National Automobile Dealers Association
 

A Season of Thanks

David Westcott — November 2013

COMMENTARY
   David Westcott
Westcott
2013 NADA Chairman

November is a special month. As the leaves change to bright, fall foliage outside NADA’s headquarters, it is a good time to take stock of what we’re thankful for. For one, I’m thankful to be a franchised dealer, and I bet you are too. I’m proud to be part of a group of resilient entrepreneurs that do what nobody else can: keep America moving.
 
Meeting the transportation needs of our customers is essential to a strong economy, a strong community and a strong country. But there’s more.
 
As I travel and meet dealers around the country, I can’t help but be impressed with what dealers do outside of their showrooms. Dealers are philanthropists, civic leaders and the cornerstones of their communities. They fund hospitals, support schools and back local police and fire departments. That is why NADA is proud to co-produce the TIME Dealer of the Year Award, a national initiative that recognizes the industry’s most successful new-car dealers who also demonstrate a longstanding commitment to community service.
 
The award, sponsored by Ally Financial, is now in its 45th year. It is considered the industry’s most prestigious award for new-car dealers.
 
TIME recently announced 57 nominees from a field of more than 8,700 dealers nationwide. This select group from across the country will be honored at our 97th annual Convention & Expo in New Orleans. And the national winner will be announced on Saturday, at the opening session of the convention, on January 25.

NADA’s ties with the awardees extend beyond the award show. In fact, of all the previous TIME Dealer of the Year national winners, 11 are Ambassadors of the National Automobile Dealers Charitable Foundation. These winners also include past NADA chairmen and presidents and current board members. 

NADA is extremely proud to be part of this legacy. The NADA Foundation, which serves as the philanthropic arm of our association, was established in 1975. The foundation has expanded beyond the Ambassador program to include emergency relief for dealership employees, educational and road safety grants, and support for Canine Companions, including its Wounded Warrior initiative, as well as CPR training manikins to organizations in all 50 states. This is all made possible by the contributions from our members to the foundation.

If you are not already an Ambassador, you should become one.

A dealer, company, association or individual makes a contribution of $10,000 in his or her own name or in the name of someone they would like to recognize and honor. The foundation then guarantees that a grant of at least $1,000 will be presented to an entity the Ambassador selects every three years in perpetuity. It’s like having your own foundation without having to bother with administration and overhead.

Today, there are 650 Ambassadors who collectively donate about $250,000 each year to charities of their choice, usually in their local communities.
 
Dealers are giving more than ever. The 2013 Dealer Charitable Survey, sponsored by Ally and NADA, showed a 65 percent increase in donations and volunteerism among dealers in their local communities.

NADA salutes the Dealer of the Year award nominees and we congratulate every individual on the list. We salute all of our NADA Ambassadors who have generously donated their time and resources to others. And we salute all dealers across the country who make a difference in their communities and have given others something to be thankful for during the holiday season.

For more information on the TIME award nominees, visit: www.allydealerheroes.com. For more information about the TIME program, visit: www.timedealeroftheyear.com.

For more information on the NADA Charitable Foundation or to become an Ambassador, email us at: foundation@nada.org.

From our NADA family to yours, have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!


Dave Westcott
NADA Chairman