Gale Butler

Executive Director

Friends of Birch State Park


A native of Fort Lauderdale, Gale grew up spending a portion of each year in Fort Lauderdale and the rest in her other hometown of Mountain Lakes, New Jersey. She attended Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, for three years and graduated from the University of Miami with a bachelor’s degree in English. Following college, Gale worked for a year in Washington, D.C. with a public relations firm and the Nature Conservancy before joining Overseas National Airways and moving to New York City. She flew for a number of years to Europe, the Middle East, Northern Africa, the Orient, Hawaii, and Vietnam. Gale’s subsequent moves took her to Los Angeles, where she worked in the entertainment industry, and to Washington, D.C., where she managed a national speaker’s bureau for an oil lobby.

When Gale returned to Fort Lauderdale in 1983, she joined what is now Bank of America, serving for the last three years as Vice President of Corporate Communications. In 1992, she was hired by Blockbuster Entertainment Corporation and served as Vice President of Internal Communications and Community Affairs.

In 1997, Gale joined what is now AutoNation, an $18 billion automotive retail company with 250 new car dealerships throughout the United States. She serves as Vice President of Corporate Affairs and reports to Chairman and CEO Mike Jackson. Her responsibilities include steering AutoNation’s corporate support toward worthy causes both in South Florida, Florida and nationally. A few of the important local community efforts AutoNation currently supports are Take Stock In Children, Museum of Art, Museum of Discovery and Science, American Red Cross, Give Kids the World, Broward Center for the Performing Arts, YMCA, UNCF, Urban League, Kids In Distress, Women In Distress and United Way. Nationally, AutoNation has supported the Horatio Alger Association, National Urban League, the National Council of La Raza, and the N.A.A.C.P.

Gale serves on the boards of the Broward Alliance, United Way, Kids In Distress, and Take Stock In Children. She is an alumna of Leadership Broward, Leadership Florida, and Leadership America. In addition, Gale was named Mentor of the Year in 2004 for Take Stock in Children and is also a mentor in the Women of Tomorrow program. She was named the 2001 Downtowner of the Year by the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber’s Downtown Council, and a Woman of Substance and Style by the March of Dimes. She received the James J. Blosser Community Trusteeship Award from the Broward Partnership for the Homeless in 2005 and was honored by The Links in 2006.

Outside of work, Gale enjoys traveling, reading, and playing tennis and golf. Her son, Todd, 26, recently graduated from the University of Central Florida, is working in Fort Lauderdale and enrolled at Nova SE University for his MBA.