Wills appointed President and CEO in unanimous decision by Wills Group Board of Directors; appointment caps two years of transformative change and sets foundation for continued company growth

The Wills Group, a family-owned company headquartered in La Plata, Maryland, today announced the appointment of Julian B. (Blackie) Wills, III as President and Chief Executive Officer, effective as of August 1, 2023. The announcement caps two years of growth across the Wills Group as it continues to invest and grow its retail line of businesses, including Dash In, Splash In ECO Car Wash, and SMO Motor Fuels; and expands on its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and community and employee engagement.

“Blackie’s impact on the company culture, innovation, and the future direction of the business is discernible,” said Lock Wills, Executive Chairman of the Wills Group. “We value his leadership and are confident he is the right leader at the right time to continue to guide Wills Group’s growth and expansion.”

As President and Chief Executive Officer, Blackie Wills will continue to lead the Wills Group’s efforts to transform Dash In and Splash In ECO Car Wash with a focus on the customer experience. The Wills Group will also forge ahead with its diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts as it expands its commitment to community engagement through its two Signature Programs: Nourishing Children and Families and Reimagining Outdoor Spaces.

For the past two years, Blackie Wills has served as President and Chief Operating Officer, working across the Wills Group to lead a number of transformative efforts, including:

  • The Grand Opening of Dash In’s all-new store offering in Loudoun County, Virginia. The all-new Dash In, featuring a fresh, new brand identity, offers customers a reimagined store experience and new menu that is the first of its kind for Dash In. 
  • The Wills Group received the Great Place to Work Certification two years in a row; a top priority that reflects the company’s ongoing investments in building culture, employee and community engagement, career opportunities, and expanded employee benefits as part of the Wills Group’s continued investment in its employees.
  • A continued commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) as a promise and strategy that informs the Wills Group’s commitment to a future where every employee voice is heard, equitable policies and practices enable growth and advancement, and staff members have the opportunity to contribute to building better experiences for their customers and communities.
  • A continued investment and expansion of the Wills Group’s Community Engagement Signature Programs: Nourishing Children and Families and Reimagining Outdoor Spaces. The Wills Group partners with regional and local food banks and pantries to address food insecurity for children and their families and collaborates with communities to envision and bring to life reimagined community spaces such as Phoenix Run Park in La Plata, Maryland, unveiled in June 2022 and Tanglewood Park in Clinton, Maryland, unveiled in July 2023. This past year, the Wills Group provided more than $875,000 in grants and investments to nonprofit partners, resulting in more than $5.5 million donated since 2006.

“The Wills Group remains committed to reimagining the customer experience across our Dash In and Splash In ECO Car Wash lines of business, informed by innovation and creating an environment where everyone feels welcome,” said Blackie Wills, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Wills Group. “Today’s announcement is a reflection of our collective commitment to invest in each other as we work together to build a great culture, provide rich benefits, and support our purpose – keeping Lives in Motion.”



About The Wills Group, Inc.

Headquartered in La Plata, Maryland, the Wills Group is Great Place to Work Certified™ and has nearly 300 retail locations across the Mid-Atlantic region, including Dash In, Splash In ECO Car Wash, and SMO Motor Fuels. A family-owned company since 1926 with expertise in convenience retailing, fuels marketing, and commercial real estate, the Wills Group prides itself on keeping customers’, employees’ and communities’ Lives in Motion. For more information about the Wills Group, visit willsgroup.com.

Recent stories