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Color: Blue and black
Food: French fries
Quote: You can't get what you don't ask for.
Season: Summer
Vacation Destination: Anguilla
Birthplace
Muskegon, Michigan United States
Interview Description:

Biography |

Interview Date: 08/11/2017

Auto sales entrepreneur Perry Watson was born on April 16, 1951 in Muskegon, Michigan. Watson earned his B.B.A. degree in marketing from Western Michigan University in 1973. He then received his MBA degree in marketing from Western Michigan in 1976. In 1993, Watson graduated from the Chrysler Corporation’s Minority Dealer Training program.

Following his graduation from Western Michigan University, Watson joined the Xerox Corporation in 1977. He spent over thirteen years at Xerox and served in a variety of roles, which included regional sales manager. After graduated from Chrysler’s dealer training program, Watson was selected to manage the Brookdale Dodge franchise in Minneapolis, Minnesota, which was his first dealership. He remained as manager of the dealership for nine years. In 2001, Watson became only the third African American in the country, and the first African American in Indiana, to own a Lexus dealership. He owned Lexus of Mishawaka, which was ranked among the top dealerships on the Black Enterprise Auto Dealer 100 list. Watson is also a guest speaker and lecturer. He is a guest professor of marketing at Western Michigan University and conducts classes in the Entrepreneur Lecture Series at the Judd Leighton School of Business and Economics at Indiana University, South Bend.

Watson has been the recipient of many awards dedicated to his successful business career. Specifically, he has received the Upward Bound Program Honor, and the Mid-Eastern Association of Educational Opportunity Program’s TRiO Achiever Award in 2012.

He has also been active in several community organizations. Watson is a member of the St. Joseph County Chamber of Commerce, the Elkhart Chamber of Commerce, Omega Psi Phi fraternity, the Indiana Auto Dealers Association, and the National Association of Minority Dealers. He is also Vice President of Programs for 100 Black Men of Greater South Bend and a member of the Entrepreneurial Advisory Committee for the Beacon Health System Memorial Hospital. Watson has also been active in the Urban League, the Boys and Girls Club, and Jack and Jill of America.

Watson lives in Grainger, Indiana. He has four children.

Perry Watson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 11, 2017.

Speaker Bureau Notes: