Mitch Walters, president of the Friendship Family of Dealerships, has created an annual scholarship at Northeast State Community College for a student majoring in Industrial Technology-Automotive Service concentration.
“As the President and Founder of The Friendship Family of Dealerships I am pleased to establish the scholarship for Automotive Technology at Northeast State,” Walters said. “Friendship owns and operates several automobile dealerships and we understand the importance of having highly qualified automotive technicians on our team.”
Over four semesters, the scholarship will provide 75 percent ($3,000) of tuition and fees for completion of the degree program. First priority will be given to a recent high school graduate entering the Industrial Technology-Automotive Service program. Second priority will be given to a student currently enrolled in the program. To continue the scholarship, the student must maintain continuous enrollment and a 2.5 grade point average.
“There is certainly a shortage of strong applicants in our region for automotive service technicians and hopefully providing this scholarship to Northeast State will help increase the interest in this important field and not only help Friendship, but all the other automobile dealerships in our area,” Walters said. “Northeast State is a fine institution and does a great job in preparing our youth for their future careers. We are extremely proud to be associated with Northeast State and its graduates.”
Walters has become known to many in the Tri-Cities through his catch phrase, “We’re Dealin!” He is the President, CEO, and Founder of Friendship Enterprises. Mitch and his wife, Danea, moved to Bristol to start a career and raise their sons, Brandon and Dustin. Over the years he has grown his Friendship family from one dealership to 16 locations in six cities and three states. For the past three years, the Friendship Family of Dealerships has earned the distinction of the best dealership to work for in America.
His educational endeavors include a Bachelor of Business-Business Management with Associates in Automotive Marketing from Northwood University. He has also attended the Chevrolet School of Merchandising and Management, the Cadillac Harvard Business School Seminar, the NCM Associates-Ford Dealer Management Group, and the BB&T Leadership Institute.
Walters is involved in the community by serving as Founder/CEO/President of the Friendship Foundation, Chairman/Director for the City of Bristol, TN Economic Development Board, Director of the Boys and Girls Club, Chairman/Director/Charter Member of the Sullivan County Economic Development-NETWORKS, and member of First United Methodist Church, Bristol, TN. In the past, he has served as the Director of the Cincinnati Ford Dealers Advertising Council, Director of Bristol Chamber of Commerce, President/Director/Member of the Bristol Rotary Club, Director of First American Bank, Director/Co-Campaign Chairperson of the United Way, Director of Junior Achievement of Bristol, TN, and President’s Roundtable member at King University.