Despite not sharing the same last name, you can’t think of the Gaudin family without thinking of Kersh Miller. The current fleet manager at Gaudin Ford has been part of the family-owned and operated dealership for 54 of its 86 years. In fact, founder George Gaudin personally hired Miller.
After working at a Ford dealership in Oregon, opportunity brought Miller to the rapidly growing Las Vegas area. Since starting with the company on June 1, 1959, he’s been entrenched in the Gaudin Automotive Group, watching the dealership — as well as the Gaudin family — grow and make a name for itself in the community.
“It isn’t enough to refer to Kersh as part of the Gaudin/Ackerman family,” said Gary Ackerman, owner of Gaudin Automotive Group and grandson of George Gaudin. “My first memory of Kersh was him lifting me up as a little boy, probably about 5 years old, and putting me up on the big cast iron safe in the showroom so I could watch the Helldorado parade go down Fifth Street in front of the first Gaudin Ford in Las Vegas.”
Since then, Gaudin Ford has moved three times, each with Miller’s involvement. Miller also did some moving himself within the ranks at the dealership. During his time at Gaudin Ford, he has held the positions of assistant service manager, service manager, parts and service director and fleet manager.
Miller has seen his personal growth coincide with the dealership’s growth. He’s also witnessed the dealership’s growth coincide with the growth of the Las Vegas area, including the influx of famous performers. In his words, he has “been here to see it all.”
“I remember hearing Liberace was in the dealership to buy a car from Don Ackerman (Gary Ackerman’s father),” said Miller . “And Sonny King, Jimmy Durante’s right-hand man, was always in getting service done on their cars.
“Back when I moved to Vegas, an average price of a car was $3,000, and we used to run specials for oil changes for $7.95. Boy, how the times have changed.”
It’s easy to wonder how someone like Miller can stick around for so long, but one interaction with him will tell you all you need to know.
“Kersh has always been the epitome of what we strive for with all our employees,” Ackerman said. “He is genuinely concerned with our customers and his fellow employees. He always remembers their names and always greets them with that huge, sincere grin of his.”
Ackerman added that Gaudin Ford’s phones ring on a daily basis with calls from Miller’s previous customers and even the family of previous generations of his customers.
Miller’s experience also has made him a natural mentor to his colleagues, as well as a historian of the auto industry. He provides perspective from the past to current employees of an auto industry entering a new era thanks to the Internet and social media.
“Being part of the next generation, it is always exciting and informative to sit down with Kersh to see how we got here and the way things used to be done,” said Wesley Gregg, general manager of Gaudin Ford.
Ackerman attributes Gaudin Automotive Group’s success and longevity to employees such as Miller, who always strive for the best regardless of the task. That trait and experience are things Ackerman considers invaluable.
“As a third-generation dealer and business owner, it is a real blessing to have an employee like Kersh,” he said. “How do you place a value on over 50 years of service and support from such a great guy?”
Gaudin Ford is at 6625 Roy Horn Way, just off the Las Vegas Beltway and South Rainbow Boulevard. The dealership has received some of the industry’s highest honors including the President’s and Triple Crown awards and has been named a Partner in Quality.
For more information, visit www.gaudinford.com or call 702-713-2121.