Auburn homegrown: Meet Ron Claudon, a family businessman with local roots

Hometown People in Business Series: Part 3

With its beautiful downtown core, nice neighborhoods and idyllic parks, the community of Auburn undoubtedly has a lot to offer – but it’s the people who call it home that truly make the place.

One such individual is Ron Claudon, owner and General Manager at Valley Buick GMC Inc.

Born and raised in Auburn, Ron left briefly to play football and study Business at Washington State University. There, he met his future wife and following graduation they made their way back to Auburn.

Fresh out of college and unsure what to do, Ron drew inspiration from his father and business partner’s work at the local Buick dealership – his father had begun working at the Auburn Buick Center in 1949, while still attending high school.

“The way I saw it, everyone loves buying cars – it’s fun, it’s exciting and I was interested in being part of that process for people,” Ron explains. Eager to try his hand in the automotive industry, Ron was ready to see what he could bring to the table.

He started off as an accounts payable receivable clerk, eventually moving on to become the office manager, and when the opportunity arose to start buying out the partners in 1993, Ron jumped at the chance. Since then he’s been partner and dealer and even started the Valley RV Supercenter in Kent in 2009. It’s no surprise he’s very happy doing so!

“I love all the changes this industry sees – when I was younger, for example, the focus was on gas engine cars, and now we’re starting to see the shift to electric ones as well,” Ron notes. “I look forward to all of these innovations and developments, not just because I’m passionate about them, but because it means I get to bring them home to our community for my neighbors to enjoy.”

Like the car industry, the community has also seen many changes over the years. “Auburn is much bigger than when I was a kid, there’s no doubt about that, but it will always remain a place near and dear to my heart,” Ron says.

Underscoring his commitment to community, Ron currently sits on the Police Advisory Board and is a member of the Kiwanis Club. With many members of the Valley Buick GMC team growing up in the area, they share that same passion for Auburn. In fact, Ron’s son currently works for Valley Buick GMC.

With his eldest daughter living two houses down and his son looking to build a home nearby, family is a big part of what makes Auburn home!

Visit Valley Buick GMC online or swing by the store in-person to learn more! Boasting an inventory of new and used vehicles, there’s something for everyone. And, if you’re not in the market for a new car, their maintenance services will keep your vehicle running strong!