SAN FRANCISCO – Twelve dealers whose community service ranges from helping the ill to aiding children in need are this year’s winners of Ford Motor Co.’s Salute to Dealers awards.
They were chosen from a field of more than 6,000 dealers across the U.S. and Canada and represent five Ford brands: Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Mazda and Volvo. The winners include two brothers, a husband and wife and a father and son.
Hosted by Ford Board member Edsel B. Ford II, great-grandson of Henry Ford, the "Salute To Dealers" awards ceremony was held here in conjunction with the National Automobile Dealers Assn. convention.
The honorees "epitomize the spirit of corporate citizenship that my great-grandfather built into the fabric of Ford Motor Co. more than a century ago," Edsel Ford says.
The winners are:
- W. Kevin Collins, of Bill Collins Ford Lincoln Mercury in Louisville, KY, who leads community educational and medical causes, including a patient resource center offering the latest medical information to families affected by Parkinson’s disease.
- Joe and Paul Cotton, of Joe Cotton Ford in Carol Stream, IL, a father and son who for decades have uplifted young people through education; fund raising and gifts for area schools; police programs; and church organizations.
- Jim Ellis, of Jim Ellis Mazda of Marietta, GA, and Jim Ellis Mazda of Atlanta, GA, who dedicates time and aid to numerous community organizations including a medical center, homeless shelter and boarding school for at-risk youths.
- David T. Fischer, Suburban Ford of Sterling Heights and Waterford, MI; Suburban Mazda of Sterling Heights and Troy, MI; and Suburban Volvo of Troy, MI and Palm Beach, FL; whose humanitarian efforts help nonprofit organizations serving education, children’s services, health and the arts.
- Sam Galloway Jr., of Sam Galloway Ford in Fort Myers, FL, whose commitment led him to feed the hungry at a local soup kitchen and support numerous other causes, including the preservation of community landmarks.
- John and Seana Holtz, of John Holtz Mazda, Rochester, NY, a husband and wife team who serve and fund numerous groups dedicated to helping women and children in need, as well as supporting cancer research.
- Doug and Tom North, of North Brothers Ford, Westland, MI; and North Brothers Lincoln Mercury, Troy, MI; brothers who manage fund-raisers and other events to help area homeless shelters, at-risk youth and cancer research organizations.
- Stuart Powell, of Stuart Powell Ford Lincoln Mercury Mazda, Danville, KY, who devotes resources to improving the quality of life in his region by expanding an airport as well as supporting the Salvation Army, a local college and other organizations.
- Allan Vigil, of Allan Vigil Ford, Morrow, GA, and Fayetteville, GA, who is an ardent supporter of education initiatives, a local university, community health systems and underprivileged youth.
Winners were selected by an independent panel of judges from a field of 65 dealers nominated by regional representatives. This year’s judges are:
- Edsel Ford II.
- Jim Vella, president, Ford Fund.
- Steve Finlay, editor, Ward’s Dealer Business.
- Rick Titus, automotive expert, Drivers Talk Radio.
- Sam Pack, 2006 Salute to Dealers Honoree, Sam Pack Automotive Group.