Banister, who played college basketball at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, did not envision a career in automotive retail. His dream was to play in the NBA. His backup plan was federal law enforcement.
“I got in the car business right out of college, and I was playing in a couple different leagues hoping to get into the NBA,” Banister told Automotive News. “I just was using the car business as a temporary source of income.”
But his automotive retail career progressed. He went from sales rep to F&I manager to F&I director and then general sales manager. In 1997, he became general manager at a dealership in Rock Hill, S.C., and later joined Victory Automotive Group in Chesapeake, Va.
Banister and a partner purchased the Chesapeake Nissan store in 2010. In 2015, Banister and the same partner acquired the Norfolk Nissan store. In 2017, Banister bought out his partner at both stores.
“My goal is to really grow the organization so the people that are with me can grow,” said Banister, a nominee for the 2021 Time Dealer of the Year Award. “I do, on my bench right now, have a couple more people that are ready to run stores. I am looking to acquire additional dealerships, but it has to be the right opportunity.”