburg, Texas. These dealerships stand as proud establishments under the ownership of Robert C. and Janet Ogden Vackar. Not only does Billy consistently drive his team to reach the pinnacle of sales achievements, but he also surpasses all established metrics of success. The wall of awards that the dealership boasts of is a testament to Billy’s relentless pursuit of excellence, of which he stands proud. The team is the product of Robert C. Vackar and Janet Ogden Vackar’s vision, with Natasha del Barrio at the helm as the CEO of Bert Ogden Auto Group. Photo by Roberto Hugo Gonzalez

Securing both awards by a single dealer in the same region is a phenomenal accomplishment. “We have dealerships that have been with us for 100 years without ever receiving this honor. That underscores the enormity of the challenge,” he added.

In attributing this extraordinary success, Steven underlined the crucial role of Bert Ogden’s team, stating, “A competent team and robust processes are indispensable. Part of the award assesses customer satisfaction and maintains a market position. And you can’t excel in these without the right people.”

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While customer satisfaction, market position, and profitability are among the award criteria, it’s the human factor that truly makes the difference.

Despite battling the global pandemic’s aftermath and surging interest rates, Steven lauded Bert Ogden’s resilience, underscoring the critical role of top-notch products and unique personnel in achieving such remarkable outcomes.

Wrapping up his speech, Steven voiced his optimism about the future, saying, “I’m excited to see Billy’s and Mr. Vackar’s expansion plans for 2023. We cannot achieve our growth ambitions without their backing. I eagerly anticipate being here next year, toasting similar successes.”

Steve Kuhl, Buick GMC Zone manager based in Houston, commended the Bert Ogden team’s accomplishments. He said, “Your performance in recent years has been spectacular. To cap my comments, let me spotlight a significant achievement – you are the sole Buick GMC dealer in Texas to have won the ‘Dealer of the Year award for both Buick and GMC in 2022. This is indeed an impressive accomplishment.”

Steven, the Territory Manager, further elaborated on the award’s significance. From a national perspective, Buick and GMC have around 1,700 dealers, but only a select 22 are granted these awards, with each region having just four. In this particular region, Bert Ogden stands alone as the winner for both Buick and GMC.

He spoke highly of Bert Ogden’s impressive performance, stating that the dealership consistently ranks among the region’s Top 5 in volume and has maintained a national Top 10 position.

An Unforgettable Milestone for Bert Ogden Auto Group

Indeed, this event marks yet another monumental victory for the Bert Ogden Auto Group. Garnering such wins is no small feat, given the considerable competition. Janet, ever dynamic, is frequently seen on social media, diligently working to maintain the market position, and ensuring the brand’s relentless strength.

For Janet, carrying on her father’s legacy simplifies everything. “The core purpose of my life has always been to perpetuate this tradition. It’s an integral part of me. To back away would feel like disappointing my parents,” she stated.

Janet’s day commences with an inventory check. She rounds the lot with her husband, Bob, capturing footage of the inventory through their car’s window. “I also walk the lot, sunglasses and hat on, camera in hand, filming new arrivals. I make a point of asking the sales team what they’re selling, and which items are plentiful,” she further explained.

Driven by a tradition initiated by her father, Janet’s relentless promotion of the dealerships has become a unique hallmark of the brand. Her presence in the company’s TV commercials for over 45 years is as iconic as her signature tagline “Dale Gas,” which invariably makes a comeback even after brief breaks. 

What can you tell us about the Bert Ogden Team? 

Janet stated, “Managing a thriving dealership demands a committed, diligent individual with robust ethics and principles – and that’s Billy Kelley.”

“Natasha is extraordinary. She’s the brightest person I’ve known, a fast learner. I cannot stress enough how fortunate we are to have her. She joined us at the age of 15. Bob always encouraged her to venture out and attain an MBA post-graduation. She did precisely that, graduated with honors, and returned. She has considerably eased Bob’s burden.”

“Marsha is incredibly gifted. Many are unaware of her artistic talent and abundant creative ideas. She’s the kind of leader who works quietly behind the scenes, letting others enjoy the spotlight and accolades. And despite all this, she stays incredibly down-to-earth and modest.”

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

“I must mention that we’ve never had such a superb team operating our businesses. Their dedication and collaboration ensure smooth functioning. Retaining staff is critical; luckily, we boast an outstanding team at every store. A shout-out to Natasha for her exceptional recruitment efforts,” Janet concluded.

As we continued with the celebration, I asked Natasha del Barrio, CEO, of Bert Ogden Auto Group to give us her comments regarding this special day.

“It’s always special when we get to honor our team and the owners, Mr. and Mrs. Vackar. It’s our second consecutive year of winning this accolade, and we also clinched the Buick 2022 Dealer of the Year award. Being the sole dealer in Texas to win both Buick and GMC awards is an extraordinary achievement, an honor, and a testament to our amazing team! We were thrilled to have representatives from General Motors join us in the festivities.”

A GMC official commented that the secret to winning these hard-to-earn awards lies in people.

Natasha, could you tell us more about your team and leadership?

“We have the finest people, Roberto, and I could talk about them endlessly. Just looking around, I see two gentlemen who have been with us for over three decades. They’re a testament to the leadership we possess. Bob and Janet have nurtured a professional yet caring, familial environment that feels like home to all. It’s their leadership that unites the team to care for each other like family and take pride in our work. We truly have the best team we’ve ever had, and we’re incredibly proud of them all. They definitely deserve it.”

Despite very challenging times such as the pandemic, and rising interest rates, Natasha succeeded in keeping the team united and successful.

How did she manage that?

“Your acknowledgment means a lot, Roberto. Essentially, it boils down to everything I’ve learned during those trials. We came together as a family and devised creative solutions. I always make it a point to prioritize our people, our most precious asset, above everything else. We never compromise on this. We aim to be recognized as a family-oriented dealership that holds a special place in the community’s hearts.

As we’re nearing the midpoint of 2023, are you still on track for a win in 2024?

“We’re surely in the race. We’ll know for sure at the start of next year, but we hope to be the lone dealership in the state to achieve this distinction yet again.”

“Keep your eyes on us – we have numerous exciting developments in the pipeline. We’re expanding with new establishments across the valley and are eager to continue growing the Bert Ogden family,” Natasha finalized.

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