Empire Lakewood Nissan
Dean Dowson grew up in an automotive family started by his grandfather, Roy J. Weaver, in Pueblo, Colorado in 1912 with the REO and Essex franchises.
In 1933, his grandfather had an Oldsmobile franchise in Denver. After returning from World War II, his father, Harry Dowson, and uncle Ralph Schomp bought Oldsmobile franchises with Mr. Weaver’s assistance.
While growing up, Dean and his brother had various summer jobs at the dealership. Dean’s father encouraged his sons to try a new position each summer, from sweeping the Parts department and dusting parts bins to writing service on the service drive. This went on for many years and covered multiple jobs and positions within the dealership.
After boarding school, Dean’s father informed him that he had a new summer job for him. “Dean, you are going to be our receptionist.”
Dean replied, “Dad, that’s a woman’s job!” He was told that would be his job for the summer, and Dean admitted he learned quite a bit. He and brother Stephen decided to pursue the business their father had built.
He is proud of a family that has lasted more than 100 years in the Colorado auto industry — one that goes beyond his immediate family. Dean feels fortunate to have had his own franchise, as well.
Community involvement is important, and he has been an active member of Rotary International and the Rotary Club of Lakewood for 50 years. He was involved in the Rotary Club because of its philanthropic endeavors, including worldwide hunger, the eradication of polio and community services.
Dean was Colorado’s nominee for the 2001 TIME Quality Dealer Award. He believes being inducted into the Colorado Automotive Hall of Fame represents the time that his entire family has been successful in this industry. Dean believes in being relentlessly positive and that achievement is possible.