Dorian Boyland believes that key managers should own part of their dealerships.
That strategy worked for Boyland, who owns the 13-dealership Boyland Auto Group of Orlando, Fla. It also worked over the years for seven of his managers who wanted to run dealerships. "They are motivated by profitability, and motivation is what drives us and gets us up in the morning," Boyland, 56, says of his partner/managers.
Boyland Auto Group is the fourth-largest black-owned dealership group in the United States, according to Black Enterprise. The company generated revenues of $315.6 million in 2010, according to Black Enterprise.
Boyland, a Chicago native, played baseball and basketball while earning a bachelor's degree in business administration at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1976 and was with the team when it won the World Series in 1979. He spent seven years in the Pirates organization, which included the Portland Beavers, a minor-league affiliate.
That's when he met Ron Tonkin, CEO of the Ron Tonkin Family of Dealerships in Portland, Ore., who was an owner of the Beavers.
After Boyland left baseball, he moved to Portland in 1983 and landed a job as a computer systems analyst. But during the 30 days between landing the job and starting it, Boyland received a job offer from Tonkin.
Within a year after Boyland joined Tonkin's group, he became a new-car sales manager. In that position, he gained experience in merchandising, marketing, appraising vehicles and managing a large staff.
"Now, I wasn't as worried about my income as I was the condition of the house," he says, referring to his concern for the business as a whole. "It's a different mind-set."
In October 1985, Tonkin acquired a Dodge dealership in Gladstone, Ore. Boyland was named dealer principal and received an ownership stake. Two years later, Boyland sold his stake in the Dodge store to Tonkin and acquired his first dealership, Gresham Dodge, in Gresham, Ore., which he still owns.