Following successful people is no easy task. David Withnell has done just that and has succeeded in his own right. Withnell Motor Company – under his leadership - has not only continued its success, but, in fact, has moved to new levels. But David is not a Beacon because he is a success as a businessman. David Withnell is a Beacon because of his generosity in supporting the student-athletes of Salem-Keizer and his leadership in the Salem-Keizer community.
Following in the Withnell tradition, David Withnell rarely says “no” when it comes to supporting his community and, specifically, our local high school student-athletes. Whether he is purchasing “Gold Cards” or providing advertising to support individual high school programs, funding summer youth baseball programs, donating money for other athletic projects, donating money for high school turf fields, or coaching youth teams himself, he understands what athletics can mean to a young person and looks for ways to help insure young people have the same experience he enjoyed.
David Withnell is the son of Dick and Gayle Withnell. David was born and raised in Salem and is a 1984 McKay High graduate. A three year varsity baseball player for the Royal Scots, he helped lead McKay to a Valley League title in 1983 and was a first-team all-conference second baseman and was honorable mention all-state in his senior year. David was then recruited and received a scholarship to play baseball at Linfield where he played for one year before deciding to study abroad in France and discontinuing his baseball career.
Prior to his graduation from McKay and during his early years at Linfield, David worked in the family business before joining Withnell Motor Company full-time upon his college graduation in 1988. Withnell did not enter the business “at the top”. Starting as a lot attendant, he worked in the parts department, as a service advisor, and in various other positions on his “way to the top”, taking over as president of the company in 2001.
During his time as leader of the Withnell Motor Company, WMC has been a major donor for the McKay High turf project, the North Salem High turf project, and the South Salem High Guido Caldarazzo Stadium turf project. They have also been significant donors to the Geer Park bike path project and the sole sponsor of the AAA American Legion baseball Withnell Dodgers. David has also served as a Little League, Babe Ruth, and JBO baseball coach.
As passionate as David is about athletics, athletics is not his sole focus. He has also served as both president and past-president for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes as well as president and past-president of the Salem Police Foundation.
During his time as president of Withnell Motor Company, the company has continued as one of Salem-Keizer's most successful businesses. As a result David has served as
• Hyundai Western Region Dealer Council Member
• Oregon Dealer Advisory Committee, Board of Directors (2000-2007)
• Dodge Dealer Ad Association, Board of Directors (2003-2006)
• Hyundai Dealer Ad Association, Board of Directors (2018-current)
• Oregon Auto Dealer Association, Board of Directors (2010-current)
• Salem Automobile Dealers Association (President, 1998-2000)
Under his leadership, Withnell and Withnell Motor Company has also been honored as:
• 2018 Best of the Mid-Valley Car Dealership (Withnell Dodge/Ram)
• 2011 Employer of the Year Recipient by the Salem Chamber of Commerce
• Good Housekeeping/Automotive News "1996 Automotive Dealership Service Excellence Award” (one of 10 in the nation)
• Salem Area Chamber of Commerce’s "1998 Business of the Year"; Salem Area Chamber of Commerce "1996 Showcase Award"
• National Dodge Charger Dealer 1998, 1993 & 1982 (Top 100 Dodge Dealers in the country)
• Five Star Dealer Excellence Award 2009-98, 1995, 1993-81
David Withnell is married to fellow Linfield graduate (1987) Lora D. Withnell. David and Lora have two sons – Dan (27) and Jake (26). They also have a grandson: Dustan, age 2.