QUEENSTOWN — Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot and Congressman Andy Harris visited Dick’s Autohaus Thursday afternoon, Feb. 28, to congratulate Dick Potter and present him with a Certificate of Recognition for 53 years in the Volkswagen maintenance and repair business in Queen Anne’s County.
For the occasion, Franchot, Harris and their entourage gathered in the garage with Potter, his wife Kaye, their daughters and his loyal mechanics. Queen Anne’s County Register of Wills Laura Nan Cook and Clerk of Court Katherine Hager also attended.
Franchot told Potter he had heard many good things about his business and his standing in the community, mentioning he learned of the business from Len Foxwell, his chief of staff and longtime Dick’s Autohaus customer.
Franchot praised Potter for his “hard work and grit.” He said being in business for 53 years was an accomplishment to be proud of.
Harris added his congratulations and praise, as did Cook, who said she was a cousin to the Potter family, and Hager. Hager said part of her job is issuing business licenses. She told Potter she had checked earlier that day and found his business license was in good standing — and has been over the many years.
Potter thanked Franchot for the recognition and choked up a little, saying he couldn’t have stayed in business without the help of the men standing there with him — employees Donald Bell, Alan Chance and Mike Jordan, who is also his son-in-law.
Franchot also presented the Potters, their daughters Nicole Potter Jordan and Melissa Potter Quillen, and the mechanics each with one of his special coins. Quillen said her sister Monica Dean was unable to attend because she had to pick students up from school.
Dick’s Autohaus specializes in Volkswagen repairs and services all shapes and sizes, both vintage and modern. Potter said he believes his business is the only exclusive Volkswagen service facility in the region. He gets customers from as far away as northern Virginia and Washington. The closest Volkswagen dealerships are in Annapolis and Dover, Del.
“I like the product. They’re simple to work on. There aren’t many cars you can pull the motor from in eight minutes,” he said in an earlier interview. “Volkswagens are a beast of their own. Many regular garages can’t fix them.”
He got his start in the VW business with the former Lawrence Volkswagen dealership and then worked for a VW dealer in Salisbury, but decided that was too far to commute so he acquired the Lawrence dealership, converted it to a service-only facility and set up at its current location on State Route 213 near U.S. Route 50.
Jack Shaum also contributed to this report.