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Autobell Car Wash CEO named Icon in the Charlotte region

Chuck Howard, the Autobell Car Wash CEO who helped his father, Autobell founder Charlie Howard, establish and grow the business that is now the fourth largest car wash company in America, was named an Icon in the Charlotte region by The Mecklenburg Times newspaper.

Chuck, who began working at Autobell alongside his father while still a college student and took the helm when Charlie passed away in 1986, was recognized for outstanding contributions to the region in both career accomplishments and community involvement.

Launched in Charlotte in 1969, Autobell now has 80+ locations in five states and employs more than 3,000 full- and part-time team members. Chuck’s three children, including Autobell COO Carl Howard, as well as two grandchildren now work for the company, which remains privately held by the family.

According to the Mecklenburg Times, “Chuck Howard parlays his love of nature and the environment into the core value of his family business, Autobell, a car wash chain known for its water conservation procedures and commitment to environmental protection.”

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

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 and its 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.


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