SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The Greater Shreveport Chamber honored dealer operator of Red River Motor Company, George Fritze 2019 “Business Leader of the Year”.
The award for 2019 was given at the 110th Annual Banquet held on Jan. 28, at Sam’s Town Hotel and Casino.
According to the Chamber, a local business leader who brings together superior business acumen with significant contributions to the development of the greater Shreveport Community is recognized every year.
“The Chamber is delighted to honor George Fritze as our 2019 Business Leader of the Year, while George is a dedicated and successful entrepreneur, maintaining and growing his family’s business, it is his success combined with his tireless civic and philanthropic engagement that cements his legacy as a true leader in our community,” said Dr. Timothy Magner, President of the Greater Shreveport Chamber in a press release.
The chamber says Fritze graduated from Louisiana State University in 1978, but his career began even before he started at LSU. He began his life in sales as a boy gathering, shelling and delivering pecans from the trees in his yard. The chamber says by age 14, he was working part-time in the parts warehouse of his family’s Red River Motor Company car dealership.
According to the release, he became a dispatcher and scheduler for the service department two years later. In 1973, his job changed to checking in new cars and trucks.
After graduating from LSU the chamber says Fritze completed Finance and Insurance (F&I) training at the Pat Ryan Finance School in Chicago before moving into F&I sales at the dealership. The next year, he attended Chevrolet’s “Dealer Sons’ School” in Michigan. Beginning in 1979, he began serving as general manager at the dealership until he and his father, James, formed a partnership in 1986. Fritze was named Dealer Operator in 2011.
According to the chamber, the original auto dealership was built in the early 1920s and was purchased by Fritze’s great grandfather in 1926. Almost 100 years later, Fritze’s son Patton and son-in-law Alvin Olsan work in the current dealership making it five generations and counting.
Fritze has been recognized locally, state-wide and nationally not only for his business acumen but also for his devotion to our community, the chamber said in the release.
According to the Chamber, Fritze has received multiple awards over the years. He has been named a Chevrolet Genuine Leader, Junior Achievement – NWLA Business Hall of Fame, LSU Top 100 Fastest-Growing Tiger Businesses, Outstanding Northwest LA Philanthropic Business, Shreveport Bossier SMEI Ambassador Award, as well as TIME Magazine’s NADA Dealer of the Year award.
The chamber says for decades, Fritze has been deeply involved in countless civic and community organizations, including serving in leadership positions such as Chairman for the American Red Cross, Better Business Bureau, and Holiday in Dixie. Fritze also served as President of the LSU Shreveport Foundation, the Christus Shumpert Foundation, and the Committee of One Hundred, as well as a Director for the Shreveport Opera, Louisiana State Fair, and Shreveport Symphony, and King of the Krewe of Gemini.
Fritze is married to Mai “Minou” Doles Fritze. The chamber states they have two children, Minou and George Patton Fritze Jr., and five grandsons, Alvin, George, George III, Scott, and Steele.
According to the chamber, the Fritzes enjoys following LSU football, duck hunting, and entertaining friends.