Thomas V. McKernan spent 21 years as the chief executive of the Automobile Club of Southern California. He spent 46 years total working with the organization. However, he retired in May 2012. Robert Bouttier will be taking over his post. He was previously the president of the club, and also the chief operating officer of it. Both men truly worked their way up the corporate ladder.
No state is associated with automobiles like California is. The Automobile Club of Southern California has been around for well over 100 years. Ten car enthusiasts founded the organization in 1900. Back then they were fighting to improve roads and have new traffic laws passed. It’s the largest constituent member of the famous AAA federation, and serves around 14 million members. Almost one third of AAA members are members of this organization.
Insurance policies affiliated with the club provide coverage for recreational vehicles and homes as well as cars. While regional clubs seldom expand, McKernan started to take over AAA clubs in other states. In 1996, he took control of organizations in Hawaii, Texas and New Mexico. The Automobile Club of Southern California is now active in 21 different states, but it retains its original name.
There are around 6.2 million members of the organization who actually live in Southern California. Westways magazine, which is published by the club, offers numerous travel tips and discounts to members. It’s likely that more people are paying attention to those discounts than ever before. Since McKernan took over, the membership in the original service area grew by almost 70 percent. Robert Bouttier certainly has big shoes to fill.
However, he also has a great deal of experience in the automotive industry. He started his career working as a claims representative 37 years ago. His original post was at an insurance branch office. He’s certainly seen everything from the ground up. Some people might speculate on what reforms he might enact.
Of course, such a well-run organization might not need any sweeping changes. McKernan’s legacy is certainly a positive one. He started his career at the bottom as well. In 1966, McKernan took a job as a customer service representative in Pasadena. He worked as a computer programmer and later as the chief financial officer. His original appointment as CEO came in 1991. Many people will probably compare Bouttier’s background to McKernan’s. This is certainly a very serious compliment for both individuals.