Proud Products of Texas Public Schools
Slaton High School
Annette Sykora, dealer-principal of Smith Ford Mercury in Slaton and Smith South Plains Ford Lincoln-Mercury Dodge Chrysler and Jeep in Levelland, is 2009 immediate past chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA). She represents the franchised new car dealers of North Texas on the association’s board of directors.
A third-generation new car dealer since 1989 and a member of the NADA Board since 1999, Sykora continues to serve on the executive committee. Sykora is also a trustee on the National Automobile Dealer’s Charitable Foundation Board. Previously, she chaired NADA’s Public Affairs Committee and has been a member of the Finance Committee.
Active in her community, Sykora is the former chair of the Finance Committee of the First United Methodist Church of Slaton and a former board member of the Slaton Chamber of Commerce. Sykora was appointed by the Texas Workforce Commission to serve on the board of directors of WorkSource of the South Plains from 2005 to 2007. While on the WorkSource Board, she served on the Oversight and Strategic planning committees.
In 2005, Sykora was named Slaton Chamber Member of the Year. In 2007, she received the Association of Women in Communications’ Distinguished Headliner Award. She was also named Ward’s Magazine’s Dealer of the Year in 2007. In 2008, Sykora received the Distinguished Woman Award from Northwood University and was included in Forbes.com 2008 list of most influential women in the auto industry.
“I have very fond memories of my time at Slaton ISD. As I reflect back on my education, I realize that many teachers (even those I wasn’t fond of at the time) inspired, encouraged, and prodded me to expect more of myself. In the seventh grade, I had a teacher who realized my reading level was above the level of the majority of the class. I thought I was going to just breeze through that year, but instead Miss Johnson expected more of me and even gave me additional lessons. It made me realize the importance of improving my potential and performing at a higher level instead of just getting by. I consider myself a lifelong learner, and I thank all my teachers for giving me a love of learning.
“I am fortunate to have a business in the same community in which I went to public school. Our school does not have the facility for its auto technician program, but we have been proud to allow them to use our facilities and personnel to complement this curriculum.”
— Annette Sykora