Kate Faupel Grealish has been around automobile dealerships ever since her dad, Ron, bought what was then known as Henderson Chevrolet Oldsmobile when she was in the second grade.
As an adult, Grealish has played a big role in her family business — including serving as general manager of her father’s dealership since November 2021. Now, at 30, Grealish — who goes by her maiden name professionally — has a dealership to call her own.
She’s the new owner of Kate Faupel Ford, near her father’s Henderson Chevrolet GMC on the Kentucky city’s U.S. 41 strip.
Grealish purchased the Ford dealership from Dave Stumbo of Bowling Green, Kentucky, who had bought it in 2019 from its longtime owner, Henderson’s Tommy Dempewolf.
Henderson’s Ford outlet, Grealish says, had struggled while under out-of-town ownership.
“A lot of Ford customers are really loyal,” Grealish says. “We always wanted to have this Ford store to be able to serve those customers and keep them local. We started talking about this (acquiring the Ford dealership) almost two years ago … we started putting pen to paper and working on a deal in August.”
Grealish says her family has a “great relationship” with Evansville’s O’Daniel family, which runs D-Patrick Ford stores in Southwest Indiana, and the cross-river competition will be friendly.
Starting at age 15, Grealish began working at her father’s dealership after school and on weekends, answering phones and filing service papers. She returned in 2020, rotating through departments of the dealership to learn how each one functions before becoming general manager the following year.
She says it’s a dream come true to have her own dealership.
“It’s pretty cool,” she says. “It’s a lot of pressure, I’m not going to lie. But it’s really neat, and I’m excited.”
As she moved through the ranks at Henderson Chevrolet GMC, Grealish also became known for her starring roles, alongside her father, in the dealership’s television ads. In many of them, Ron and Kate don colorful, matching attire from Loudmouth Golf.
For those who enjoy those commercials, Grealish says don’t worry — more are to come from Kate Faupel Ford.
“You’ll see some crazy pants in Ford commercials to come,” she promises.