Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize an exceptional entrepreneur and my dear friend, Philip P. Smith. As the president and chief executive officer of Phil Smith Management, Inc., he is better known as the founder of Phil Smith Chevrolet, a successful General Motors (GM) dealership in my Congressional district that serves the greater South Florida area from Palm Beach to Broward and Miami-Dade Counties. On April 18, 2012, Phil will be inducted into the 2012 Entrepreneur Hall of Fame at the H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship at Nova Southeastern University (NSU) for his longstanding business leadership and community involvement.
The NSU Entrepreneur Hall of Fame was established in 1990 to honor the lifetime achievements of outstanding entrepreneurs who contributed not only to the growth of a phenomenal entrepreneurial business, but have also demonstrated a willingness to contribute time, effort, and financial resources to programs and activities that enhance the quality of life in the communities in which they live. For more than 30 years, Phil has been serving the South Florida community as a business leader and philanthropist. His first equity venture was in a Toyota dealership in Homestead, Florida in 1980. With a direct hands-on sales and management approach, Phil has since built his organization from the ground up and now operates 14 auto dealerships throughout Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina.
Phil is responsible for the overall operations of Phil Smith Management, Inc., including working with the equity partners at all locations and orchestrating its acquisitions and growth strategies. Thanks to entrepreneurs like him, GM has again become the world's top-selling automaker. Phil Smith Chevrolet has consistently ranked as one of the top dealerships in Broward County in a variety of GM categories, including customer satisfaction, service, and vehicle fleet and GM parts sales. Furthermore, in recent years, Phil Smith Chevrolet has proven to be a true economic linchpin to distressed areas in Broward County. Phil takes great pride in the fact that most of his 104 employees have worked for the dealership for many years and live in and have strong relationships with the surrounding community.
The Phil Smith Automotive Group has received numerous awards, including the J.D. Powers Quality Dealer Award, Toyota President's Award, Ford Chairman's Award, and Acura Dealership of Distinction recognition. Phil is also past chairman of the Southeast Toyota Dealer Council, a past member of the National Toyota Dealer Council, past president of the South Florida Auto-Truck Dealers Association, and a past director of the Florida Automobile Dealers Association.
Raised in South Florida, Phil is well-known for his civic and charitable involvement. He is actively involved with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Humane Society of Broward County, American Cancer Society, Make a Wish Foundation, and other organizations. In addition, Phil is Co-Chairman of the South Florida Super Bowl Host Committee and has board positions with the Orange Bowl Committee and the Broward Workshop, a nonprofit organization that represents the interests of 100 Broward businesses and professions.
Mr. Speaker, it is my distinct honor and privilege to recognize Phil Smith on this special occasion. His business leadership and commitment to the South Florida community is a testament to American entrepreneurship, and I can think of no one more deserving than Phil to be admitted to Nova Southeastern University's Entrepreneur Hall of Fame. I am so pleased to pay tribute to my dear friend, and wish him great success for many years to come.
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