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CATA President Cizek to retire

November 15, 2010

Jerry H. Cizek III, who since 1988 has been the top staffer of the Chicago Automobile Trade Association, has announced his retirement, effective next year.

Cizek joined the CATA in 1973 as a field representative who visited dealers to help overcome problems, and mediated consumer complaints. He became director of dealer relations in 1979, then executive vice president and auto show general manager in 1988. The title changed a few years later to CATA president.

His ties to the market’s automobile retailing stretch back even further. Cizek’s grandfather and father were Chrysler-Plymouth dealers in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood.

Cizek issued the following statement:

"After more than 36 years with the CATA, the last 21 as its president and CEO and general manager of the Chicago Auto Show, I have informed the board of directors of my intention to extend my contract one more year and retire in July 2010.  I will work with the Board and new president to ensure a smooth and orderly transition. 

"Through the years, it has been a sincere privilege for me to witness and be a part of the incredible changes that have occurred to our association and auto show. I have met a great many people who have had a huge impact on my life and influenced my leadership skills. 

"The CATA Board has established a search committee whose mission is to identify the association’s next leader, a person who will build on the strength and traditions of the CATA’s past to ensure a strong and vibrant future for the association. The search committee has retained Spencer Stuart, an executive search firm in Chicago, to pursue potential candidates.

"This family decision was complicated and noteworthy in that the CATA and the auto show have been a significant part of my life.  As each has grown in stature and service, to its members and exhibitors, I am proud to have played a part in this process. 

"As a side note, my grandfather was an officer and director of the CATA from 1950 to 1958 and was chairman of the 1955 Chicago Auto Show.  Yes, I remember the Amphitheatre, as a kid!  There have been only six general managers of the Chicago Auto Show since 1901, and I’m honored to be included in that number."