Receiving an honorary Doctor of Business Administration at the University of New Haven Spring 2016 Commencement Ceremony
Herb Chambers is president of The Herb Chambers Companies, which comprises 56 automobile dealerships representing 35 franchises in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The company, which has more than 2,300 employees, is the largest automobile dealership group in the Northeast and the sixth largest privately held automobile company in America. In 2015, the company’s sales were in excess of $2.6 billion, and it delivered 56,000 vehicles.
In 2003, Chambers was chosen Ward’s Dealer of the Year. His company has earned more J.D. Power Certified Retailer Awards than any other automobile dealership in North America, and he was named the Massachusetts Automobile Dealer of the Year in 2008. The Herb Chambers Companies has been voted one of the best places to work for in Massachusetts every year since 2009, and is the first automobile dealership group to ever make this list.
A lifelong car enthusiast, Chambers purchased his first dealership in 1985 in New London, Conn. He plans to continue growing The Herb Chambers Companies and is expecting to acquire three new dealerships throughout New England in the coming year.
A veteran of the U.S. Navy, Chambers started his career repairing copy machines for American Photocopy Equipment Company. Before long, he became the company’s top salesperson. By the age of 22, he had founded A-Copy America, which went on to become the largest independent office equipment dealer in the United States.
In 1983, the company, which had more than 1,400 full-time employees, was acquired by Alco Standard, a Fortune 500 company, and became part of Alco Office Products, known today as Ikon Office Solutions, a worldwide company. He became executive vice president in charge of mergers and acquisitions and served for two years.
Chambers, who lives in Old Lyme, Conn., and in Boston, supports many nonprofit organizations, including the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and The Jimmy Fund, and he is a longtime supporter of Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts of the University of New Haven.