By Dave McCleary
After more than 40 years in the industry and 24 years running several automotive dealerships in the Rochester area, Randy Henderson has decided to move on to his next chapter, selling his last remaining dealership, Henderson Ford.
One of the last Minority owned Ford dealerships left in New York, Henderson Ford at 810 Ridge Road, Webster, was acquired by West Herr earlier this month.
Randy Henderson, president, says he plans to turn his attention to The Henderson Family Foundation, a philanthropic organization founded in 2009 aimed at promoting volunteerism and grantmaking.
“We are grateful to our staff and the public for their years with Henderson Ford and our other companies. I appreciate the professional service with which our team has served the Webster and surrounding communities. I can reflect positively on my automotive career along with the wonderful relationships I have built along the way, as well as focus on the assignments that God has for me now,” Henderson said.
The Henderson family has been known in the community for their giving spirit starting in 1997 with Webster Chrysler Jeep, 2003 with Ford in Webster, and 2005 with Greece Ridge Lincoln Mercury Nissan.
“Randy Henderson has been a leader in Webster businesses for decades… Serving the Webster community has always been a top priority for Randy and his outreach to our schools, to people in need, to faith communities, and his response to the pandemic has been unwavering. It has been an honor and an extreme pleasure working with Randy and his team over the years and we wish him the best as he moves into this next phase of life!” said Webster Chamber of Commerce President Barry
Randy Henderson studied economics and political science at Duke University before he decided to try his hand in the business world by starting a trucking company as an owner operator.
In 1982 he entered the automotive industry and held positions in finance, sales, and management. With that experience under his belt, he bought his first car dealership in 1994 in Marion Ohio – selling Chrysler and Dodge products. This was the beginning of a long relationship with Chrysler Corporation.
Henderson, a man of immense faith, feels that he was led by God to come to the Rochester area. So, in 1998, he and family relocated to the area and he purchased Webster Chrysler Jeep, in Webster.
In 2003 Henderson bought Webster Ford and in 2005 he purchased Greece Ridge Lincoln Mercury. In 2007 when he merged the two dealerships—Webster Ford Lincoln Mercury was born.
In 2009, Chrysler Corporation closed the Webster Chrysler dealership and Henderson decided to focus his energy on the Fords. In 2010 the dealership took on the family name and became Henderson Ford and in 2011 the newest addition to the business came in the form of Quick Lane Tire and Auto Service Center.
His community and church involvement span nearly as many years as he has been in business. In 2003 he co-founded a local not-for-profit called “A New Day Now” that donates to youth groups and charities. Active in the Church of Love Faith Center on Exchange Blvd, Rochester, Henderson was ordained a minister in 2010. One of his favorite outreach programs is the Youth Jail Ministry–an opportunity to change lives in positive directions.
Henderson currently serving on the Boards of several community and business organizations including the Vice chair of Action for a Better Community, Corporate Secretary for the Webster Chamber of Commerce, a trustee at the Church of Love Faith Center, the Ford dealer’s diversity committee, Ford Minority Dealers Association and the Ford Motor Company’s National Dealer Council.
Henderson and his wife Marion are parents to three children, and grandparents to six.
Leaving a Legacy
Henderson says he is grateful to the community and his staff for their continued support and many years of service at the dealerships. Their longest tenured staff include: Alex Cooper, Bonnie Jones, Brian Henderson, DaMaris Corzatt, and Sue Degrazia. Several of whom, as well as most of the other staff, have stayed on with the West Herr organization.
The Henderson family and the staff have worked with many community efforts, including:
• Rochester City School District book drive (nine years)
• Toys for Tots (eleven years)
• Rochester City School District car giveaway (two years)
• Webster Central School District car giveaway (five years)
• Young Entrepreneur’s Academy (Founding Webster Financier & Consultant)
• Henderson Family Foundation
• Sports team sponsorship throughout Webster, Rochester and Monroe County
• Rochester Institute of Technology Minett Professorship
• Spotlighting the Webster Central School District’s response to Service Tech shortage and opportunities within our local field
• Drive 4 UR School/Community events (raising Ford dollars for local nonprofits – eight years)
• Support of local private Christian education
• Numerous churches, schools, and nonprofit agencies
• Rochester Area Community Foundation
• Rochester Automobile Dealers Association
• Roberts Wesleyan College
• Webster Chamber leadership
West Herr Automotive Group
West Herr was founded in 1950 as a Ford dealership in Hamburg, NY (Buffalo area). The Ford facility at Ridge Road will be the 31st location for the West Herr group, as well as the fourth Ford dealership location. The updated “Trust Mark” Ford facility will have 60 employees and is projected to sell a combined total of 1,800 new and used vehicles per year.
West Herr has represented Ford since 1950. With this acquisition they will now have 8 dealerships in the Rochester market. The group has received Business First of Buffalo’s “Best Places to Work in WNY” award for 17 consecutive years and the Better Business Bureau “Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics” 8 times.
“The West Herr Automotive Group is dedicated to absolute excellence in customer service provided by honest, responsible, and respectful people. West Herr supports individual pride, company spirit, and community involvement,” the company said in a press release.
“We are proud to acquire Henderson Ford of Webster, and we look forward to carrying on the quality sales and service experience that Randy and his team provided to the community for many years,” said Scott Bieler, President & CEO of the West Herr Automotive Group. “In bringing to the dealership our additional management talent and technology, dramatically larger new and used inventory, we feel we can grow the dealership and serve Webster and the surrounding communities on the foundation that Randy Henderson built.”