Russ and Kathy Shelton named Grand Marshals of 2011 Rochester Christmas Parade

The Rochester Regional Chamber of Commerce has announced that Russ and Kathy Shelton will serve as the Grand Marshals of the 60th annual Rochester Hometown Christmas Parade.  Chosen by the parade committee from community members’ nominations, Russ Shelton was surprised by the designation.  Shelton said it was a great honor to be recognized by the community.  “This is as good as it gets” he said when informed of his designation. 

Russell M. Shelton is president and CEO of Shelton Buick GMC, which has been serving the greater Rochester community since 1958, and is the oldest dealership in Northern Oakland County. Like many dealerships, the Shelton operation is a family business, which was founded by Russ’ late father, Bud. Shelton worked closely with his dad, learning all aspects of dealership operations and began working full time following his graduation from Northwood University. Over the years, Shelton worked in many departments including sales and then Management as the General Manager, Vice President and to his current position as owner of the landmark GM dealership on Rochester Road.

Shelton modestly directs inquiries about his philanthropic efforts to his company’s website and its page of organizations helped by the Shelton family.  But this list of nonprofit logos does not tell the full story of his commitment to making the Greater Rochester Community a better place.  Not only is he the benefactor to numerous area causes, but he has served with distinction in leadership roles in many of the nonprofits and won many awards for his hard work and dedication.  Russ and Kathy are most proud of the Shelton Heart Center at Rochester’s Crittenton Hospital.  The state of the art facility provides a full spectrum of inpatient and outpatient cardiology services, right in the community.

Kathy Shelton said she was so surprised to be included in the Grand Marshal honor.  “I am excited and honored.”  Kathy said. 

Brought up in a large Italian family with a strong Catholic education, Kathy Shelton learned at a very young age the importance of helping others. She recalls her high school class trips to the inner city of Detroit to help students with their homework and one particular young boy’s appreciation for her help.  “I never forgot how incredible it felt to see him progress in his studies.  His heartfelt appreciation truly inspired me to continue giving throughout the years.” 

Now Kathy Shelton’s passion is in helping women and children who have fallen on difficult times.  She is a founding member of the Rochester Women’s Fund, active in the Crittenton Circle of Caring, Rainbow Connection and Christmas Time Adopt a Family.  She serves lunch to the homeless once a month at Grace Centers of Hope and is especially fond of her involvement in the Women Helping Women Luncheon Fashion Show benefiting homeless and abused women and children. 

Russ and Kathy Shelton, who have been married for 20 years, work as a team, brainstorming as to where their philanthropy could have the most impact and ensuring that their efforts produce a lasting legacy for the area they are proud to call home.  The establishment of the Shelton Endowment Fund with the Community Foundation of Greater Rochester has met that need, offering small grants to local families to help meet living expenses and will remain as a reflection of the Shelton’s values and efforts.

The Sheltons look forward to sharing the parade day excitement with granddaughters Alexandria, 7, and Ashley, 4.

The Grand Marshals will lead the historic parade down Main Street in downtown Rochester and be honored at the annual Grand Marshal reception, held at the Great Oaks County Club on December 1st, 2011.

The 2011 parade will be held on Sunday, December 4th, at 1:45 PM, and includes dignitaries, bands, children’s group, community organizations and local businesses.  The parade is also broadcast live on WXYZ-TV Channel 7.

The Mission of the Rochester Regional Chamber of Commerce is to provide leadership by advancing business development in partnership with civic, cultural and educational interests for the benefit of its members and the community.  Founded in 1955, the RRCC is the principal voice of the Rochester business community, focused on fostering a favorable climate and promoting orderly and progressive development for this region. 



Russell M. SheltonRussell M. Shelton is president and CEO of Shelton Buick GMC, which has been serving the greater Rochester Hills community since 1958, and is the oldest dealership in Northern Oakland County.

Like many dealerships, the Shelton operation is a family business, which was founded by Russ’ father, the late Bud Shelton. As a young man, Russ worked closely with his dad, learning all aspects of dealership operations, including washing cars, mopping floors, and, of course, the importance of treating customers like family, and standing behind your products.

Russ began working full time for his dad following his graduation from Northwood University and, over the years, would become salesman, general manager, vice president and, finally, president. Today, he is sole owner of the landmark GM dealership on Rochester Road with the big American flag flying proudly out front.

Russ’ involvement and long term commitment to the greater Rochester area is evident everywhere in the community. Past and present, he’s been active in many civic and charitable organizations, including:

·    Board of Trustees, Crittenton Hospital Medical Center

·    Benefactor of the Shelton Heart Center, Crittenton Hospital

·    Vice President, the Rainbow Connection

·    Past Chairman, Leader Dogs for the Blind

·    Longtime participant and member, Rochester Rotary Club

·    Past President, Rochester Regional Chamber of Commerce

·    Benefactor of “The Shelton Room” at the Rochester Community House

·    Past president, Rochester Hills Lion’s Club

·    Member of the Community Foundation of Greater Rochester
·    Past president of the Detroit Auto Dealers’ Association
·    Past chairman of the North American International Auto Show
·    Grand Marshall of the Greater Rochester Hometown Christmas Parade
·    Finalist for the Time Magazine “Quality Dealer Award”
·    And recipient of the Chamber’s “Outstanding Citizen of the Year” award

This is only a taste of the numerous awards Russ has received, and leadership positions he has and continues to hold in the community. Clearly, with his dedication, and ongoing commitment of time and financial support, Rochester Hills is a better place to live for all of us.

As a further demonstration of his confidence in the community, Russ will continue to grow his business here with a new, state-of-the-art dealership in the very near future.

Finally, as business people, we all know the importance of family support in our day-to-day lives. Russ has been blessed by a terrific, supportive family, including his wife, Kathy, daughter, Stacy and son, Cory. Kathy and Stacy are active with both Leader Dogs of the Blind and the Grace Centers of Hope; Cory is not only active in Boy Scouts of America, but is one of the few to receive the prestigious “Eagle Scout Award.” And, as the parts manager at Shelton Buick GMC, Cory proudly represents the third generation of the family business.


Kathy Shelton

I came from a big Italian family were helping and caring was a way of life.

We went to Catholic School for twelve years, which further instilled in us the value of reaching out to others. The first time I remember volunteering was in grade school and by the time I was in high school, I joined a group of girls who volunteered to help young students with their homework assignments in the Detroit Schools. I fell in love with this little boy whom I was helping and at Christmas time he gave me a gift.  I never forgot him. Little did he know he gave me an even bigger gift, the gift of the joy of giving.

I met Russ when I was working at Executone Business Systems. Yes, he bought a telephone system and 20 years later it is still working at the dealership. He then bought one for his condo and his father’s home.  We got married on July 27, 1991. Cory was 13 and Stacy was 11. Today we have two wonderful grand daughters, 6-year-old Alexandria and 4-year-old Ashley. I can’t forget Molly. The newest addition to our family is our three-year-old Bichon that has Russ wrapped around her paw.

I started volunteering here in Rochester back in 1991. My first adventure was with Leader Dogs for the Blind. Bill Hansen asked me if I would help create what we all know and love today as “Lead in the Holidays”. Then came the unending parade of opportunities that have enriched my life.

Friends of Leader Dog Cookbook

Grace Centers of Hope

          Women helping Women

          Homeless Children Program

Rochester Women’s Fund

Crittenton Circle of Caring

                  Wish Book Program

                  New Tower Fund

Crittenton Builders

Crittenton Shelton Heart Center

OPC Signature Event

Rochester Community House Shelton Room

Forgotten Soldiers Outreach Program

America Thanks Our Troops “A Million Thanks” Campaign

Christmas Time Adopt a Family


Campaign Trail Committee/Volunteer

       Judge Julie Nicholson

       Judge Lisa Asadoorian

       Mayor Bryan Barnett

       Mike Webber

       Vern Pixley

       Nathan Klomp

       Marty Brennan

       Mike Bishop

       Bill Bullard

Rainbow Connection

        Christmas Gift Wrapping

        Corrin Barnett CD to benefit Wish Children

 Michigan Animal Rescue League

          “Yappy Hour”

           MARL: Animal Food Bank

But make no mistake; “Grandma Monday” is my favorite volunteering job of all!

Favorite Pastimes

Agility Training with Molly

Pilates with my favorite trainer Cara Krupa “East Street Pilates”

“Easter on the Beach” with 35 family & friends

About Tom and Ann Gendich

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