Doug Dolton ’78 shared his perspectives on leadership, business and the economy with hundreds of regional leaders on Thursday, March 21, as part of the University of Mary Washington’s annual Executive-in-Residence program.
Dolton, founder, chairman and CEO of San Francisco Motor Sports and UMW’s Executive-in-Residence for 2012-2013, emphasized inspirational leadership through boosting employee morale and increasing customer satisfaction.
“In order to make a success out of anything you do, it is critical that you understand how to interact effectively with people,” he said.
During his two-day visit to UMW, he used examples from his decades in business and finance in his meetings with students, faculty and alumni.
“See people as people, not as objects,” he said, stressing that successful business leaders foster cultures of empathy in their organizations.
Dolton has more than 30 years of experience in the financial services and banking industries and has served as president and CEO of Servus Financial Corporation, now owned by Wells Fargo; Chela Education Financing, now owned by Nelnet; and Zopa, a U.K.-based peer-to-peer online lending marketplace. He founded San Francisco Motorsports, a luxury automotive retailer based out of Northern California, in April 2010 and has served as chairman and CEO of the company for almost three years. He received a bachelor’s degree in economics from Mary Washington in 1978.
Established in 1989, the Executive-in-Residence program is coordinated through the UMW College of Business and the Division of Advancement and University Relations. Since its inception, the program has brought more than 40 well-known and established business leaders to the university.