Sonic Automotive Inc. appointed a health care executive with marketing and management consulting experience to its board of directors.
The nation's sixth-largest new-vehicle retailer said Tuesday that it appointed Keri Kaiser, chief marketing officer and chief experience officer for Children's Health in Dallas, a large pediatric health care system, to its board.
Kaiser, the only woman on Sonic's board of 11 directors, has more than 25 years of experience, including in executive positions in multiple industries. She was elected Wednesday and will serve a term that expires at Sonic's 2021 annual shareholders meeting.
"Keri's executive leadership overseeing transformation initiatives at high-growth organizations will prove invaluable as Sonic Automotive's EchoPark brand continues its strategic expansion across the United States," Sonic CEO David Smith said in a statement.
Kaiser, in the statement, said she looks "forward to helping shape the company's growth strategy so that it can continue to achieve strong performance quarter after quarter, and deliver stockholder value."
Sonic said it hasn't determined which committees Kaiser will serve on. She was awarded 3,882 restricted shares of Sonic stock that will vest in a year and will receive nonemployee director compensation.
Kaiser joined Children's Health in November 2012 and previously was chief revenue officer for AT&T Performing Arts Center in Dallas. She also led her own consulting businesses, worked in brand management for Frito-Lay Inc. and was a founding member of the strategic management consulting group at Price Waterhouse.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Smith College and an MBA from Harvard Business School. She also sits on the Texas Women's Foundation board.
In 2019, Sonic added two directors — Sonic President Jeff Dyke and Marcus Smith, who is CEO of Speedway Motorsports Inc. as well as a brother of David Smith and a son of Sonic co-founder Bruton Smith — expanding the board from eight to 10 directors.
Sonic, of Charlotte, N.C., ranks No. 6 on Automotive News' list of the top 150 dealership groups based in the U.S., retailing 114,131 new vehicles in 2019. It retailed 162,149 used vehicles for the same period, putting it at No. 6 on Automotive News' list of the top 100 retailers ranked by used-vehicle sales.