To demonstrate Ford’s commitment to its thousands of dealer owners who step beyond their showroom doors to make a difference, the company recognized six dealers.  -  Photo courtesy of Ford

To demonstrate Ford’s commitment to its thousands of dealer owners who step beyond their showroom doors to make a difference, the company recognized six dealers.

Photo courtesy of Ford

LAS VEGAS – Ford and Lincoln dealers in the United States overwhelmingly gave back to their communities last year, with 30 percent of respondents giving more than $50,000 per year while 35 percent committed between 10 and 20 hours each month to charitable giving – according to Ford Motor Company’s annual survey on dealer giving.

Our dealers are valued partners in building trust for and loyalty to the Ford brand with our customers.

The survey coincides with the 20th annual Salute to Dealers awards being held at the 2020 National Automobile Dealers Association Convention and Expo in Las Vegas. The generosity of Ford and Lincoln dealers is reflected in how much so many of them give. The largest percentage of respondents, 30 percent, selected the highest giving category of donating $50,000 or more for the year. Most said they are driven to make a difference in their communities because giving is a part of their dealership tradition.

“Our dealers are valued partners in building trust for and loyalty to the Ford brand with our customers,” said Edsel B. Ford II, who chairs the Salute to Dealers awards program and is a member of the Ford board of directors. “They are the face of Ford and Lincoln in communities around the world, and today we are happy to applaud their commitment and dedication to building stronger, healthier, more connected communities.”

It was at this ceremony last year Edsel Ford II introduced his son, Henry Ford III, as the future host of the Salute To Dealers event. With 2019 being a transition year in leadership for the Salute To Dealers event, Henry Ford III looks forward to continuing the tradition started by his father.

“My father spearheaded this initiative 20 years ago and I am grateful for the opportunity to continue the very fulfilling work of recognizing our dealers for all they do to support communities across the globe every day,” said Ford.

Dealers give to causes that address a broad range of community needs – from children’s charities to the environment, from education and healthcare to parks, municipal services and disaster relief efforts. Children’s causes top the list, with 76 percent of responding dealers donating, followed by 67 percent giving to education and scholarships. More than half of respondents ranked veterans causes and municipal services such as police and firefighting efforts very high on their list of giving.

To demonstrate Ford’s commitment to its thousands of dealer owners who step beyond their showroom doors to make a difference, in 2001 the company launched its Salute to Dealers awards. This year, Edsel B. Ford II and four other judges selected six winners from a global field of nearly 65 nominees representing the United States, Canada, Brazil, Europe, Asia Pacific, Mexico and Central America. As part of the program, Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services is donating $10,000 to a charity of each 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 in Dearborn, Michigan.

Ford’s 2019 awards recognize the following dealers for their unparalleled generosity and commitment to their communities:

Gail Miller, Larry H. Miller Dealerships
Sandy, Utah

Gail Miller is committed to enriching lives in the many communities where she does business. Her dedication and leadership have helped instill that commitment in her employees. An annual Larry H. Miller Day of Service is an initiative where employees donate thousands of hours at more than 200 locations helping at-risk youth, families of critically ill children and domestic abuse victims, many in need of food, shelter and other critical services.

Through support from the Larry H. & Gail Miller Family Foundation, she established a diabetes prevention program with the University of Utah. The initiative includes a wellness bus that serves vulnerable populations with free and low-cost screenings for diabetes and other chronic illnesses, as well as prevention efforts to identify and educate those with pre-diabetes. It includes a four-week curriculum for homeless families at a domestic violence shelter. Two clinical programs have been initiated as a result.

Miller’s passion for giving back extends to helping the homeless. With homelessness nearing crisis levels, Miller provided a matching grant of $10 million through her foundation, while encouraging other individuals and organizations to contribute, using her matching grant as an incentive. Close to home, the Gail Miller Resource Center further confronts the homeless crisis by providing beds and a safe, warm and welcoming environment for men and women needing assistance.

Miller’s generosity and willingness to commit time, ideas and resources make her an extraordinary asset for the Intermountain West community and an example for others.

Jim Koons, Koons Ford
Falls Church, Virginia

Jim Koons is an inspiration to those around him. His enthusiasm is contagious, and his kindness and support for the community has a profound effect on those touched by his generosity. Koons has a long philanthropic history with Catholic Charities. Each year, he shows his compassion for the homeless by providing gift cards to all who attend a Thanksgiving and Christmas program for the displaced. He also makes significant financial contributions to a local Catholic high school, where he and his family attended. The contributions have enabled transformational changes and improvements to the school, including a new athletic center and a library, both named in honor of his family.

Having experienced firsthand the loving support and guidance of hospice services while caring for his mother, Koons and his wife Cece made a $2 million donation to Talbot Hospice in support of its services. The Eleanor A. Koons Hospice House was designated in his mother’s honor.

Koons feels that his college training at Northwood University had a major impact on his career in the automotive business. His generous contributions helped fund the construction of new on-campus housing featuring modern apartments, improving the college experience for hundreds of students attending the university.

Koons’ commitment to the causes he supports is not only significant, but also heartfelt. By any measure, his depth of leadership and impact on the community is unparalleled and inspiring.

Gregory F. Daunhauer, Byerly Ford
Louisville, Kentucky

Gregory Daunhauer’s commitment to community runs deep and wide. His strong Catholic faith serves as a guide for his extensive charitable outreach, with donations of time, endowments for tuition assistance and internships provided by his dealership.

Daunhauer and his brothers, David and John, provide financial support and vehicle assistance to residents of Little Sisters of the Poor. The charitable organization offers no-cost food and lodging for disadvantaged senior citizens. The charitable reach of the Daunhauer family extends to Shively Area Ministries, a local nonprofit providing emergency, and sometimes, ongoing assistance to those in poverty and crisis. Their support includes a significant financial contribution to construct a food pantry, annual funding for and volunteering in the pantry, and service on the board of directors.

Honor Flight Bluegrass is a recipient of the family’s time and resources. This all-volunteer nonprofit honors America’s World War II, Korean and Vietnam veterans by flying them to Washington, D.C. and providing them with a police-escorted tour to each of their respective memorials, honoring their service and sacrifices. Byerly Ford was a corporate sponsor for last year’s flight and Daunhauer made the emotional trip to Washington, D.C.

These and numerous other charitable endeavors demonstrate a lifetime of commitment and personal service by Daunhauer to the Louisville community.

Pham Ngoc Than, Ben Thanh Ford
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Pham Ngoc Than and his employees show compassion for their community by supporting activities focused on improving the lives of others. In one instance, the entire staff of Ben Thanh Ford traveled to Dalat, in Lâm Đồng province, to visit an orphanage, donate gifts and bring smiles to orphaned children in the community. They hoped to bring joy to the kids while inspiring strength and motivation to overcome the hardships and challenges they face.

With high tide and heavy rains often causing severe flooding for residents in and around Ho Chi Minh City, Than and his employees regularly spend time visiting children in the affected areas, delivering much-needed food and supplies to those impacted by the seasonal flooding. Than’s humanitarian reach extends to the local hospital where he supported an initiative to provide critical cataract surgery for hundreds of disadvantaged people in desperate need of the procedure. Left untreated, cataracts can cause a progressive loss of vision and eventually blindness. One of the greatest benefits of the surgery was improved quality of life for patients.

Additionally, Than’s staff made a long, sometimes very difficult journey to Charity House, home to many community elders in need of love, support and companionship as they near the end of their lives. They delivered fans, rice and money for the residents.

Through the dealership’s involvement in these and countless other initiatives, Pham Ngoc Than and his employees exemplify an unwavering commitment to the well-being of their community, showing love and kindness to the many people who truly need it.

José Abraão Vinhal, Ford Caminho
São Paulo, Brazil

José Abraão Vinhal is personally engaged, as are his employees, with numerous social and educational initiatives focused on improving the quality of life for the disabled, elderly and disadvantaged members of his community. One initiative is the Rebirth Association, which provides care and rehabilitation services for people with intellectual and physical disabilities. Services include therapeutic and occupational workshops and job training to help prepare patients for potential entry into the labor market.

Vinhal provides funding for, and is actively involved with, the Association of Parents and Friends of the Exceptionals – an organization dedicated to promoting public awareness, social inclusion and articulation of the rights of those with disabilities. He dedicates significant time to fundraising and promoting social outreach and prevention activities for a local cancer treatment center.

Vinhal and his employees have worked on several environmental improvement initiatives including site preparation, planting of greenery and flowers, and installing umbrellas for a local park improvement project. They also help fund and participate in neighborhood activities including parties for disadvantaged children in the community.

Vinhal’s leadership, support and active involvement with these and other social initiatives offer tremendous hope and opportunity for those in need.

André Quakernack, FordStore Autohaus Hagemeier GmbH
Versmold, Germany

André Quakernack has made a lifelong commitment to ensuring the well-being of children in his community and beyond. Central to this commitment is his work in poverty-stricken Benin in west Africa, one of the poorest countries in the world. With 50 percent of the population unable to read or write and unemployment at 70 percent, education for children is paramount to affecting change. Quakernack’s efforts focus on an initiative to improve education and nutrition. He has constructed three schools in surrounding villages, providing classrooms and a daily meal for more than 1,000 children – his mission is to provide the children with a meaningful education and an opportunity to escape poverty. All costs for sustaining the operations are covered by Quakernack, who frequently travels to meet with the children. A fourth school is planned.

Quakernack has funded upgraded medical equipment for a nearby hospital and provides needed medicines for those who cannot afford treatment. His dealership has set up a dedicated emergency fund to help children suffering from malaria and other life-threatening illnesses.

Sports activities are a key part of Quakernack’s commitment to children. He is firm in his belief that education and physical fitness go hand-in-hand in helping children become valuable members of society. Every year, he organizes and hosts the International Ford Hagemeier Cup. More than 900 children from around Europe are united at this youth soccer tournament. Other supported sports activities include golf for children from low-income families and swimming courses for kindergarteners. 

Quakernack undeniably has established a reputation for caring by doing, evidenced by his personal commitment and gracious contributions to these and other child development initiatives.

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Originally posted on F&I and Showroom

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