FORD MOTOR COMPANY SALUTES ITS DEALERS WHO GO THE EXTRA MILE FOR THEIR COMMUNITIES
- Ford Motor Company's annual Salute To Dealers program recognizes nine outstanding dealers for their community commitments.
- Winners will be honored Jan. 30 at a reception preceding the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) convention in Las Vegas.
DEARBORN, Mich., Jan. 20, 2003 - Making a difference in the communities in which they live and work has earned nine Ford Motor Company dealer principals the company's fourth annual Salute To Dealers award.
Salute To Dealers demonstrates Ford's commitment to its dealers who provide outstanding products and services while improving the lives of those in need in their communities.
The program is conducted under the guidance of Edsel B. Ford II, a member of Ford's Board of Directors and great-grandson of Henry Ford. "It's gratifying to know so many of our dealers are carrying on the kinds of good work my great-grandfather, Henry, ingrained in Ford Motor Company - a company aware of its position to influence positive changes in society," Ford said. "These dealers should serve as an inspiration to us all. We are very proud of their efforts."
This year's honorees include an Iowa husband-and-wife team who lead a local battle on heart disease and stroke and a father-daughter team based in New Jersey and Florida who champion United Way causes and education.
This year, 71 nominations for exceptional individuals representing 32 states were received for the award. Dealer principals representing all Ford Motor Company brands - Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Jaguar, Volvo, Mazda, Land Rover and Aston Martin - are eligible to be nominated by a regional representative. A panel of judges selects the winners based on the dealer's individual activities, length of participation and personal motivation.
From the local Chamber of Commerce president to the high school baseball team to the parents of a child with cancer, members of the dealers' communities applaud their compassion for and dedication to the hundreds of causes they support. The following comment is reflective of the feelings community members shared about all the honorees:
"Mindy and Joe Holman set the standard for civic engagement and corporate community responsibility," Michael Moynihan, president of United Way of Camden County (N.J.), said of the New Jersey-based dealers. "Whether it is through gifts of time, talent or treasure, the Holmans have established a culture of giving back that is respected and revered among all leaders within the corporate community."
Winners will be honored Jan. 30 at a reception preceding the National Automobile Dealers Association convention in Las Vegas. Ford Motor Company commissioned a portrait of each honoree depicting in montage form the dealer's involvement in his/her community. The portraits will join the Salute To Dealers display in Ford's World Headquarters in Dearborn, Mich.
The 2004 Salute To Dealers honorees are:
- Scott Bieler of West-Herr Automotive Group in Hamburg, N.Y., which operates Ford, Lincoln-Mercury and Jaguar dealerships. Bieler and his automotive group are longtime supporters of 400 charitable organizations and causes in western New York, including youth educational and sporting activities, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Hunter's Hope and Skating Association for the Blind and Handicapped. The cause nearest to Bieler's heart is Roswell Park Cancer Institute. Bieler's efforts helped establish cancer research centers and a park that provides needed respite for patients and families. "Over the past several years, a growing number of people within our organization, our customers and friends have been affected by cancer personally or through a family member or friend," Bieler said. "Every additional case of this disease deepens our commitment to do whatever we can to help find a cure."
- Todd Buch of McCafferty Ford in Langhorne, Pa. Buch focuses his considerable charitable efforts on education, youth leadership and improving the quality of life within his community. "Making a difference in the life of a child is what is most important to me," Buch said of his support of programs such as Covey for Teens and Rising Stars Youth Leadership. Buch also doesn't hesitate to donate funds and vehicles for causes such as the American Red Cross, efforts to wipe out graffiti and building a new skateboard park.
- David M. Conant of Cerritos Ford and Lincoln-Mercury in Cerritos, Calif. Conant is an avid supporter of public education, with the Conant Family Foundation contributing to public schools and other community nonprofit causes. The Conant Auto Retail (CAR) Group matches 50 percent of employee contributions to its Employee Charitable Board, which distributes funds to groups such as Hope for Homeless Youths and Boys and Girls Club. "Businesses should always be looking toward developing our young people," Conant said.
- Les Eck of Rusty Eck Ford, Wichita, Kan. When the Wichita school superintendent was being lured away, Eck rallied businesses and community to raise money to keep the school leader, ultimately building a groundswell of support for education. Eck then started the Rusty Eck Ford Adopt-A-School program, which matches businesses with schools that need help. Eck and employees also hold safety seminars, donate property and equipment and raise funds for several causes. "Our employees have helped me carry the ball on all of our community involvement," Eck said. "Without them my ideas would be just that. We are a team."
- Joseph S. Holman and Melinda K. Holman, a father-daughter team that manages Ford, Lincoln-Mercury, Jaguar and Mazda dealerships in New Jersey and Florida. Joe Holman generates a culture of caring by being actively involved in the community. His passion encourages others within his organization to support more than 100 local groups, including American Red Cross, Toys for Tots, Cancer Relay for Life and numerous education programs. Among the causes Mindy Holman supports are the West Jersey/Virtua Health and Hospital Foundation and Westfield Friends School. She is the third generation to actively support the United Way. "Part of the mission statement of Holman Enterprises is to give back to the community that supports our success," Mindy Holman said. "We've taken that commitment very seriously for our first 80 years and we'll continue to do so in the future."
- Casey and Debra Johnson, a husband-and-wife team of Fort Dodge Ford Lincoln-Mercury in Fort Dodge, Iowa. When the Johnsons relocated to Fort Dodge, Iowa, in 1996, they immediately volunteered for a variety of local causes, including the American Heart Association, public schools and youth leadership. The Johnsons used the grand opening of their new facility in July as an opportunity to raise money for the local Girl Scouts and Domestic Sexual Abuse Outreach Center. "We are passionate about our causes and it is gratifying that many of our employees have gotten involved as well," Debra Johnson said.
- Jerry Korum of Korum Automotive Group, which operates Korum Ford in Puyallup, Wash. Korum actively supports educational and recreational programs such as the YMCA and Boys and Girls Club. His Korum for Kids Foundation promotes the improved health, welfare and future of young people, including those with learning disabilities. The PierceWorks! program gives older people re-entering the workforce the tools they need to get and keep a job. "The impact of all of these programs cannot be overestimated," Korum said. "I'm fortunate to be able to give so much - and I get a lot back from working with the causes we support."
- John Shoemaker of Riverside Ford, Macon, Ga. Riverside Ford is a longtime community leader in youth cultural and sports organizations. Shoemaker has championed the local youth theater program, provided scholarships for summer camp, played an integral role in continuing the Ocmulgee Indian Celebration and is involved in Adopt-a-Role Model, a program that connects boys and girls without father figures to African-American role models. "Letting kids know someone cares can make a difference," Shoemaker said.
- Wade Walker of Walker Motors Inc. in Montpelier, Vt., which operates Ford and Mazda dealerships. Walker has always supported children's causes, but Vermont's Camp Ta-Kum-Ta captured his heart. Walker donates 100 days a year to the organization that serves children with cancer, including serving on its board, acting as a camp counselor, raising funds, making hospital visits and speaking to various groups. "I have a saying," Walker said. " 'I cannot cure cancer but I can make a child's life better by being there for them.' "