MetroGistics' Monster Mash bash scares up $19K for charity


Here’s some scary good news:

MetroGistics’ fifth annual Monster Mash Halloween Party raised nearly $19,000 for the Humane Society of Monroe County, Ill., and the Humane Society of St. Clair County, Mich.

In addition to food, drinks and prizes, the Oct. 15 event at the Living World Building at the Saint Louis Zoo included a stilt walker, magician, tarot card reader and a palm reader. Attendees were encouraged to wear a costume.

Sponsorships from Crowe Howarth, McCarthy Leonard & Klaemerer, Finny's and Office Essentials allowed for 100 percent of ticket sales to go to charity.

“We’ve been supporting animal welfare charities since we started MetroGistics in 2010,” said managing partner William Billiter. “The Monster Mash party has become an annual tradition and we hope to keep growing it every year.”

The Humane Society of Monroe County and The Humane Society of St. Clair County are nonprofit organizations that take in rescues and owner surrenders. The animals are updated on all vaccinations, tested for heartworms, and spayed/neutered, making them available and ready for their forever homes.

Click  for more information about MetroGistics.


Copart announces post-Matthew land expansions


In the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, Copart has activated reserve land in Georgia and Virginia in addition to expanding existing locations in North Carolina and Florida.

The land expansions and activations will allow Copart’s Catastrophe Response Team (CAT Team) to provide even greater service in response to weather-related damage.

“We have a long history of preparing for and responding to catastrophes. This year, our reinvestment strategy has led us to expand in areas that frequently incur damage from natural disasters. That focus allowed us to immediately activate locations in Georgia and Virginia when Matthew hit the East Coast,” said Will Franklin, executive vice president of Copart.

“We are also fortunate to have been able to add land in the Carolinas and Florida as an immediate response to Matthew.”

In addition to new land added in response to Hurricane Matthew, Copart had already announced expansions of its locations in  and , along with a new location in  this year. The land has provided Copart the capacity needed to meet immediate demand brought on by extreme weather.

Copart’s CAT Team is a group of elite employees who are ready and willing to quickly respond in the face of weather-related catastrophes.

The CAT Team includes mobile command centers equipped with generators and satellite technology as well as the Copart Catastrophe Response Fleet made up of haulers that each carry four cars. These resources allow Copart to quickly mobilize and overcome challenges presented by catastrophes in order to help communities recover.

“Not only do we strive to provide an unmatched experience, but we are always looking to contribute to the safety and quality of life of our local communities,” said Sean Eldridge, Copart’s chief operating officer. “In preparation for Hurricane Matthew, our team was put on alert, and our dedicated CAT Team did what they do best — responded and assisted while operating at the highest level.”

Last year, the CAT Team responded to flooding in Columbia, S.C., and more recently, to record-breaking flooding in the Baton Rouge area.

Southeastern Auto Auction raises money for hurricane victims


Southeastern Auto Auction and its dealer customers made donations and participated in a 50/50 drawing to benefit those affected by Hurricane Matthew. 

The amount raised was matched by the auction and given to the American Red Cross.

Some victims of the hurricane in Haiti will also benefit from this fundraising effort. The winner of the 50/50 drawing, Les Brooks of Coastal Auto, used his winnings to purchase baby formula that will be personally delivered to Haiti by Terri DeLoach — wife of Wayne DeLoach, president of Southeastern Auto Auction — when she travels there with her church this month.   

“We ended up being able to offer some support to those affected in the U.S. and abroad,” said Bill McCready, vice president of operations for the auction. “While many of our dealers and employees were affected by the hurricane, most are grateful knowing that it could have been much worse.  Our prayers go out to all who have suffered from this event.”

Southeastern Auto Auction holds a dealer-only sale at 10 a.m. on Wednesdays and a public sale at 7 p.m. on Thursdays.

Ford Credit offering payment delays to flood victims

DEARBORN, Mich. - 

Ford Motor Credit Co. is extending payment allowances for customers affected by recent flooding in the Southeast.

The company’s disaster relief program allows qualified customers to delay one or two monthly payments, then resume their regular payment schedules when their situations improve.

“We care about our customers and want to help them, especially in times like this,” said Dale Jones, executive vice president, The Americas.

The company is mailing and/or emailing instructions to eligible Lincoln Automotive Financial Services and Ford Credit customers. But customers do not have to wait for this notification; they may call this number immediately: (800) 723-4016.

The offer is available to those who are leasing or have purchased vehicles with financing from Ford Credit or Lincoln Automotive Financial Services. Interest may continue to accrue on the deferred payment(s) on simple interest contracts.

ABC rallies to help 13 Baton Rouge employees impacted by flooding


Auction Broadcasting Co. has been actively involved in flood relief for its employees at ABC Baton Rouge. ABC Baton Rouge’s facility was not damaged by the flooding, but the company said 13 of the employees who reside in the Louisiana capital lost everything.

“You just cannot imagine how devastating the damage is until you see it with your own eyes,” ABC president Jason Hockett said. “Pictures don’t show how horrible this really was.

“It just so happened that my wife, Paula, and I were moving my son, Joe, and his wife into their new home that weekend and were able to see it all first-hand,” Hockett continued. “As the water was rising, we saw several couples trying to get their most treasured possessions out of their homes and into the back of pick-up trucks.”

With those images cemented in the minds of company leadership, ABC considered what to do next.

“As a family business, we discussed what we could do to help the 13 families and others that lost their homes and all of their possessions,” Hockett said. “Many of our employees at ABC Baton Rouge weren’t able to get to work with the roads closed, so we paid them for the week gave each of them a $1,000 Visa Gift Card.”

Hockett also mentioned that he received a phone call from Frank Hackett at the National Auto Auction Association (NAAA). 

“Frank and the NAAA gave each of our 13 employees who lost everything a $500 gift card,” Hockett said. “The next day, we received a phone call from one our consignors who will be donating $10 a vehicle for every vehicle sold in the month of September at ABC Baton Rouge.

“Additionally, our general managers, at each ABC Auction location, started a fund on their own for their dealers and employees to contribute,” he continued. “In one week, they raised nearly $40,000. Collectively, it is our goal to raise between $100,000 and $150,000 and have an ABC corporate match.”

Hockett mentioned a few other ongoing projects aimed to help Baton Rouge employees impacted by flooding.

“All of our employees at the eight ABC Auction locations will be wearing LOUISIANA STRONG shirts as a reminder of those that still need help rebuilding their lives,” Hockett said.

“It really is unbelievable to see the goodness in people when something like this happens,” he went on to say.

Other industry members who are interested in donating may send a message to [email protected]. ABC indicated 100 percent of the proceeds will go to the families who have been impacted by the floods.  

Louisiana dealers still struggling through flood recovery


As CDK Global announced a $10,000 donation to the National Automobile Dealers Charitable Foundation’s Emergency Relief Fund, NADA continued to chronicle how dealership families have been displaced by the recent flooding in Baton Rouge, La., and surrounding communities.

Preston Petersen, dealer partner and general manager of Team Automotive Group in Louisiana’s state capital, said 70 out of his 360 dealership employees lost their homes and vehicles.

“While every employee has been negatively impacted by the flooding, about 70 are dealing with catastrophic losses,” Petersen said according to an interview with NADA. “Water in excess of four feet in their homes, total home losses with no flood insurance, some with no place to live and no car to drive. The stories of loss are simply overwhelming and they go on and on.”

He added that damage to his Toyota dealership has yet to be fully determined, but estimates repairs will cost several millions. The dealership, which completed Toyota’s Image II upgrade last fall, was completely gutted.

“On a brighter note, our employees have rallied beyond belief to help get the dealership cleaned up in less than a week,” Petersen said. “We are currently operating out of our used car building that took less of a hit and have our express shop and service and parts departments fully functioning at this point.”

On Monday, Gov. John Bel Edwards met with members of the Louisiana congressional delegation regarding flood recovery efforts.

“On the 11th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, we are again reminded of how important it is that we come together as Louisianans first and fight for every available resource needed for a full recovery from this disaster. In that same spirit, today I met with the Louisiana congressional delegation to discuss ways that the state and the delegation can work together to maximize all available resources to aid in our recovery efforts,” Edwards said.

“The meeting was very productive, and as we continue to get a clearer picture of the damage sustained in this historic flood, we will continue to fight together for a stronger Louisiana,” he added.

Nonetheless, Petersen stressed that the flooding disaster has presented “overwhelming” challenges every minute of the hour.

“All we can do is put one foot in front of the other and move forward every day,” Petersen said. “We appreciate all the support being offered. You never know when it could happen to you.”

In an NADA video released last week and mentioned in this AuSM report, NADA president Peter Welch walked through other flood-ravaged areas of Baton Rouge, describing the damage to homes.

“The devastation I saw was beyond belief,” Welch said. “We drove down through some subdivisions, and the lawns were not big enough to contain all the belongings ripped out of the house. And it was just house after house after house, just as far as the eye could see.”

NADA is urging the entire auto industry to support the flood victims.

“We commend CDK Global for this generous donation, and encourage other allied companies to do the same by making a donation today to the NADA Foundation's Emergency Relief Fund,” Welch said. “Now that the flood waters have receded and the damage has been assessed, the requests for financial assistance are growing each day.”

To donate to the NADA Foundation fund, visit or call (703) 821-7233. Checks can be made payable to:

NADCF Emergency Fund
8400 Westpark Drive
MS 7
Tysons, VA 22102.

According to the American Red Cross, the response effort will cost at least $30 million and may grow as the recovery begins in the region. CDK will also institute an employee match to the American Red Cross as a part of their employee giving program.

“Our hearts go out to the families affected by this tragedy," said Yvonne Surowiec, chief people officer at CDK Global. “Supporting communities during times of crisis is a part of our core values. It's our sincere hope that these funds help the community and people affected recover and rebuild.”

NADA shows depth of Louisiana flood damage & need for donations


Peter Welch recently walked through what previously was a lovely neighborhood in Louisiana’s state capital.

Someone recording video followed Welch, the president of the National Automobile Dealers Association, as he passed by shoulder-high piles of floodwater-soaked furniture, possessions, drywall and other debris in an effort to show the devastation and subsequent need for dealers to give toward NADA’s goal of generating $2 million for the National Automobile Dealers Charitable Foundation.

In front of a brick home with a lush green lawn partially covered in flood-ruined material, Welch described the scene in Baton Rouge, La., where as much as 22 inches of rain fell in a single weekend earlier this month as, “they’ve lost their homes or as you can see here, the homes are still standing but they’ve lost all of their possessions.

“Most of these areas are not in flood plains and therefore no one here has flood insurance, which exacerbates the problem,” he continued in the video .

On Thursday, officials announced a collective $15,000 donation to NADA’s efforts that are providing financial assistance to dealership families impacted by the flooding in southern Louisiana. The Ohio Automobile Dealers Association donated $10,000, and the Greater Cleveland Automobile Dealers Association donated $5,000.

“We're grateful for NADA spearheading this effort and are fortunate to be in a position to help,” OADA president Zach Doran said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with those employees in need at dealerships in the affected areas, and we hope that our contribution makes a difference in helping get people back on their feet.” 

Dealership families displaced by the flooding can apply for financial assistance through the National Automobile Dealers Charitable Foundation's Emergency Relief Fund, which provides funds immediately after natural disasters.

“When others are in need, auto dealers are always there to lend a hand,” GCADA president Lou Vitantonio said. “We feel there is no better way to show support for dealership families affected by the flooding in Louisiana then by donating to the NADA Foundation’s Emergency Relief Fund.”

To apply for assistance or to contribute to the fund, visit or call (703) 821-7102.

Checks can be made payable to:

NADCF Emergency Fund
8400 Westpark Drive
MS 7
Tysons, Va. 22102

“We’re asking every dealership in the United States donate $1,000 to adopt a dealership family affected by the flooding. Our dealerships are one big family. When a member of our family hurts, we all hurt,” Welch said.

“We are extremely grateful for the generous donations from the dealer groups in Ohio, but we are a long way from reaching our $2 million goal. We are urging all dealer associations and dealers throughout the county to donate to the fund,” he went on to say.

NADA leads effort to raise $2M for Louisiana dealer families impacted by flooding


With Enterprise Holdings sending resources as well, National Automobile Dealers Association president Peter Welch and National Automobile Dealers Charitable Foundation chairman Annette Sykora arrived in the flood-ravaged areas of Louisiana’s capital city and announced they would seek to raise $2 million for franchised dealership families displaced by devastating flooding.

Welch and Sykora are meeting with dealers and dealership employees in Baton Rouge this week to assess the need for financial assistance. NADA reported that initial estimates indicate more than 1,200 dealership families from 60 dealerships in Baton Rouge and surrounding areas have been flooded out of their homes and desperately need financial assistance.

“At NADA, we view our dealerships as one big family. When a member of our family hurts, we all hurt,” Welch said. “That’s why it’s time to come together and help our dealership family members who are hurting in Louisiana by contributing to the NADA Foundation’s Emergency Relief Fund.

“We call on auto dealers across America to help raise funds to help families through the NADA Foundation’s Emergency Relief Fund,” he continued.

The Emergency Relief Fund provides dealership families with funds up to $1,500 affected by natural disasters. Dealership employees can apply for financial assistance through the NADA Foundation's Emergency Relief Fund.

To date, the fund has supported more than 8,700 dealership families affected by natural disasters. To apply for assistance or to contribute to the fund, call (703) 821-7102 or visit .

“The flooding in Louisiana has been described as the worst natural disaster since Hurricane Sandy,” said Sykora, who served as NADA chairman in 2008. “Now that the flood waters have receded, the real work of rebuilding begins.

“Thousands of dealership employees and their families have suffered devastating losses from the recent flooding,” Sykora added about the disaster where as much as much 22 inches of rain fell in a 48-hour span. “The need for financial assistance will be significant and will last for months to come.”

Automotive Compliance Consultants heard the call and quickly responded with a donation of $1,000 to aid dealership employees affected by recent floods in Louisiana.

The firm also called on other vendors marketing to dealerships to get behind this NADA initiative and donate

“We hear the call from Peter Welch, president of NADA, for dealerships to donate $1,000 each to the National Automobile Dealer Association’s Emergency Relief Fund to raise $2 million for employees of dealerships affected by these devastating floods,” said Terry Dortch, president of Automotive Compliance Consultants.

“Though not a dealer, we owe it to dealerships nationwide who trust our compliance services to help out like this when disaster strikes so many who their families, pay their bills, and live in great communities due to their employment in America’s automobile dealerships,” said Dortch, a former dealer.

President Obama traveled to Baton Rouge on Tuesday, as well, and he echoed some of the same sentiment as NADA's leadership.

"Sometimes when these kinds of things happen, it can seem a little bit too much to bear," Obama said on Tuesday. "But what I want the people of Louisiana to know is that you’re not alone on this.

"Even after the TV cameras leave, the whole country is going to continue to support you and help you until we get folks back in their homes and lives are rebuilt," the president went on to say.

Enterprise sending money & vehicles

In the wake of devastating flooding, Enterprise Holdings is working with the insurance industry and disaster relief agencies to help meet the transportation needs of Louisiana residents and first responders traveling to the region.

The Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation — the philanthropic arm of the Enterprise brand — also is donating $100,000 to the American Red Cross to provide shelter, food, water and supplies for residents in the affected areas.

“Communication and cooperation are key in overwhelming situations like these,” said Mike Edwards, general manager and vice president for Enterprise Holdings, which operates National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car as well as the Enterprise Rent-A-Car brand in southern Louisiana.

“After a catastrophic event, there's an urgent and immediate need to support disaster relief teams as they lead cleanup and repair efforts,” Edwards continued.

Enterprise highlighted that it already has deployed more than 3,500 vehicles into affected portions of Louisiana to aid in the recovery process.

“We are coordinating with operations in neighboring states and shipping rental vehicles into Southern Louisiana as quickly as possible,” Edwards said. “We work directly with our insurance industry partners to coordinate and process information for the benefit of our mutual customers.

“We also are in direct with relief agencies so vehicles are ready and waiting for them to fan out across the affected parishes,” he went on to say.

NADA seeking funds to help store employees impacted by Louisiana flooding

TYSON, Va. - 

The National Automobile Dealers Association said thousands of store employees have suffered devastating losses from the recent flooding in Louisiana where storms left more than 20 inches of rain in some places.

In light of NADA officials stressing that the need for financial assistance “is great and will last for many weeks to come,” the association is asking members to donate to the National Automobile Dealers Charitable Foundation, which orchestrates its Emergency Relief Fund. That segment helps dealership employees after natural disasters.

Dealers can help the cause by going online to give at .

Checks also can be made payable to NADCF Emergency Fund and then sent to:

8400 Westpark Drive
MS 7
Tysons, VA 22102

Dealership employees affected by the flooding can apply for financial assistance through the NADA Foundation’s Emergency Relief Fund. Officials pointed out that lost wages or commissions are not eligible for reimbursement from the fund.

Established in 1992, the fund has provided more than $5 million to more than 8,700 families. To apply for assistance, dealership employees can call (703) 821-7102.

Manheim Pennsylvania to host teen driving safety program


As part of its commitment to support local community efforts, Manheim Pennsylvania Auto Auction this weekend will once again host Be Responsible and Keep Everyone Safe (B.R.A.K.E.S.), a safe driving course geared toward teens.

Auction management highlighted that two four-hour sessions featuring hands-on defensive driving education for nearly 160 teens throughout Lancaster County will be offered from 8 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

“We’ve been proud to support this meaningful event for the past four years, and each year the turnout exceeds our expectations,” said Joey Hughes, vice president and general manager of Manheim Pennsylvania.

“As a leader in the auto industry, we want to do our part to contribute to practices that promote education, awareness and safe driving,” Hughes continued.

The intensive driving school is open to young drivers age 15 to 19 who possess a valid learner’s permit or driver’s license and have at least 30 hours of driving experience. Parents are also included in this program, which teaches enhanced levels of concentration and vehicle control under the tutelage of highly skilled professional instructors.

Training consists of a half-hour classroom lecture followed by five hands-on exercises, including accident avoidance, off-road recovery, distracted driving, panic stop and skid control.

“B.R.A.K.E.S. is dedicated to helping teens make safer decisions while on the road and preparing them for the hazardous conditions they will inevitably face,” said Doug Herbert, founder of B.R.A.K.E.S.

“Working with partners like Manheim, we look forward to bringing the training back to Lancaster County as well as to new cities in an effort to reduce teen driving accidents nationwide,” Herbert went on to say.

Manheim Pennsylvania AA management added that the program is free; however, since space is limited, a $99 refundable deposit is required to reserve a spot.

For more information about B.R.A.K.E.S. or to register a teen for the course, visit . 

The event at Manheim Pennsylvania AA is the latest safety initiative orchestrated by the wholesale industry. AuSM highlighted the latest developments in a two-part series that included this feature story as well as this follow-up report.