CORNELIUS – Randy Marion, president of Randy Marion Automotive, was selected as the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce’s Business Person of the Year for 2013.

Marion received the Robert T. Cashion Award at the chamber’s Annual Awards Banquet held Jan. 17 at The Peninsula Club.

Marion and a single investor bought McKnight Pontiac Buick and started Randy Marion Automotive with 13 employees in September 1990 on Main Street in Mooresville.

He eventually bought the other investor out and grew the business to five locations with 275 full- and part-time employees. In 2011, he obtained a Cadillac franchise.

In 2013, Randy Marion Automotive sold 8,261 cars – a 16 percent increase over 2012 with a 17 percent increase in total sales. 

General Motors has recognized him as the largest retail and fleet sales volume leader in the Carolinas for six of the past eight years.

In accepting the award, Marion talked about the importance of regionalism, as well as the importance of small businesses building strong relationships and supporting each other.

“We are very fortunate to have two very strong chambers that help provide the business climate to succeed and who stand up for business,” Marion said. 

Marion also acknowledged travel and tourism’s role at the lake. He reminded business leaders and elected officials that the citizens who live here and many of the guests who visit here, do not see municipal or county boundaries. 

“It’s one big community – a great community to live in, to work in, and to visit!”

Wendy Moran, 2013 chamber chairwoman, cited Marion’s involvement as the past chairman of the Mooresville-South Iredell and Lake Norman chambers of commerce, as well as current chairman of Visit Lake Norman. 

No one person, Moran said, has done more to bring the business communities of south Iredell and north Mecklenburg together than Marion.