How much do you know about your Ford dealership or the people selling you that Ford? You might be surprised to know how extraordinary that person might be, beyond getting you a great Ford vehicle at a great price! Beyond making a difference in your life, they strive to make a difference in the lives of others locally and all over the world, too. Here’s a look at the 2013 Salute to Dealers recipients. Are you a dealer who wants to be highlighted next year? Tell your story here!
Mike Absher, Dealer Principal, Marion Ford, Marion, Illinois: There’s probably only one word you’ll hear at this dealership: “yes.” That included even the request that came one day from Johnathan Wilson, whose 1989 5.0 Mustang LX was overheating on a cross-country trip and needed service assistance.
Jim Addis, Dealer Principal, Lake City Ford, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho: How does Jim transform lives? He helped to underwrite a program to help at-risk middle-school students, including helping the school district pay to bus children to the local community center for assistance with homework and an athletics program.
Ty Beck, Conversion/Mobility Manager, Jordan Ford, San Antonio, Texas: Ty heads one of the nation’s largest mobility centers, at Jordan Ford, and helps set up about 10-15 vehicles each month, including with hand controls and in other ways to specially equip vehicles for driving.
Jim Blecki, Boulevard Ford Lincoln, Georgetown, Delaware: This dealership puts customers’ needs first, even if it means driving a vehicle to their house to test drive. Jim prides himself on it being a dealership with a “flexible sales process.”
James Bruncati, Co-owner, Sunrise Ford, Fontana, California: James’s contributable efforts go toward the Fontana Police Department, such as supporting Fontana K9 Pals, a nonprofit that has built a regional K9 training center.
Greg Daunhauer, President, Byerly Ford, Louisville, Kentucky: Greg has worked with other Ford dealers, the UAW and Ford plant employees to support organizations in their communities, including ones dedicated to children’s welfare and hunger relief.
Bill Jarrett, Bill Jarrett Ford, Avon Park, Florida: Bill is an active fundraiser and advocate in his community. He has helped to develop a new performance arts center and a hospital with a new addition. He also assisted in the implementation of the Leader in Me educational program. You can watch a video to learn more by clicking here.
Jack Kain, Dealer Principal, Jack Kain Ford, Versailles, Kentucky: From within his dealership, Jack launched the Military Support Fund, which sends supplies and gifts to soldiers on active duty. He’s also active in the organization Trust for Life, which encourages people to become registered organ donors. You can watch a video to learn more by clicking here.
Don Klimkiewicz, Dealer Principal, Cavalier Ford/Lincoln, Chesapeake, Virginia: The Cavalier Ford dealerships are extremely committed to breast cancer awareness year round. Don and his son Steve also produce a video and buy media time to run public service announcements to encourage others to support the cause.
Isaac Lizarraga, Partner/General Manager, Rancho Ford, Temecula, California: Isaac and his team support local charities, including Michelle’s Place, a breast cancer resource center. Hosting a Ford Drive 4 UR Community event helped raise money and awareness for the center.
Kevin Meehan, Dealer Principal, Imperial Ford, Mendon, Massachusetts: Kevin’s charitable work for his community is legendary, including a massive holiday light display that has been known to bring more than 2,000 cars over the course of three weeks, with The Salvation Army invited to collect donations. You can watch a video to learn more by clicking here.
Randall Reed, CEO, Randall Reed’s Planet Ford, Humble, Texas: Randall is passionate about giving back to schools and teachers, and that has included contributions to the Humble Middle School band program and providing a Ford Escape to a Teacher of the Year.
Rich Savino, President, All American Ford, Old Bridge, New Jersey: After Hurricane Sandy, Rich actively sought out ways to help the community closest to his dealership. Vans and trucks were loaned out to deliver donations and to help haul larger items.
Bill Summers, Bill Summers Ford, North Platte, Nebraska: Giving back to youth organizations and other local organizations is a way Bill shows his commitment to his community. His dealership holds sales events, with a certain amount of money from cars sold being contributed, as well as having involvement in the 4-H Club, sports teams and more.
Fernando Varela, President and CEO, All Star Ford, Palestine, Texas: Continuing education and opportunity are what Fernando strongly believes in. He has sent people who work for him to specialized training to further their skills, and has been known to hire those without any training or experience.