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Ford Motor Company’s U.S. Dealers Gave More Than $110 Million to Charitable Causes in 2017

  • Ford Motor Company dealers contributed to a variety of causes in 2017; the most contributions went to initiatives to aid police, firefighters and other first responders, children’s causes, educational programs, scholarships, environmental efforts and hunger relief
  • Ford dealers in the United States donated more than $110 million and volunteered more than 50,000 hours last year, according to the company’s annual dealer giving survey
  • Six dealers from around the world are being honored for exceptional community service as part of the company’s annual Salute to Dealers awards

LAS VEGAS, March 22, 2018 – Ford dealers in the United States contributed more than $110 million and 50,000 hours to charitable causes and nonprofits in 2017 – according to Ford Motor Company’s annual survey on dealer giving. The survey coincides with the 18th annual Salute to Dealers awards being held at the 2018 National Automobile Dealers Association Convention and Expo in Las Vegas.

Ford launched its Salute to Dealers awards program in 2001 to demonstrate a commitment to its thousands of dealer owners who step beyond their showroom doors to make a difference in their communities. The generosity of dealers participating in the survey reflects Ford Motor Company’s commitment to community and sets Ford and Ford dealers apart from the competition.

More than 90 percent of dealers said their teams give both time and money to local causes, according to the annual dealer giving survey. Most say they are driven to make a difference in their communities because giving is a part of their dealership tradition.

“Ford dealers are the best in the world,” said Edsel B. Ford II, who chairs the Salute to Dealers awards program and serves on the company’s board of directors. “Their level of commitment to bettering the communities in which they operate is not only commendable, it also helps to strengthen the Ford and Lincoln brands in communities across the world.”

Contributions to police, firefighter and other first responder initiatives topped the list last year, with 17 percent of dealers reporting giving to those causes. Dealer donations to children’s causes totaled 13 percent, while contributions to educational programs and scholarships also totaled 13 percent; 10 percent reported giving to veterans causes.

This year, Edsel B. Ford II and four other judges selected six winners from a total global field of more than 60 nominees from the United States, Canada, Brazil, Europe, Asia Pacific, Mexico, Africa and the Middle East regions. As part of the awards program, Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services is donating $10,000 to a charity of the dealer’s choice.

A painted portrait of each honoree features a montage of the philanthropic and volunteer activities that led to the award. Duplicates of the portraits will join a Salute to Dealers display in the lobby of Ford World Headquarters.

Ford Motor Company’s 2017 awards recognize the following dealers for their unparalleled generosity and commitment to their communities:

Charlie Diers, Diers Ford Lincoln, Fremont, Nebraska

Quietly, Charlie Diers has consistently given back to his community for decades. His outreach extends to St. Patrick’s Catholic Church and Archbishop Bergan School with the donation of 20 acres of family farmland for one of Nebraska’s largest Catholic churches. He was a lead donor and fundraiser for building the church and adjacent new elementary school.

Additional land surrounding the church is being developed as part of a long-term plan to help grow Fremont. Along with his wife Mary Lou, Diers has donated a new vehicle for the past 47 years to the annual St. Patrick’s Fun Festival, raising more than $1 million. Through the Diers’ involvement in the Archdiocese of Omaha, hundreds of educators have been rewarded with grants and significant dollars have been raised for low-income students to attend Catholic schools.

The Diers have established endowed scholarships at three major universities in the region, demonstrating their unwavering commitment to education. Through Ford’s test drive programs, the dealership has completed more than 5,000 drives for area schools and charities.

Diers’ leadership and impact on his community is unparalleled and inspiring. “I’m a farm kid who learned early that it’s not work when you’re doing something you enjoy,” he said. “From sitting on my grandfather’s lap steering a Model A to driving one down Main Street in a parade in my hometown, I’ve found joy in this business. One of the most remarkable parts has been what it’s enabled us to do in the community.”

Dan Hay, Jim Burke Ford, Bakersfield, California

Dan and Michele Hay believe in the spirit of generosity, promoting the concept of service over self and encouraging civic responsibility. In 1975 they started a youth leadership program called Ford Dimension. In gratitude, alumni of the program established the Jim Burke Education Foundation.

The foundation provides opportunities for students to excel through grants, scholarships and the Ford Dream Builders program. It accepts 32 high school seniors into a yearlong class that provides career and leadership training through student-led projects designed to improve the lives of people in the community, while tackling issues such as bullying, literacy, human trafficking and college attainment.

Jim Burke Ford employees are champions of philanthropy. Each year they vote on a company charity, then support it through fundraisers and volunteering, consistently donating more than $10,000 annually. The Boys & Girls Club of Kern County was the lucky recipient last year.

The Hay family is engaged in providing financial and board level support for local hospitals, schools, the state university and Boy Scouts programs.

Don Jenkins, Jenkins and Wynne Ford Lincoln, Clarksville, Tennessee

Don Jenkins’ commitment to his community runs deep. He can be found donating to numerous charitable organizations and projects, all focused on improving the quality of life in Clarksville, Tennessee.

Jenkins has a passion for giving back to a local army base. As a member of Citizens for Fort Campbell, he has lobbied federal legislators for increased funding to improve the overall fitness of soldiers stationed there. He has been instrumental in securing funds for the Wounded Warrior Project, which connects wounded service members with programs and services that empower them to live their lives on their own terms.

Jenkins devotes countless hours fundraising for Austin Peay State University. He has helped to raise nearly $40 million to support enrollment for economically disadvantaged students, and to build new dorms, a recreation center and university center. His leadership and generous spirit of giving and caring sets an exemplary example for others in his community.

“My dad taught me that I must give my time and money to the community where I make my living,” Jenkins said. “No one will remember how many vehicles we sold. They will, however, remember our passion for helping our community.”

Siegfried Ernst, Ernst + König GmbH, Freiburg im Breisgau, Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Siegfried Ernst and his wife Tanja support their community by engaging in activities focused on improving the lives of others. Each of their 14 dealerships has ongoing involvement with at least one community cause and every employee contributes in some way. Ernst + König supports its many nonprofit causes through its motto: A Thing from the Heart. Since its creation, a substantial amount of money has been raised, with thousands of hours donated by employees.

House Johannes, a nonprofit that provides a home for physically and learning-disabled residents, gets ongoing support from the group. Ernst + König provides funds and transportation, while employees donate their time to support events that enrich the lives of residents.

Dealership employees volunteer their time to local soup kitchens as well, offering access to vehicles to collect and provide food for the needy. The continuous support from the Ernsts and their employees exemplifies an unwavering commitment to nurturing the well-being of their community.

“Zukunft gemeinsam erfolgreich gestalten,” said Ernst, which translates to “Creating together a successful future.”

Al MacPhee, MacPhee Ford, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada

Al MacPhee’s unwavering passion for his community can be seen in his commitment to supporting education, culture, the environment and health care. Active in community-based organizations, MacPhee has provided ongoing support to the local health sciences center and Dartmouth General Hospital Foundation.

The MacPhee Centre for Creative Learning empowers youth to access their individual creativity and a path to success. The organization provides an alternative education model for youth in disadvantaged circumstances, focusing on those who are disengaged in the traditional school environment and are at serious risk of abandoning their education.

MacPhee is honorary chair of IDLE-FREE for our kids, a homegrown organization that has become Canada’s leading sustainability campaign in decreasing excess vehicle emissions. He also is governor and a longtime financial supporter of Junior Achievement of Nova Scotia, providing hands-on learning in the classroom and through extracurricular activities. Programs focus on financial literacy, workplace readiness and entrepreneurship.

MacPhee is an inspiration for all, consistently giving of his time and resources to enrich and make a difference in the lives of others. “My community has served me very well and I think it’s important to serve my community,” he said.

Ivo Luiz Roveda, Ford Center, Curitiba, PR, Brazil

Along with his employees, Ivo Roveda personally engages in numerous educational and social initiatives focused on improving diversity in the workplace. This includes a one-year professional training program for hiring people with disabilities into his business. Psychological support, meals and skill development are provided while trainees earn a salary. Roveda has gone to great lengths in restructuring company software and operating systems to accommodate the visually impaired he employs.

Through his Second Chance Project, Roveda provides automotive mechanic training to individuals who have fallen on hard times, including people who have been addicted to alcohol and drugs, have lived on the streets or are ex-prisoners. As trainees, they are provided with food, clothing, transportation and other necessary resources to aid them as they work through the course requirements. Upon successful completion of the program, graduates are hired to work at one of Roveda’s dealerships, giving them the opportunity to restart their lives with a sense of worth and dignity.

Roveda’s leadership and involvement with sustainable social initiatives offers great hope and opportunity where there once was none. “I believe that every person, regardless of their social or economic standing, deserves an opportunity to rediscover themselves and live their lives with a sense of purpose and dignity,” he said.

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan, that is committed to helping build a better world, where every person is free to move and pursue their dreams. The company’s Ford+ plan for growth and value creation combines existing strengths, new capabilities and always-on relationships with customers to enrich experiences for and deepen the loyalty of those customers. Ford develops and delivers innovative, must-have Ford trucks, sport utility vehicles, commercial vans and cars and Lincoln luxury vehicles, as well as connected services. Additionally, Ford is establishing leadership positions in mobility solutions, including self-driving technology, and provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. Ford employs about 182,000 people worldwide. More information about the company, its products and Ford Credit is available at

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