Fitzgerald Auto Mall | Bethesda Magazine

Family Business Profiles


Fitzgerald Auto Mall

21 Locations in Rockville, Wheaton, Gaithersburg, Germantown, Frederick, Annapolis, Lexington Park and Chambersburg, PA and Clearwater, FL


One of Jack Fitzgerald’s first jobs was as a stock clerk at a family owned District Grocery store. Jack quickly learned that Sam the Butcher had a better job than him, because he was able to go in and out of the walk-in freezer and cool off while Jack worked stocking shelves without the benefit of air conditioning. Jack never complained. Those early lessons would be a part of his career in the automotive business, “Whatever your hands find to do, do it with all your might,” he is fond of saying.

Later he sold home fire alarms door-to-door, then joined the Handley Ford sales team in Washington, DC. Owner Mr. Sheehy (yes…that family founder) taught Jack that if he was diligent and outworked everyone, he could be successful selling vehicles. “I always put my customers first and gained a reputation as the number one advocate for customers if their car was in for service.” That loyalty earned him a lot of raving fans, and soon Jack had a business within a business.

In partnership with a longtime customer, Jack bought a dealership named Diver Dodge on Old Georgetown Road that was going out of business. A handful of dedicated employees helped him grow the business, and in 1968 they moved to their current location, opening Colonial Dodge on Rockville Pike.

Today, Fitzgerald is a family business with more than 1,500 associates, and more than 22 brands. Jack’s early experiences are part of the culture. As he says, “Focus on the customer and the rest will take care of itself.” The company also puts the environment first, too, recently adding a massive new solar roof in Gaithersburg.

<< Back to the list

Leading Professionals »

Sponsored Content

Subscribe to our free newsletters

* indicates required

Dining Guide