ATD Chairman: Help Truck Dealer Families After Floods and Hurricane

By Steve Parker, October 2016

Steve Parker
ATD Chairman
Steve Parker

Dealership employees need help after flooding in Baton Rouge and southern coast

As Hurricane Matthew pummeled the southern East Coast just this past week, it's a terrible reminder of the devastation that violent storms and flooding can have on the people in its path. On behalf of ATD, I would like to extend our solidarity and support to all fellow truck dealers and their employees who have been affected. And let us not forget that the residents of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, are also still recovering from their own flood disaster just two months ago. 

ATD is ready and I am announcing a call for help throughout the industry. 

On August 15, the residents of Baton Rouge woke up to the worst flood disaster in the United States since Hurricane Sandy. As much as 22 inches of rain fell in the course of two days, and more than 140,000 families were displaced in the flooding. Hundreds of our fellow dealership families were forced to evacuate their homes. Our fellow truck dealer Jodie Teuton is the ATD Kenworth Line Representative and her dealership is located in the city. Fortunately, it did not sustain severe flood damage but several of her employees lost everything. An estimated 60 to 80 dealerships within Baton Rouge's flooded areas are struggling with staff shortages because many employees cannot physically make it to the stores and they are still dealing with the loss of their own homes or vehicles.

Other truck dealers did not emerge from Hurricane Matthew unscathed either. The tropical cyclone caused severe flooding and damages to four states in particular-Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. One fellow ATD dealer is suffering from a power outage at his dealerships in South Carolina. 

Our fellow truck dealers, their staffs and their families need our help and they need it now.

On behalf of ATD, I am asking our fellow dealers to help by making a tax-deductible contribution to the NADA Foundation's Emergency Relief Fund today. With a $1,000 donation, you can “adopt” a truck dealership family in Baton Rouge and support their challenging time of rebuilding. Or you can contribute any amount of your choosing to those affected by the Baton Rouge or Hurricane Matthew disasters. NADA President Peter Welch has announced that NADA's ultimate goal is to raise $2 million for the relief efforts.

NADA and ATD have mobilized and prioritized the relief efforts for many emergencies and natural disasters over the years. The NADA Foundation, which serves as the philanthropic arm of our association, was established in 1975. It is involved with diverse charitable projects such as emergency and natural disaster relief, educational and road safety grants, as well as CPR training manikins for organizations in all 50 states. The Foundation has proudly aided in the relief efforts of dealership families who have suffered through Hurricane Katrina, Superstorm Sandy and the plant explosion in West, Texas, just to name a few. This is all made possible by the contributions from our members like you.

If you have not yet contributed to the NADA Foundation, I welcome your future contribution.

Thanks to the NADA Foundation's Emergency Relief Fund, we have been able to provide critical resources for those in need after times of natural disasters just like this. Thanks to the donations of individuals, dealerships, dealer associations and our industry partners, the foundation has distributed more than $600,000 in relief checks to 450 dealership employees who were affected in Baton Rouge. But there is still so much more to do, especially after Hurricane Matthew. The need for financial assistance is great and it will last for many weeks to come.

Truck dealers are not only the finest entrepreneurs but they are the finest humanitarians. When fellow dealers are in jeopardy, we are there. I am proud to have made a contribution to the fund and I ask you to join me in ATD's relief efforts.

Visit www.nada.org/EmergencyRelief to donate today or call 703.821.7102.

Parker is chairman of ATD, a division of NADA in Tysons, Va., which represents 1,800 heavy- and medium-duty truck dealerships. He is president of Baltimore Potomac Truck Centers in Linthicum, Md., which operates five full-service commercial truck dealership locations with Mack, Volvo and Hino Trucks franchises in Maryland and Virginia.