Rick Mullinax, executive vice president of MCar (formerly Midway Car Rental) and president of Wilshire Limousine Services, died Saturday Nov. 12 from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident. He was 47 years old.
The crash occurred around 7 a.m. along the two-lane Angeles Crest Highway that crosses the San Gabriel Mountain Range northeast of Los Angeles. He died at the scene.
The memorial service followed by a reception was held Sunday Nov. 20 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Hevadu Estate in Malibu. Before the memorial, a viewing was held 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Hillside Memorial Park in Los Angeles.
Gary Macdonald, president of Midway Auto Group, described the death as “an unbelievable blow” that has left hundreds of employees at the companies in shock.
"Rick was a great friend, partner, and leader," said Macdonald. "He made everyone around him better. He built a great team around him, and that team will continue his legacy. The entire Hankey organization is saddened to lose such a wonderful person."
Mullinax moved to Los Angeles in 2000 to become a shareholder and executive vice president for Midway Car Rental, and later president of Wilshire Limousine Services, both part of the Don Hankey Group of companies.
When Mullinax joined MCar, it was a 800-car, four-location local business in Los Angeles. Under his leadership, the company has grown to 10 locations throughout Los Angeles and San Diego, with two more slated to open soon. It runs a fleet of about 2,500 vehicles. He also helped launch Wilshire Limousine Services in 2007, where he served as president until his death.
Under his leadership, MCar revenues tripled and profits grew. From rebranding the company MCar in 2015 to numerous growth plans still going on, Mullinax was reimagining the entire business.
A tribute described Mullinax as "a charismatic and inspirational leader, and to many, he was also a great friend. Among his numerous talents was a rare ability to recognize potential in all its shapes and sizes, allowing him to build a diverse team of people – and to inspire all to do their best. His open door policy was not the token nod to architecture sometimes found in the corporate world, but a true reflection of his willingness to listen to everyone.”
Before joining Midway, Mullinax had worked exclusively for Enterprise Rent-a-Car, holding a variety of sales and management positions focused on growth and development of daily car rental business in Utah and Idaho.
"Unassuming and approachable despite his stature, a 6’2” all-American boy with sports in his blood and ambition in his heart, he brought his Midwestern values and work ethic to the place he came to call home, Southern California,” the tribute stated. “In action, these qualities translated into ambition, vision, and empowerment."
Rick Mullinax was born on May 22, 1969 in Parkersburg, Ill., and graduated from Weber State University in Ogden, Utah.
Mullinax is survived by his wife and college sweetheart, Janet, their son Nicholas, 5 years old; mother Sharon Mullinax; sisters Kathy Lambert, Vicky Robbins, Rhonda Griggs; brother-in-law Darryl Griggs; and nieces Kannesha Mullinax, her daughter Mailee, Krystle Lambert, and Dru Griggs.
“Rick was a kind, caring and giving person,” his obituary states. “He will be deeply missed by everyone that knew him.”