At the age of three, Evelyn Chatel and her family became part of the last “Freedom Flight” that arrived in the US as Cuban refugees. Growing up poor in a foreign country and watching her parents work long hours influenced Evelyn’s path in life and inspired her role as a servant leader.
In her more than thirty-year commitment to the auto industry, Evelyn grew from an assistant to the vice president, service and parts director at World Ford, and general manager at World Ford and AutoNation (both located in Southern Florida), to partner and general manager at Freedom Auto Group in South Central Pennsylvania. Evelyn now serves as chief operating officer for Freedom Auto Group. She was the first female Toyota dealer in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and is the only female Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram dealer in the region.
By innovating systems and processes, Evelyn guided her team to surpass industry standards. She earned multiple awards for dealer recognition and customer satisfaction while at AutoNation and World Ford.
In 2006, Evelyn and business partner Eric Savage created a vision to build a dealership based on servant leadership and improving people’s lives. The initiative continues to grow, encouraging other businesses to follow Freedom Auto Group’s lead.
Evelyn and her associates are heavily invested in improving the lives of at-risk families with their “Holiday Helpers” and “Freedom Giving Thanks” programs. Evelyn also supports various partnerships with the American Automobile Association (AAA), Boys & Girls Club, Girls on the Run, and various other non-profits.
Evelyn and her husband, Jerry, and their children live, give, work, and play in beautiful Berks County, Pennsylvania.