PSU Names Larry Haynes, CEO of Grappone Automotive Group, 2011 Commencement Speaker

May 12th, 2011 by Adam

A Plymouth State graduate who went from the small town of North Stratford, N.H. to become the leader of one of New Hampshire’s largest privately owned companies will deliver the commencement address May 21 at Plymouth State University’s 140th Undergraduate Commencement ceremony.

Larry Haynes
Grappone Automotive Group CEO and PSU graduate Larry Haynes will deliver the Commencement Address at Plymouth State University’s 140th Commencement ceremony May 21.

Larry Haynes, ’86, is president and CEO for the Grappone Automotive Group, one of New Hampshire’s largest automotive retailing groups, and a member of the University System of New Hampshire Board of Trustees and the Plymouth State University President’s Council.

“I am truly honored to be selected as the Plymouth State University commencement speaker for the Class of 2011,” Haynes said. “Plymouth State University has impacted my life in many positive ways. I am grateful for the terrific business education that I received as an undergraduate at PSU, and I look forward to speaking to this year’s talented graduates.”

The Grappone Automotive Group was established in 1924 and is currently in its fourth generation of Grappone family ownership. Grappone represents the following automotive brands: Ford, Mazda, Equus, Hyundai, Honda, Toyota and Scion along with Grappone Collision Center. Grappone is a business with a history of philanthropy and has become widely known for both its business excellence and community service. Employees are encouraged to volunteer in their communities, to initiate Grappone in the Community Projects, to participate in and develop fundraisers to make a difference. Grappone also has become recognized for environmental sustainability; for hosting educational clinics for car owners; and as a leader in reaching out to students, whether in helping them to think about college opportunities or providing internships that offer hands-on learning to students.

PSU President Sara Jayne Steen said Haynes offers a wonderful example of an alumnus who lives PSU’s motto, Ut prosim (That I May Serve). “He demonstrates excellence in all that he does, and personifies PSU’s dreams for its graduates, that they will be engaged in good and creative work as they make the world a better place.”

Prior to joining Grappone, Haynes worked for Deloitte & Touche, First NH Bank and The MEG Companies in various financial and accounting positions. He became a certified public accountant in 1988 and a certified financial planner in 1991. Haynes received his MBA in 2000 and completed the Leadership New Hampshire program in 2003. At each step, he has been involved in service, whether as treasurer of a learning center or a volunteer fundraiser for Easter Seals.

“I received a wonderful education at Plymouth State,” Haynes noted. “Even today, 25 years after I graduated, PSU continues to make a huge impact on me, which is part of why I continue to volunteer to serve the University. As President of the Grappone Automotive Group, I have been pleased that we have hired qualified interns and graduates to work in our business, and they have thrived.”

In 2003, Haynes accepted the invitation to join the Plymouth State University President’s Council, a volunteer advisory group providing leadership to advance the mission of PSU, and is now serving this third term in that role, helping to support scholarships, professorships, and programs. In May 2007, Haynes was elected by the alumni to serve as PSU’s Alumni Trustee on the University System Board of Trustees, where he has served as Vice Chair of the Finance Committee, Chair of the Capital Projects Subcommittee, and member of the Executive Committee. He also recently served on the Advisory Council for the Daniel Webster Council of the Boy Scouts of America. In 2009, he was the recipient of the Plymouth State Distinguished Alumni Service Award.

“As a Plymouth State volunteer, I am gratified by all of the wonderful people that I have come in contact with through Plymouth State, including students, faculty, staff, and other dedicated alumni and friends of the university,” said Haynes. He hopes that the Class of 2011 will stay involved with the University and experience the same rewards.

Larry and his wife, PSU alumna Dawn (Ray) Haynes ’86, are the parents of two daughters, Caitlin and Sarah, and live in Weare, N.H.

For more information about this release, contact Bruce Lyndes, PSU Media Relations Mgr., (603) 535-2775 or