By Robyn A. Friedman
City & Shore Magazine
JM Family Enterprises Inc., a diversified automotive company with headquarters in Deerfield Beach, is celebrating a milestone this month: its 50th anniversary.
In October 1968, automobile entrepreneur Jim Moran signed an agreement in Japan that established Southeast Toyota Distributors LLC as the exclusive Toyota distributor in five southeastern states. That agreement led to the creation of what is now its parent company, JM Family Enterprises.
Over the past 50 years, JM has evolved into a $15.1 billion company with more than 4,200 employees across North America. It ranked 20th on the 2017 Forbes annual ranking of America’s largest private companies and has been named by Fortune as one of the 100 best companies to work for in the United States for 20 consecutive years.
“Fifty years is quite a milestone, and it would have been Jim Moran’s 100th birthday this year too,” says Brent Burns, president and chief executive officer of JM Family. “We believe that the key to our success is our associates, and this is a way of us being able to celebrate the success that those associates have helped us generate over the past 50 years.”
Although Moran passed away in 2007, his core values live on in the company, Burns says. Since he believed strongly in giving back to the community, in recognition of its 50th anniversary, JM Family will:
- Celebrate with employees across the country by hosting five events in cities in which it has major operations (Jacksonville, Margate, Atlanta, Mobile and St. Louis, Mo.) featuring Wayne Brady, The Illusionists and Jon Bon Jovi. “It’s a tremendous evening,” Burns says.
- Make $50,000 contributions to charitable organizations in all of its major business locations, for a total of $300,000. Donations will coincide with anniversary celebrations throughout the year, and the beneficiaries will be focused on four areas: empowering families and nurturing children, providing for essential needs, promoting education and preserving the environment.
- Make a charitable contribution to, and work with, the Arbor Day Foundation and other local conservation groups to facilitate the planting of more than 1,000 trees, shrubs and other vegetation. This will not only beautify neighborhoods but also help improve air quality, create shade and lower energy costs.
JM Family’s primary subsidiaries include:
- Southeast Toyota Distributors, the world’s largest independent distributor of Toyota vehicles.
- JM&A Group, an independent provider of finance and insurance products for the automotive industry.
- World Omni Financial Corp, a diversified financial services company and the parent of Southeast Toyota Finance and Data Scan.
- JM Lexus, a Lexus dealership in Margate and the first Lexus Plus dealership in the southeastern United States.
So what does JM have in store for the next 50 years? Think self-driving cars.
“We are pivoting from being purely automotive to looking at a world where people have choices that go beyond just owning or leasing a car,” Burns says. “It could be a host of different mobility alternatives that people have, given the technology and advancements we’re seeing in autonomous vehicles. It’s an incredibly exciting time.”