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JM&A Group Announces Executive Leadership Changes

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Deerfield Beach, Fla., Sept. 02, 2020 -- Forrest Heathcott, whose career has spanned nearly 30 years with JM Family Enterprises, most recently as president of its subsidiary JM&A Group, has announced he will retire March 31, 2021.

Dan Chait, fellow JM Family executive and president of sister company Southeast Toyota Finance (SETF), will assume leadership of JM&A Group beginning January 1, 2021, in addition to maintaining his current position. Chait will continue reporting to Brent Burns, president and CEO of JM Family, in his newly expanded roll.

“JM&A has the best associates and dealer partners in the business, and I have full confidence in Dan to lead this great company as we plan for JM&A Group’s future and its continued success,” Heathcott said.

Heathcott joined JM Family in 1993 and has held positions at three of the company’s subsidiaries -- JM&A Group, Southeast Toyota Distributors and Southeast Toyota Finance. He took on his current role of president of JM&A Group, one of the largest independent providers of finance and insurance (F&I) products and services in the industry, during 2007.

“As president of JM&A Group, Forrest has led the team passionately, with strong vision, always staying steps ahead in the F&I industry,” said Brent Burns, president and CEO, JM Family. “Clearly understanding the needs of today’s dealer and driving the business based on the guidepost that our success is measured by the dealer’s success, the team has been able to consistently deliver on its goals. A true, hands-on leader, Forrest thinks not only about the business, but about our associates first, as is the JM Family way. While Forrest will be missed, we are excited about his next chapter and those adventures he will now have time to take.”

Chait joined SETF in 2002 as vice president, Asset Management. In 2007 he became group vice president responsible for the company’s Portfolio Management, Dealer Services, Operations, Sales and Marketing functions. In 2011, Chait was named senior vice president, and in 2012 became president. He has 30 years of experience in the financial services industry, has held senior-level positions with US Airways, AutoNation and UniCapital Corporation, and holds a Master of Business Administration and bachelor’s degrees in economics and political science from the University of Rochester.

In order to ensure a seamless transition, Chait will begin shadowing Heathcott and the JM&A Group leadership team in the coming months, engrossing himself in the business nuances and its ongoing initiatives, as well as meeting and connecting with dealer partners. Beginning January 1, he will assume full responsibility for leading JM&A Group and SETF, with Heathcott moving to the role of strategic advisor to accelerate Chait’s learning curve and support his long-term success.

“Dan has the full backing of JM&A Group’s senior management, who value his partnership and respect the success he’s built at Southeast Toyota Finance,” said Burns. “After nearly two decades with JM Family, Dan has proven himself to be a strong leader, a team player and a true ambassador of our culture.”

Providing Chait with added support, Bill Shope, an SETF associate since 1990, has been promoted to senior vice president and COO of Southeast Toyota Finance and will lead the company’s day-to-day operations. In recent years, Shope has been integral to the development of SETF’s advanced analytics capabilities and risk management approach, which has enabled the company to expand the level of support it offers Toyota dealers in the Southeast and launched a wave of growth in the business that continues today. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Carnegie Mellon University and graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor of Science in economics.

About JM&A Group

JM&A Group, a leader in the F&I industry for more than 40 years, serves more than 3,800 automotive dealerships nationwide. Comprised of Jim Moran & Associates, Inc. (JM&A), Fidelity Warranty Services, Inc. (FWS), Fidelity Insurance Agency, and Courtesy Insurance Company, it provides a variety of products and services such as F&I training and consulting, vehicle protection plans, used vehicle certification programs, prepaid maintenance plans and GAP programs. Additionally, the company has nearly 750 associates, including a dedicated sales force of 300+ associates who support process implementation for dealer operations and digital sales strategies. JM&A Group is a division of JM Family Enterprises, Inc. a diversified automotive corporation headquartered in Deerfield Beach, Fla. JM Family is ranked No. 20 on Forbes’ list of “America’s Largest Private Companies” and has been ranked on FORTUNE®’s 100 Best Companies to Work For® list for 22 consecutive years. For more information about JM&A Group’s products and services, contact us at 1-800-553-7146 or visit us online at

About Southeast Toyota Finance

Southeast Toyota Finance is the captive finance company for 177 Toyota dealers in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. The company offers a broad range of products and services to automotive dealers and consumers. Southeast Toyota Finance is the leading provider of retail and lease financing for new Toyota purchases within its footprint, consistently ranking at the top in market share and dealer satisfaction. The company is committed to strong dealer relationships and customer service, providing finance retail and lease programs, college graduate and military rebate programs that drive customer and dealer loyalty. The company’s portfolio of dealer loans includes inventory financing, real estate and construction loans. Southeast Toyota Finance is a subsidiary of JM Family Enterprises, Inc., a diversified automotive corporation ranked No. 20 on Forbes’ list of America’s Largest Private Companies. JM Family is also ranked No. 26 by FORTUNE® as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For®, its 22nd consecutive year on the list.