Clare Kultgen McDonald

Great Granddaughter of Bird-Kultgen Ford Dealership Founder Takes the Wheel After 85 Years of Men in Charge

The management of Waco’s 85-year-old Bird-Kultgen Ford will pass to a fourth generation with the retirement of Peter Kultgen, the grandson of the dealership’s founder J.H. “Jack” Kultgen.

Peter Kultgen’s daughter, Clare Kultgen McDonald, now the dealership’s vice president, will succeed her father as president, and General Manager Mark Stewart will succeed her as vice president.

Clare McDonald (right), now the dealership’s vice president, will succeed her father as president, and General Manager Mark Stewart will succeed her as vice president.

Kultgen started working for the dealership part-time in 1968, joined Bird-Kultgen full-time after graduating from the University of Texas, succeeded his grandfather in the 1980s, and then operated the dealership with his brother Edward, who retired in 2015.

“It has been extremely gratifying to build Bird-Kultgen into the dealership it is today. I sincerely appreciate all the wonderful customers, friends, business partners and relationships I have been so fortunate to have made over these many years,” he said.

McDonald started working at the dealership part-time in the early 1990s, washing cars, stocking parts, and selling cars, while she attended Baylor University.

After spending five years in Maryland in the aviation business, she returned to Waco and joined the dealership where she’s worked for the past 12 years.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to lead the Bird-Kultgen team into the future and to continue Bird-Kultgen’s legacy as Waco’s Ford dealership,” she said.

Stewart joined Bird-Kultgen in 2018 to oversee day-to-day operations.

He’s also a Waco native and Baylor graduate.

“I’m truly thankful for Peter’s trust in Claire and myself to continue the commitment to building something truly special that will last for many years to come,” he said.

A celebration of Kultgen’s retirement and the dealership’s 85th anniversary is planned for Oct. 1.

Source: Management of 85-year-old local Ford dealership to be passed to another generation