Freda Lockhart, who died last week at age 83, achieved a number of firsts during her business career. In addition to the first female-led Cadillac and Saturn automobile dealerships, she was the first woman to serve on the board of directors of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. Today, 21 women are on the Chamber board. From her obituary:
Freda received numerous honors as an automobile dealer, including Time Magazine Quality dealer Awards twice, in 1978 and in 1990 when she was one of the top 10 dealers out of 22,000. She also led Lockhart Cadillac to 14 consecutive Cadillac Master Dealer Awards and became a member of the Cadillac Master Dealer Hall of Fame in 1991, the only woman to receive that recognition. The accomplishment she was most proud of came in 1992, Lockhart Cadillac was named by General Motors as the #1 CSI Cadillac Dealer in the country. Until her retirement in 1999, she led Lockhart Automotive Group including the brands of Cadillac, Hummer and Saturn to great success.
Active in community affairs, she was the first woman elected to the board of directors of the Indiana State Chamber of Commerce, American United Life, Hooks Drugs, as well as the first female President of the Indianapolis Auto Trade Association and the Automobile Dealer Association of Indiana. She served on the advisory board of St. Vincent’s Hospital, was a member of Executive Women International, Family Support Center, Junior Achievement , Salvation Army, Better Business Bureau, 500 Festival Board and supported numerous organizations her entire lifetime.
Freda truly lived the American Dream, starting at the bottom and with foresight, long hours and hard work achieved her dreams. She loved her customers, friends, employees, and family and did her best to make everyone’s life happier.