James M. Burton, Co-Founder

Fortune 500 executive with over 18 years of experience in the automotive and retail services industries, James brings a vast and tactical prospective to Dealer Uplink, as well as providing a viewpoint with effective solutions tailored to our clientele. His background includes executive level experience in multi-unit retail, automotive industry leadership, automotive auction solutions, executive level development, process design and improvement, associate engagement programs and much more.

James is a founding partner as well as the Founder, and President of The Ex Gratia Group, which includes an independent multi-state automotive group, consulting partnerships, a commercial insurance group, and ownership in multiple ancillary business units.  He thrives on the forefront of the automotive and retailing industry combining technology, client process improvement, and strategic planning to provide a “best in class” consumer experience. Prior to this position, James spent almost 15 years at the senior executive level with two Fortune 500 retailers, The Home Depot and CarMax Auto Superstores providing critical leadership and vision.

James is a University of Tulsa Alumni with black belt certification level in Six Sigma business strategies as well as a Dealer Academy Graduate. In addition James has served on multiple dealer advisory boards including the Ford Midwest Co-op, Motor Trend Dealer 20, and on the dealer board for one of the nation’s largest online auction houses, OpenLane.

He and his wife share in the development of their four children as well as remaining actively engaged in the local church, Habitat for Humanity, and at a national level with St. Judes Children’s Research Hospital.


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