JM&A president Forrest Heathcott retires, Dan Chait named successor

After serving 13 years as the president of the JM&A Group, Forrest Heathcott has announced his retirement. JM&A Group is one of the largest independent providers of F&I products and services in the industry. While Heathcott will remain in his position until March 2021, Dan Chait, President of JM&A’s sister company Southeast Toyota Finance has been named as his successor. Today, both gentlemen have joined us to talk about this leadership change.

After his stellar 42 year career, Heathcott is stepping down to spend more quality time with his family. This change in leadership comes at a precarious time for the automotive retail industry. During his time, Heathcott says his proudest moment was watching JM&A associates seamlessly and efficiently become a virtual company overnight in March.

Despite all of the uncertainty around COVID-19, Chait says he has no reservations about taking over as president of JM&A Group. Dealers are evolving and changing. Chait believes that the modern sales process will be more of a hybrid between what the industry calls digital retailing, and in-person buying. So, like many others, JM&A is investing in digital tools to propel their services forward. This includes a virtual F&I process that is currently being rolled out in a large pilot program.

Forrest Heathcott has more than 35 years of automotive marketing and retail experience. He joined the JM Family of companies in 1993 as director of remarketing for Southeast Toyota Distributors. He spent the last 13 years as president of JM&A Group.

Dan Chait will take over as president next March, in addition to retaining his position as president of Southeast Toyota Finance. Chait has more than 25 years of experience in the financial services industry and has held senior positions with US Airways, AutoNation, and UniCapital Corporation.

Did you enjoy this interview with Forrest Heathcott and Dan Chait? Please share your thoughts, comments, or questions regarding this topic with host Jim Fitzpatrick at

soundcloudBe sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date or catch-up on all of our podcasts on demand.

While you’re here, don’t forget to subscribe to our email newsletter for all the latest auto industry news from CBT News.