The Virginia Independent Automobile Dealers Association, Inc., (VIADA) was officially organized and incorporated in 1960 and traces its beginning back 15 years to a group of Norfolk dealers who formed a local association to fight unfair laws and regulations.
VIADA is a 501(c)(6) tax exempt trade association affiliated with the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association (NIADA). When you join the state association, you automatically become a member of NIADA. VIADA employs an Executive Director who executes policies set by the VIADA Board of Directors. She is responsible for the day-to-day management activities of the association to include the activities and performances of five employees. VIADA’s mission is to inform, educate, and represent motor vehicle dealers in all forums, and to work in cooperation with other organizations for the betterment of this industry and to make the Commonwealth of Virginia a safer community for all.
Legislatively, VIADA retains a lawyer-lobbyist to represent VIADA before the General Assembly plus the Executive Director and the Director of Education are also registered lobbyists. All legislation introduced is reviewed to determine if there is an impact on the independent automobile industry. If there are any that impact us, legislators are contacted and the pros and cons are relayed to them so that the best outcome can be negotiated. Members are also encouraged through a grassroots effort to contact their legislators to relay their support or opposition to the proposed legislation.
VIADA also has staff that attend all meetings of the Motor Vehicle Dealer Board and provide input regarding proposed policies and regulations.
Both of the activities – lobbying and the MVDB – require an intense amount of time which either would not happen or certainly would be less effective without the support of members year after year.
Other benefits and services provided by VIADA, include a 1-800 Hot Line where an industry expert can answer 95% of our members’ questions/concerns about MVDB and DMV regulations and policies. Educational workshops and seminars as well as the annual Convention and Expo are held to educate dealer-operators and their employees so that all can be compliant. VIADA currently has eight districts, each with its own leadership team, who hold meetings throughout the year allowing opportunities for members and non-members to learn of new technologies or services offered to the industry, as well as the ability to network with other dealer-operators. Communication with members is accomplished predominately through the Executive Directors monthly eNews emails as well as the quarterly magazine and annual Membership & Services Directory.
As an additional service, and an additional source of revenue to accomplish all that we do, VIADA maintains an inventory of specialized business forms and supplies for sale. Agreements with some vendors also provide discounts or rebates directly to members.
The impact/effectiveness an industry has on legislative and regulatory issues is typically determined by the number of businesses/individuals its trade association represents. With fewer numbers, you have less clout; more representation means more constituents are paying attention to what their legislator is doing to either help or hurt the industry. And, the more complex the industry becomes, the more an actively involved trade association is needed.
Thank you for being a part of VIADA’s effectiveness to protect the industry.