Tom Folliard, CarMax Board Chair, Headlines Smith Lecture Oct. 16

Campus Event is Free and Open to the Public            

MELBOURNE, FLA. — Tom Folliard, the Florida Tech alumnus and trustee who went on to lead one of the most influential and disruptive businesses in the U.S. marketplace – CarMax Inc. – will headline the fall F. Alan Smith Distinguished Lecture on Wednesday, Oct. 16, at the university’s Hartley Room in Melbourne.

Folliard will present, “How a Florida Tech Graduate in Melbourne Helped CarMax Transform an Industry,” followed by questions and answers, from 6-7 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public, but pre-registration is required by clicking here. It is co-sponsored by the Melbourne Regional Chamber of Commerce and Florida Today.

After graduating from Florida Tech in 1989, Folliard began working at a local used car wholesaler. After a visit from the founders of what would become CarMax, he became employee No. 1 in 1993 when he was named senior buyer.

A year later, the promotions began.

Folliard became director of purchasing in 1994. He was promoted to vice president of merchandising in 1996, senior vice president of store operations in 2000 and executive vice president of store operations in 2001. In 2006, he became president and chief executive officer, where he remained for the next decade.

Folliard retired as chief executive officer in August 2016 and currently serves as the non-executive chair of the board.

In his presentation, he will explain how CarMax grew so quickly and discuss the company’s journey to the top of the industry.

“We are honored to have Tom serve on our board, and I have been fortunate to see his amazing business acumen, creativity and passion first-hand,” said Florida Tech President Dwayne McCay. “I look forward to hearing the story of how those very attributes helped him forever change the world of auto sales.”

The lecture series’ founder and benefactor is F. Alan Smith, who like Folliard displayed great success working with automobiles. Smith spent more than three decades in leadership positions at General Motors in the U.S. and Canada, including serving as executive vice president of finance of General Motors and president and general manager of General Motors of Canada, Ltd.

Now living in Indialantic, Smith has served on Florida Tech’s Board of Trustees since 1996.

The lecture series, which began in 2007 as the F. Alan Smith Visiting Executive Program, was created to attract corporate executives to speak to students, faculty and community leaders at Florida Tech. At least one executive speaker is welcomed to campus in both the fall and spring semesters.

Find out more about the series at For questions about the Smith lecture, contact Timothy Worzick at Florida Tech’s Office of Development at or 321-674-6152.


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