Damon Lester Headshot

Damon Lester

Owner, Nissan at Bowie

Speaker Spotlight


Damon Lester's leadership as the president of the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers (NAMAD) since 2006 has been transformative, especially through the economic challenges that significantly impacted minority-owned dealerships. From a peak of 1,805 minority-owned dealerships in 2005, the Great Recession caused numbers to fall to 875 by 2011. Under Lester's guidance, NAMAD has tirelessly advocated for minority dealership ownership, contributing to a recovery that saw the biggest gain in minority-owned dealerships in 16 years by last year, with a total of 1,366. His commitment to ensuring automakers uphold their diversity promises and his emphasis on succession planning and the development of the next generation of ethnic retailers through the NAMAD NextGen group have been pivotal in his advocacy efforts.

Lester's journey with NAMAD began in 2002 as vice president of operations, and he has since navigated the organization through recessionary impacts and advocacy on Capitol Hill. In April 2021, Lester ventured into dealership ownership himself, purchasing Nissan of Bowie in Maryland, offering him a new perspective on the industry he has long served. As the automotive sector evolves towards electric vehicles, Lester recognizes the need for dealerships to adapt to changing sales models. Soon to step down from NAMAD to concentrate on his retail career, Lester reflects on the responsibility and privilege of dealership ownership, aiming to excel in his new role within the Nissan family.

Speaker Sessions

Get your tickets now for this energizing collaboration!