Sheila Vaden-Williams, former president of the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers, died Sunday. She was 55.
Vaden-Williams joined NAMAD as its executive director in 1995. She became president in 2001, a position she held until she left the association in 2006.
She was the public face of the minority dealer group during her tenure and was at the forefront of its efforts to place minority entrepreneurs at the head of dealerships, especially luxury and import-brand stores.
During her time with NAMAD, Vaden-Williams conducted diversity awareness and sensitivity training with employees of BMW of North America, Jaguar North America, Mercedes-Benz USA, Volvo Cars of North America, Volkswagen of America Inc. and Audi of America Inc.
She also provided diversity training to the National Automobile Dealers Association employees during their annual conference and to the Automotive Trade Association Executives.
A Harvard-trained lawyer, Vaden-Williams made Automotive News’ lists of the 100 leading women in the North American auto industry in 2000 and 2005. She also was named an Automotive News All-Star in 1999 for promoting diversity in the corporate and retail automotive industries.
She is survived by her husband, James, and three children.