60 Seconds With Walt Gutierrez

by Clay Neely


Walt Gutierrez, President, Toyota of Newnan 

Where are you originally from?

I moved here eight years ago with my family, from Naperville, Illinois. A suburb right above Chicago.

How did you wind up in Newnan?

Toyota decided they wanted a store here, so we put our names in the hat and we were fortunate enough to be chosen.

How did you get involved with The Welcome House?

I have an almost corny passion for making sure that support is given back to the community. It is our responsibility to do so. As a family, we have been given an amazing opportunity and, given our great successes, it felt like giving back was the right thing to do. When we first arrived, we searched out many different charities and the Welcome House was just one of them. When we heard about their mission we realized it was really right up our alley. We didn’t want to just send them a check, we wanted to be involved.

What other charities do you work with?

We’re a big fan of Coweta Samaritan Clinic. We also recently joined with Camp Southern Ground, due to their connection with children. We think Zach is doing something special and we want to be on the ground floor with his mission. We get involved in some way in response to just about anyone who asks. We also seek people out, specifically, who might need some help. It makes us feel great. We’re not complete without doing reaching out to help and we hope to set an example. It’s always been my view that 20 percent of the people are doing 80 percent of the work in this community. My calling, is to get more people off the sidelines and involved.

What is some of the best advice someone has given you?

Since I was coming to the South from the North, it was a big jump culturally-speaking. On the second day the dealership was open, we were cranking. I was running all over the place and this older gentleman, probably 70 years old, pulled me off to the side and he said “Son, you’d better slow down.”

That was the message that I needed. I wasn’t going to change the community, the community was going to change me — and that has stuck with me ever since. Now, I operate in a much calmer and more thorough fashion. When you slow down, you’re not missing steps and are, subsequently, more effective.

The South is the best kept secret — bar none. We love it it here and we could never imagine leaving. This is our home.

More Business

Ask the Boss: Nathan Reese, Reese Services

How long have you been in business and how did you get started? We have been in business for 35-and-a-half years. We started on May 13, 198 ... Read More

Business Briefs

SouthTowne General Motors to provide Southern Soccer Academy Coweta with new equipment SouthTowne General Motors Superstore is partnering w ... Read More

Ask the Boss

Shannon Woods, Woods & Company

How long have you been in business and what inspired you to become a professional photographer? I have been in business since 2010. I used ... Read More

Business Briefs

Publix celebrates 85 years of making shopping a pleasure Publix Super Markets celebrates 85 years of business this month. Publix was found ... Read More

Yancey Dental Practice Hails Three Generations

Many families have traditions when it comes to career choice. It may tradition for all of the family to join the military or to teach or bec ... Read More

Business Briefs

Mike Winslett joins Full Circle TMS Board of Advisors Local business owner, Mike Winslett, has been named to Full Circle Transportation Man ... Read More