The Seminole State College of Florida Board of Trustees has unanimously approved renaming the College’s CFADA Professional Automotive Training Center to the Barbara Miller CFADA Automotive Training Center in honor of her long-term efforts on behalf of the program and at the request of the Central Florida Auto Dealers Association (CFADA).
For over 30 years, Miller has been a tenacious champion of the top-ranked automotive training program at Seminole State, both personally and prior to her retirement as executive vice president of CFADA last year.
“It is an honor I never dreamed of. It’s all about a team effort. You have a vision and see the vision become reality. I’m so happy that I‘ve been part of a team that has touched so many lives in our community,” said Miller.
In 1996, Miller successfully led the campaign to raise $2.5 million to replace the College’s outdated buildings with a new automotive training center. When the state’s 50 percent match was in danger in 2003, Miller marched in Tallahassee with 10 fellow CFADA members, educating legislative members on the importance of private business support. She was successful in securing the $2.5 million match, as well as garnering an additional $1.5 million in support with help from Sen. Dan Webster, who became a staunch supporter of the program after hearing Miller. The 55,000-square-foot automotive training center opened in January 2007 and features five high-tech classrooms, a shop with 40 bays, a 2,000-square-foot showroom and CFADA corporate offices.
“Barbara Miller has been one of our greatest voices of support at Seminole State for the past 30 years,” said Scott Howat, chairman of Seminole State’s Board of Trustees. “Her vision of our College’s future and importance to the community, combined with her determination to fight for our students and the resources they need to succeed, has in great part brought us to where we are today. We are eternally grateful and see no honor more fitting than renaming the automotive center that would not be standing today without her.”
Under Miller’s direction, CFADA has directly provided almost $2.4 million in funding to Seminole State College and has raised an additional $4.8 million in state funding and private donations from car dealers. Miller has personally donated $60,000 in support of scholarships and the College’s automotive program, establishing two endowed scholarships through the Foundation for Seminole State College.
Miller served on the Foundation’s Board of Directors for 13 years, with the distinction of serving as the first female chair. During her tenure, she was instrumental in the success of the Foundation’s major fundraising campaign that completed in 2016.
“The Foundation is overjoyed with the Board of Trustees’ actions today,” said Dr. John Gyllin, vice president of resource and economic development at Seminole State and executive director of the Foundation. “Barbara Miller is one of the most dedicated champions of our students and programs. Seminole State enjoys one of the nation’s outstanding automotive programs due largely in part to the efforts of Ms. Miller throughout the years.”