C-Suite Speaker Series

Belk College of Business C-Suite Speaker Series

Spring 2023 C-Suite Speaker Series, featuring Chuck Howard '71, owner and CEO of Autobell® Car Wash, Inc.

Wednesday, February 1 
10:10 - 11 a.m. 
Student Union, Third Floor Salons


About the Speaker

Chuck Howard, owner and CEO of Autobell Car Wash, Inc.Chuck Howard has been in the car wash business for more than 50 years. He is the owner of Autobell® Car Wash, Inc., along with his three children, and serves as the company’s CEO. While still a college student, Chuck worked alongside his father, Charles "Charlie" Howard Sr., as the elder founded Autobell in Charlotte in 1969. Now the largest family-owned car wash chain in the U.S., Autobell operates more than 85 locations in the Carolinas, Virginia, and Maryland, with consistent growth.

Chuck and Autobell have received numerous recognitions from utilities, government, and the media for the company’s water conservation and environmental commitment, community relations, employee development and scholarships, and fundraising program. These accolades include the North Carolina Wildlife Federation Business Conservationist of the Year; Charlotte Observer Guardian of the Environment; North Carolina Family Business of the Year by Wake Forest University’s Family Business Center and Business North Carolina Magazine; SmartCEO Corporate Culture Award; Outstanding Philanthropic Organization by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Charlotte Chapter; and Charlotte Observer Top Workplaces 2022.

Chuck is also CEO of Howco Inc., a distributor of car wash equipment and supplies and a consultant to the car wash industry in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic. Also founded by Charlie Howard and headquartered in Charlotte, Howco is a leading distributor for Coleman Hanna Carwash Systems and other major brands. The company’s sales team and crew have assisted in the development of hundreds of car washes and continue to serve the needs and expansion of the industry.

Chuck currently serves on Charlotte’s NorthEnd Partners Board and the Wingate University Board of Trustees. He is a past Board member of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce; Past President of the Southeastern Car Wash Association; Past Supplier Vice President of the International Carwash Association (ICA); and a 2007 inductee into the ICA Hall of Fame.

Chuck is a graduate of Wingate University and the University of North Carolina Charlotte. He and wife Carmen have 3 children and 11 grandchildren, many of whom work in the family business.

Through his hard work, dedication to excellence in customer service, and business acumen, Chuck continues to be a driving force in the car wash industry.

About the Series

The C-Suite Speaker Series (formerly CEO Speaker Series) features alumni and friends of the college who are in leadership positions (at the level of CEO, partner, chairman, etc.). The series brings business leaders to the UNC Charlotte campus to present to and interact with undergraduate and graduate students. This series is organized several times a year by the Belk College of Business external relations team and the Niblock Student Center, which prepares graduates to enter a business career and become leaders in the workplace and the community. Through their stories, successes, and lessons, speakers of the C-Suite Speaker Series provide a transformational experience for students.

Recent Sessions

Fall 2022 C-Suite Speaker Series

The Belk College of Business welcomed Mike Freno, Chairman and CEO of Barings, LLC for the Fall 2022 C-Suite Speaker Series on Thursday, November 3, 2022.

Mike Freno is Chairman and CEO of Barings LLC, a $349+ billion global financial services firm with offices across the U.S., Europe, Australia, and Asia. Mike is also Chair of the Barings Board of Directors and a member of the MassMutual Executive Leadership Team. His experience canvasses two decades on the buy side, focusing on both equity and debt investments. Previously, Mike was President overseeing Barings’ investments, sales, operations and technology, and Chairman of the Board of Barings BDC, Inc., (NYSE: BBDC), an external business development company managed by Barings.

Mike holds a B.A. from Furman University and an M.B.A. from Wake Forest University.

Spring 2022 C-Suite Speaker Series

Thursday, Feb. 17, featured Hugh McColl Jr., retired chairman and CEO of Bank of America and chairman emeritus at Falfurrias Capital Partners.

Previous Sessions

Please email belkrsvp@uncc.edu for more information on Belk College of Business events.