When Fred Markley moved to Fort Collins, 13-year-old son Gene was already getting involved in the automobile business. He learned the business by working odd jobs, from sweeping floors to working in the shop.
Although Gene took a job as a civil engineer after graduating from Colorado State University, he couldn’t stay away from the car business. By the early 1950s, he was fully involved in the family dealership.
Throughout the years, Gene committed himself to improving the automobile industry and its reputation with the public. He was a member of many auto-related organizations. In 1971, he was Colorado’s nominee for the TIME Magazine Quality Dealer Award. He served as the president of the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association and the Motor Vehicle Dealer Board.
Gene always believed in giving back to the community in the way it had given to him. He was committed to philanthropy and improving his community. Gene volunteered in many positions, including the Poudre School District Board, Poudre Valley Hospital Foundation Board and the Rotary Club of Fort Collins Board, where he served as president.
Gene served as the past president of the Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce. He received many accolades for his generosity and time, including the Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Hope Award, Better Business Bureau’s Torch Award, the Northern Colorado Community Foundation’s Founders Award and Bravo Entrepreneur Lifetime Achievement Award.
According to a letter Gene wrote to his great-granddaughter Ashlee in 2005, one of the greatest highlights of his life was becoming President of the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association. His family knows Gene would be humbled and very proud to be inducted into the Colorado Automotive Hall of Fame.