TIME, Ally recognize 2017 Dealer of Year


Ally and TIME held a celebration event in Kentucky on Monday to honor the 2017 TIME Dealer of the Year winner — Carl Swope — a second-generation dealer who currently oversees six dealerships representing nine brands in Elizabethtown, Ky., and Radcliff, Ky.

Swope was selected from a group of 49 nominees from across the country who are successful auto dealers that demonstrate a long-standing commitment to community service, Ally said.

The event was held at Swope Toyota in Elizabethtown. Business leaders from TIME and Ally joined local government officials and dealership personnel in attendance.

Ally said Swope has been chosen for his community involvement, support of civic activities, and dedication to local nonprofit organizations such as Hardin Memorial Health Foundation, Habitat for Humanity and Project United.

"On behalf of all of us at Ally, we are honored to recognize Carl Swope and his commitment to doing right and bettering the community and the state of Kentucky," Ally president of auto finance Tim Russi said in a news release. "Carl Swope embodies the character and type of leader that the Time Dealer of the Year program was built to recognize."

Swope and his family of dealerships have particularly supported the Community Health Clinic of Hardin and LaRue Counties since its founding in 2002.

In honor of Swope being named dealer of the year, Ally donated a $10,000 grant to the clinic.

"We are so grateful for Carl Swope's involvement with the Community Health Clinic of Hardin and LaRue Counties," chairman of the board of directors Dr. William Handley said. "We are elated that Carl has been chosen for this prestigious award, and we cannot thank him enough for his contribution to this organization. Day in and day out he continues to inspire and encourage thousands of community members."

Swope was first announced as the TIME Dealer of the Year at the National Automobile Dealers Association Convention in New Orleans on Jan. 27.

For more information about the award program, or to read about this year’s nominees, visit .

Manheim Orlando honored for community service


Manheim Orlando, one of the largest operating facilities of Manheim North America, was recently named Big Business of the Year by the Orlando Chamber of Commerce in recognition of the location’s local economic impact and the team’s dedication to community service.

The Orlando Chamber of Commerce presented the Manheim Orlando team with its Big Business of the Year award at the organization’s Big Orange Awards on Feb. 6.

“To be recognized for investing in our community and for doing what we enjoy as a team is quite an honor,” Manheim Orlando general manager Butch Herdegen said in a news release.

“We are always looking for opportunities to partner with people and organizations that make a difference for families who live and work in Orlando, and we’ll continue to serve others in 2017.”

Last year, Manheim Orlando supported Christmas in July, Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital, the Epilepsy Association of Central Florida, Orlando Science Center, Christian Service Center, the YMCA and the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando.

The team was also recognized by the Orlando Chamber of Commerce for partnering with Ben’s Maintenance, Mike’s Security and Danny’s Outside Ops to host the Chamber’s Hob Nob and Straw Poll event.

About 350 full-time and part-time members make up the Manheim Orlando team.

According to Manheim, an estimated 3,300 independent, franchise and commercial dealers visit the 286-acre location weekly, and it facilitates more than $3 billion in wholesale automotive transactions annually.

NADA looks to improve financial literacy via Junior Achievement partnership

TYSONS, Va. - 

The National Automobile Dealers Association and the NADA Women Directors, in partnership with Junior Achievement USA, is teaching financial education courses to students through a volunteer program.

The initiative, termed the NADA Financial Literacy Program, was launched during the NADA Convention in New Orleans in January. It grew from insight gathered over the past few years at the Women Dealers’ Networking Event, held during NADA.

“A goal of the partnership is to get new-car dealers or dealership representatives in communities across the country to become volunteers in the program,” said Michelle Primm, managing partner of Cascade Auto Group in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.

Primm provides financially focused curriculum to students in her local school district through Junior Achievement. 

“We are thrilled to be working hand-in-hand with NADA and NADA’s Women Directors who have demonstrated commitment to the financial literacy initiative,” said Laura Goodman, vice president of volunteer engagement for Junior Achievement.

“We look forward to working with and exceeding the expectations of NADA and their dealer members in an effort to impact young people across the country,” Goodman continued.

To learn more about how to become a volunteer in the program, Deborah Stevens at [email protected] or call (703) 827-6861.

Seeking Workforce Study participants

NADA is also inviting dealerships to participate in its Dealership Workforce Study. The DWS provides unique analysis of dealership pay plans and benefit packages, retention and turnover, employee benefits, work schedules and demographics.

Dealerships who participate in the study will receive two complimentary reports: Automotive Retail: National and Regional Trends in Compensation, Benefits and Retention and a custom report, which includes comparisons of the dealership(s) to peers nationally, regionally, by state and brand.

To take part in the study, visit . All data must be submitted by April 28. Questions can be sent to [email protected]

Ga. auction hosts annual sale, donates over $4K to Shriners Hospital


Southeastern Auto Auction of Savannah announced that it raised more than $4,000 to give Shriners Hospital for Children and hosted its annual “Cars, Cash & Caring Sale” earlier this month.

“It was a great day for Shriners Hospital for Children thanks to our generous dealers,” Southeastern Auto Auction vice president Bill McCready said in a news release.

“In 2016 we were able to donate over $10,000 to this great organization. Our goal is to beat that number this year and we are off to a good start.”

The auction raised a portion of the donation at the third annual sale event through 50/50 drawings and over the previous five weeks collected an auction contribution for every transaction made.

Regardless of a child’s family’s ability to pay, Southeastern Auto Auction of Savannah said, Shriners Hospital for Children is committed to providing the best care for children in the areas of orthopedics, burn care, spinal cord Injury and cleft lip and palate.

Additionally, at the sale event, the auction featured a large run of vehicles as well as record consignment of fleet/lease/bank and rental units, according to the auction.

“Our institutional business has grown rapidly over the last two years and it was on display for this sale. It was a great day for both buyers and sellers. Katie Rushing (national remarketing manager for SEAA) offered a record number of vehicles from her accounts,” McCready added. 

Following the sale, $25,000 in cash and prizes was given away.

The giveaways included $10,000 in cash, a 75 inch Samsung television, Bose sound systems, Yeti coolers, custom office furniture, chrome seafood steamers and more, according to the auction.

AUL releases 5-year charitable contribution total

NAPA, Calif. - 

Over five years, AUL Corp. has contributed $173,619.00 to 80 different non-profit organizations, according to the warranty and vehicle service contract administrator.

AUL announced that it publicly disclosed its recent charitable contributions on Thursday.

"At AUL, we believe that getting involved in charity programs contributes to strengthened professional skills, team building, thinking creatively, and contributes to job satisfaction overall — that's why we've created this wonderful opportunity within our company," Luis Nieves, president and chief executive officer of AUL said in a news release.

AUL formed a committee dedicated to coordinating charitable contributions in 2012.

The committee consists of non-management employees who discuss and facilitate contributions.

“This group is staffed by people who were identified by their peers as wonderful ambassadors of AUL and our community,” AUL said.

Non-profit organizations the service contract administrator has given to since 2012 range from Napa, Calif. community food banks to local children's charities, according to AUL.

“One of AUL Core Values is 'Appreciation;' if you ever work with us or spend time in our office you will hear 'Thank you' a lot,” AUL chief operating officer Jimmy Atkinson said.

“We also believe this commitment should be extended to our community. This committee has done a beautiful job."

Jim Ellis group raises $65K for Metro Atlanta Boys & Girls Clubs


The Jim Ellis Automotive Group recently announced that it raised $65,000 for Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta for the between Nov. 25 and Jan. 2 by setting aside a portion of every new or pre-owned vehicle purchase that occurred at one of its 13 locations for the organization.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta consists of 25 clubs spread across 10 counties.

Jim Ellis Automotive Group president Jimmy Ellis presented the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta with a check on Jan. 31 at the A. Worley Brown Boys & Girls Club in Norcross.

 “Through this giving campaign, it became clear very quickly the impact Boys & Girls Clubs have made on many of our customers, staff and community members,” said Ellis in a press release.

“We heard story after story about the personal impact various clubs had made on customers and staff alike during their own youth. Some felt so strongly about the mission and influence of Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta that it became a deciding factor in the timeline of their vehicle purchase, wanting to make sure they purchased during the giving campaign period. We couldn’t be more thrilled about the outcome of the campaign and the organization that we will be donating these funds to. It truly was a great season of giving at Jim Ellis Automotive!”

Jim Ellis Automotive surpassed its original donation goal for the campaign by $15,000, according to the auto group.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta’s locations combined serve more than 3,500 youth daily. Programs are designed to help youth succeed in school, live healthier and become leaders.

“Many of the youth we serve face big challenges. They don’t have access to the resources and relationships they need to excel,” said Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta president and chief executive officer Missy Dugan.

“We are so grateful to partners like Jim Ellis who believe in our kids and invest in their future potential. We know with the right resources and support, these kids and teens will become the next leaders in our community.”

ADESA raises $94K for Canine Companions at NADA


ADESA’s auction at the NADA Convention and Expo on Saturday raised $94,423 for the NADA Foundation’s Frank E. McCarthy Memorial Fund, which supports Canine Companions for Independence — a non-profit organization that provides people with disabilities highly trained service dogs.

“We asked dealers and attendees to bid high in honor of the 100th anniversary of NADA. They responded by generously opening their hearts and wallets to help support two amazing organizations,”  ADESA president and chief executive officer Stéphane St-Hilaire said in a news release. “The NADA Foundation and Canine Companions work to change the lives of veterans and children with disabilities every day. ADESA is very proud to once again play a leading role in supporting these great causes.”

Easterns Automotive Group in Sterling, Va. founder Robert Bassam, placed the first winning bid of $39,000 for a 2015 Polaris utility task vehicle. Joe Verde, president of Joe Verde Group in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., placed the second winning bid of $26,000.

Bassam and Verde donated their vehicles back to ADESA to be re-auctioned

Joel Bassam, Bassam’s son, director of marketing for Easterns Automotive Group, placed the final winning bid of $28,000.

Attendees’ $1,423 in cash donations to brought the final contribution to $94,423.

“I can go out and do things and leave the house because I have him. Canine Companions has made this possible for veterans and so many other people with disabilities,” said Retired Army Sgt. Steve Blackman.

Blackman who suffered a traumatic brain injury while in service represented Canine Companions at the auction with his service dog, Gottlieb.

“My life has completely changed. No longer do I wake every morning wondering what the day is going to bring and if I can make it through it because I have Gottlieb,” said Blackman.

At the past six NADA conventions, ADESA said it has raised more than $334,400 for the NADA Foundation’s Frank E. McCarthy Memorial Fund.

McCarthy was NADA chief executive from 1968 to 2001.

Sheehy Auto Stores gives over $160,000 to 23 charities


As part of its annual giving program, Sheehy Auto Stores announced on Wednesday that it donated $161,000 to 23 charities in Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Richmond, Va.

Each of the company’s dealerships partnered with various non-profit organizations located in the communities they serve.

"Our employees and family of dealerships do much throughout the year in donating time and money for a variety of charities," said Sheehy Auto Stores president Vince Sheehy in a press release.  "We are grateful for our success and pleased to continue our annual end of the year giving campaign that supports a wide array of causes throughout the Maryland, DC and Virginia areas."

A total of $79,000 went to the Washington, D.C. area, $47,000 to Baltimore and $35,000 to Richmond.

Washington, D.C. area

  • Bethany House ($6,000)
  • Center for Children ($5,000)
  • Covenant House Washington ($6,000)
  • Ecumenical Community Helping Others ($5,000)
  • Fauquier F.I.S.H. ($6,000)
  • The First Tree of Howard County ($8,000)
  • Good Shepherd Catholic Church ($5,000)
  • The Good Shepherd Housing ($8,000)
  • Hospice of Charles County ($5,000)
  • The Lamb Center ($5,000)
  • Ronald McDonald House Charities ($5,000)
  • SERVE ($10,000)
  • Smashing Walnuts Foundation ($5,000)


  • Anne Arundel Medical Center ($30,000)
  • Anne Arundel County CASA ($7,000)
  • Arundel House of Hope ($5,000)
  • Mosaic Community Services ($5,000)

Richmond, Va.

  • Comfort Zone Camp ($2,500)
  • Mercy Mall of Virginia ($19,000)
  • Patrick Henry YMCA ($3,000)
  • ACES ($2500)
  • Young Life Hanover ($3,000 )
  • Habitat for Humanity ($5,000)

CarMax opens 2 Calf. stores in Bay Area


CarMax announced the opening of two new San Francisco Bay Area stores on Monday.

A store in Santa Rosa and one in Fremont now join CarMax’s Pleasanton store, the company’s first store in the region that opened in May.

The three stores have brought more than 200 jobs to the area this year.

Both the Santa Rosa and Fremont locations have the capacity to stock an estimated 300 used vehicles.

In celebration of the new stores, the CarMax Foundation donated a total $30,000 to local organizations, two in Santa Rosa and two in Fremont.

CarMax donated $5,000 to the Redwood Empire Food Bank in Santa Rosa, where associates from the store also volunteered.

Additionally, the company’s foundation is giving a $10,000 grant to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Sonoma County, which will help fund an expanded an intramural sports program that will provide 3,000 more youth the opportunity to participate in the free program.

“At CarMax, our associates care deeply about the community and it shows through their commitment to organizations like these,” said Brandon Mullins, location general manager at CarMax Santa Rosa. “We are excited to announce the opening of our newest store here in Santa Rosa and look forward to serving customers with the easy, no-haggle CarMax experience.”

Fremont CarMax associates provided a $5,000 grant and volunteered with Abode Services, an organization that provides permanent housing and supportive services programs for homeless adults and children.

They also selected the YMCA of the East Bay to receive a $10,000 grant.

“CarMax associates love to volunteer and build strong relationships with community partners where they live and work,” said Christina Kahn, location general manager of the Fremont CarMax. “With the opening of our second and third locations in the Bay Area, we look forward to providing more customers with the easy, no-haggle experience they’ve come to expect from CarMax.”

AutoNation calls Eli Young Band for benefit concert


On Tuesday, AutoNation announced that the country music group Eli Young Band is scheduled to perform at its AutoNation Cure Bowl Tailgate Party and Concert, a benefit for breast cancer research.

"We are pleased to join AutoNation in the fight against cancer,” said the Eli Young Band in a statement. “This disease hits close to home for many people, so being a part of raising awareness is very important to us."

AutoNation is donating to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and has committed a total of $2,000,000 to the organization, the largest private funder of breast cancer research.

The second annual event is on Dec. 17 at Tinker Field in Orlando, Fla. 

Tickets can be purchased at CureBowl.com.

Eli Young Band has gone double platinum and holds a Grammy nomination for Best Country Duo/Group Performance.

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