Lexus of Huntsville in Huntsville, Alabama owner Ellenae Fairhurst is the FIRST African-American woman to own a luxury car dealership. According to Black Enterprise, Fairhurst joins an extremely small group of minority women who own dealerships in North America. #BlackHistoryMonth
Car sales entrepreneur Ellenae Fairhurst was born on January 6, 1943 in Dayton, Ohio to Jack J. Hart Sr. and Ellen Nora Hart. Fairhurst graduated from Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in Dayton, Ohio in 1961. She earned her B.S. degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio in 1965, and her M.A. degree in social and consumer psychology from the University of Detroit in 1973.
Before she was hired as a secretary at the Ford Motor Company , she was secretary for Motown Records and for the law firm of Goodman, Eden, & Robb. She worked at Ford for seventeen years, where she worked ad a marketing research analyst and was prompted to project manager.
Fairhurst eventually purchased a Nissan Infiniti dealership in 1999 and became the first African American female in North America to own an Infiniti dealership. The same year, she became the first African American female owner of a Lexus dealership, which was located in Huntsville, Alabama.