Garnsey & Wheeler Ford
Herrick Garnsey was born in Denver in 1937 and grew up in Greeley. He received a bachelor’s degree in American Studies from Yale University. Following graduation, he joined the U.S. Naval War College Officer Candidate program in Newport, Rhode Island. After that, he returned to Greeley with his new wife, Diane Mehaffey Garnsey, to begin his career in the family’s Ford dealership.
Herrick is a third-generation member of Garnsey & Wheeler Ford, founded in 1922 by his grandfather and Mr. Hugh Wheeler. From the start, the partners based their relationship on trust, integrity and agreement. Their grit, innovation and commitment allowed them to survive tremendous odds.
The Garnsey & Wheeler business principles formed the basis of Herrick’s business philosophy. He joined the dealership in 1964. While he got in because he was the owner’s son, he realized that remaining there depended on learning the business from bottom to top. He went from cleaning parts bins to becoming a service advisor, which convinced him it is the good performance of the service department that brings customers back.
When he sold his 85-year-old family dealership in 2007, it may have been one of the oldest continuously owned family businesses in the state.
Through all the years in the auto business, it has been the people Herrick met who made his career a joy. Loyal employees taught him how much dealers depend on the staff. He continues to meet previous employees and customers who refer to Garnsey & Wheeler as an outstanding place to do business.
Herrick believes society’s future transportation needs will continue to be best served by cars and trucks because most people insist on controlling when and where they want to go. Also, he believes there is a social obligation to give back to the community.
While in business, he gave back by participating in the Chamber of Commerce; the United Way; cofounding the Dayspring Christian Academy, a P/K- 12 private school; 4-H livestock sales and many other community organizations in and around Greeley. He was Colorado’s nominee for the 1994 TIME Quality Dealer of the Year award.
Herrick feels blessed for having a successful career in the automobile business and is honored to be inducted into the Colorado Automotive Hall of Fame.