CarMax reinforces commitment to veterans


On Wednesday, CarMax highlighted a commitment to providing community support and career opportunities to the nation’s military, veterans and their families. CarMax and The CarMax Foundation have pledged a total of $1.4 million spread over the next three years to organizations supporting the military, including Hiring Our Heroes, KaBOOM and The Mission Continues.

CarMax joined the Philanthropy-Joining Forces Impact Pledge hosted by the Council on Foundations and Veterans Philanthropy Exchange in Washington, D.C. The organization represents an ongoing commitment to bring long-term support to service members, veterans and military families.

“Supporting the communities where our associates live and work has always been a cornerstone of the CarMax culture,” said Matt Aman, regional vice president of service operations of CarMax and former soldier in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Corps.

“CarMax associates are passionate about supporting our military and as a veteran myself, I am proud to work for a company that supports this cause,” Aman continued.

CarMax pointed out that it employs veterans, active duty service members and military spouses in its stores and offices nationwide.

Through its partnership with Hiring Our Heroes, CarMax has joined the Veteran’s Employment Advisory Council and the Military Spouse Employment Advisory Council to help connect veterans, transitioning service members and military spouses to meaningful job opportunities. As part of the relationship, CarMax has committed $100,000 to support the efforts of Hiring Our Heroes.

“CarMax is actively recruiting men and women with military backgrounds because they share the same core values of integrity, respect, and honesty, and naturally make a great fit,” said Tracey Shoemaker, recruiting director for CarMax’s military program.

CarMax also is partnering with The Mission Continues, a national nonprofit that empowers veterans who are adjusting to life at home to find purpose through community impact. CarMax is committing $300,000 during the next two years that will include sponsoring service platoons. These teams of veteran and non-veteran volunteers mobilize together to solve specific challenges in their communities.

The CarMax Foundation also announced a $1 million partnership with KaBOOM to be the first corporate sponsor to bring play spaces to our military and veteran families.

The CarMax Foundation and KaBOOM, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to giving kids the childhood they deserve by bringing play to those who need it most, have successfully provided 100,000 children across the nation with access to play.

During the next three years, CarMax and KaBOOM will provide grants to fund four playgrounds and 30 play projects in military communities.

CarMax has partnered with a number of military bases across the country and respected military recruiting organizations such as GI Jobs and Recruit Military to connect the military community with CarMax job opportunities.

The company is proud to be recognized as one of FORTUNE’s 100 Best Companies to Work For, representing 12 years in a row. CarMax also received Victory Media’s Military Friendly Employer designation this eyar.

Job seekers can apply online at jobs.carmax.com.

NADA helps charity with van donation


As the organization often does leading into its annual convention, the National Automobile Dealers Association made a sizeable contribution to a charity within the host city.

Leading up to the NADA Convention & Expo in Las Vegas, the dealer body donated a new delivery van valued at $52,000 to Three Square Food Bank.

“We are deeply grateful to be the recipients of a brand new delivery van,” said Brian Burton, president and chief executive officer of Three Square Food Bank.

“NADA's donation will truly make an impact on our mission to reach more children who struggle with hunger in southern Nevada,” Burton continued. “Their great partnership and generosity will touch the lives of many, and we cannot thank them enough for their support of Three Square.”

The donation will have a direct impact on Three Square's childhood nutrition delivery route, which includes Kids Cafe and the BackPack for Kids programs, Burton added.

“This donation supports the NADA Convention and Expo's longtime host city of Las Vegas through Three Square's mission to provide wholesome nutritious food to more than 305,000 people who are at risk of hunger in southern Nevada,” said 2015 NADA chairman Bill Fox, a franchised dealer in upstate New York.

Three Square will also utilize the delivery van for its summer food service program, Meet Up and Eat Up. In addition, the updated fleet technology and design will increase fuel efficiency and decrease driver strain due to its smaller size.

Auction news: Central AA turns 10 & auction philanthropy

CARMEL, Ind., and HAMDEN, Conn. - 

Central Auto Auction will have completed its 10th year of operation this month, having opened its doors on Feb. 28, 2006.

The auction, which currently offers roughly 400 vehicles per week via its three lanes (with a fourth on the way), hosts about 200 bidders each week.

Peter Saldamarco, the auction’s founder and president, reflected on the economic and industry conditions that prevailed in the country during the auction’s first few years of business, including the challenges inherent with the government bailouts and the rising tide of recalls.

“Despite what’s going on in the world, Central has a solid foundation from which to build our business,” Saldamarco said.

ADESA Phoenix gives $19,500 to JDRF

In other auction news, ADESA recently announced it has donated nearly $20,000 to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation via its philanthropic efforts at ADESA Phoenix’ Sixth Annual Legendary Sales Week events.

The several items that were sold during the charity event include a 2002 Ford Thunderbird ($16,500), a signed and framed poster depicting the evolution of Ford Mustangs over the years ($2,000) and sports and music memorabilia sold through the silent auction that procured another $1,000 in charitable donations.

“The crowd who joined us for Barrett-Jackson and our own Legendary Sales Week events brings a lot of excitement,” said Ryan Edwards, ADESA Phoenix’ general manager. “After a visit from the JDRF ambassadors — the kids actually affected with diabetes — that crowd is moved to make a difference with their generous donations. Our auction supports diabetes research all year, but this event brings lots of people into the fold. That’s why this is one of my favorite weeks of the year.”

Southeastern Auto Auction of Savannah hosts most dealers ever

The Southeastern Auto Auction recently hosted its “Cars, Cash & Caring Sale,” which resulted in a record-breaking number of dealers in attendance for one of the auction’s sales.

The sale features $25,000 in cash and prizes giveaways, including $15,000 in cash, Samsung Ultra 4K TVs, Bose sound systems, Yeti coolers, drones and more.

The sale also resulted in a donation of over $5,000 to the Shriners Hospital for Children via money raised through 50/50 drawings and an auction contribution for every transaction made over the previous five weeks.

“It was a great day for selling cars, giving away prizes and helping a great organization like Shriners Hospital for Children,” said Bill McCready, SEAA’s vice president. “Our generous dealers always come through when given an opportunity to help.”

SEAA hosts a dealer-only sale every Wednesday at 10 a.m. EST and a public sale every Thursday at 7 p.m. EST.

KAR launches volunteer program

KAR Auction Services recently announced the launch of its Leap Into Service community program to honor the upcoming Leap Day on Monday.

As part of the program, KAR is giving its full-time employees in North America eight hours of paid time off for volunteer work with the charity of their choice.

“KAR Auction Services is dedicated to serving the communities in which we live and work, and we are always looking for innovative and fun ways to give back,” said Jim Hallett, KAR’s chairman and chief executive officer. “We recognized the extra day we get this leap year as an excellent opportunity to make a meaningful difference in the many different communities we are a part of across the country.”

Sparkling City auctions renamed; ServNet's new scholarship

FRANKLIN, Tenn. - 

The Sparkling City Auto Auctions have announced that both of its auction locations will be renamed on Monday. 

They are currently the Sparkling City Auto Auction of Corpus Christi and the Sparkling City Auto Auction of San Antonio, respectively. They will be renamed to the Corpus Christi Auto Auction and the San Antonio Auto Auction.

“When we purchased the auction in Corpus Christi 16 years ago, we changed the name from Coastal Bend Auto Auction to Sparkling City Auto Auction, a title that was easily recognizable in that area,” said Wade Walker, the owner of the auctions. “Since opening our auction in San Antonio in 2010 with the same name, we have encountered some confusion on the part of customers who wondered what ‘Sparkling City’ had to do with San Antonio.

After some thought we decided we needed to connect our auctions better with their locations in order to be more easily recognized, both locally and nationally.”

Both names and logo changes for both locations have been in the process of being overhauled for several months and have been approved by the National Auto Auction Association. To make sure long-time customers recognize that the auction has retained the same ownership, both auction logos include a tagline that identifies each as members of the “W Walker Auction Group,” which the Corpus Christi location has been operating under since 2000.

“We are grateful for our success here in Corpus Christi and San Antonio, and acknowledge the support of the many customers who regularly visit us at both our locations,” Walker said. “Although the two locations will have separate and distinct names going forward, the name changes will not alter the quality of operations or services that our customers have come to expect from us on a weekly basis.”

In other auction news, ServNet has recently announced its new scholarship program aimed at helping its employees and their families to pursue higher education.

The ServNet Scholarship program assists full-time ServNet auction employees, their children, stepchildren and grandchildren who plan on attending college or vocational school programs.

Up to six awards will be given in increments of three $2,500 awards and three $1,500 awards. These awards will be given annually for full-time study at accredited institutions.

“We’ve really drafted on the NAAA’s Warren Young Scholarship Program which has been providing assistance to families of NAAA member auction employees since 2004,” said Doug Doll, ServNet member and managing partner of KCI Auto Auction.

“We’re pleased to broaden our support for training and education by offering scholarships each year to sons and daughters of employees of ServNet auctions across the country,” Doll continued.

The deadline for this year’s scholarship awards is March 31. Additional information and application forms can be found on the ServNet Auctions website.

Penske donates over $900K to Paralyzed Veterans of America


Penske Automotive Group announced Wednesday it has donated $913,000 to the organization Paralyzed Veterans of America.

As a corporate partner of the Veteran’s organization, the funds were raised through Penske’s “Service Matters” campaign, which gives customers the option to make a donation when they’ve had their vehicles serviced at a Penske Automotive Group Dealership.

All funds will go toward supporting Paralyzed Veterans’ programs and services, such as benefits assistance, employment counseling and adaptive sports programs — all of which are provided free of charge to veterans and their families.

“We cannot thank Penske Automotive Group enough for this significant contribution. It will undoubtedly have a direct, positive impact on the veterans we serve,” said Al Kovach Jr., national president of Paralyzed Veterans.

“Penske’s generous support plays a vital part in our organization’s ability to continue serving our nation’s veterans, and to ensure those veterans have access to programs and services to help them recover and rebuild their lives after serious injuries,” he continued.

Last year, Penske dealerships invited customers to donate $1 or more toward its service campaign after having their vehicles serviced. And to multiply the impact of these contributions, Penske then matched each donations, up to a total contribution of $500,000.

“It’s an honor for Penske to be part of this fundraising effort,” said Robert H. Kurnick, Jr., Penske Automotive Group president. “We thank our customers and Penske employees for embracing the ‘Service Matters' campaign and the importance of the work performed by Paralyzed Veterans of America. We are thrilled to extend our partnership for another year to help make a difference in the lives of our veterans and their families.”

To learn more about the “Service Matters” campaign, see pva.org/PAGServes.

Ford announces more than $400k for ‘Driving Dreams’ scholarships


North Texas Ford dealers and the Ford Motor Company Fund late last week handed out more than $400,000 in Ford Driving Dreams scholarships for seniors in high schools across north Texas.

These funds will go to students interested in pursuing education in science, technology, engineering and math.

The scholarships are $2,000 a piece and will be given to qualifying students graduating this year who plan to attend an accredited two-year or four-year college or university over the period for which the scholarship is requested.

Ford shared the application deadline is Feb. 29, and qualifying students are asked to submit a “What Drives Your Dream?” essay.

The company explained these scholarships are part of the automaker’s overall education efforts in north Texas.

The Driving Dreams Program for the 2015-16 school year was focused on promoting reading, and worked to donate 10,000 new books to children in need in the area.

For more information, visit www.forddrivingdreams.com.


NYC dealers deliver 6K coats before blizzard hits


Just before the huge blizzard hit New York City and other major areas along the East Coast this past weekend, the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association coordinated an effort to deliver more than 6,000 winter coats as part of the New York Cares Winter Coat Drive.

This past Thursday prior to when close to two feet of snow blanketed the area, the coats were delivered to New York Cares distribution center at West 31 St. in Manhattan.

New York Cares executive director Gary Bagley was on hand to receive the coats from Mark Schienberg, president of GNYADA, whose organization coordinated the collection through the association’s dealer network.

“New-car dealers have always had a strong sense of community and our relationship with New York Cares is no exception,” Schienberg said.

“Thanks to this spirit of helping others, GNYADA was able to present New York Cares with 6,000 coats that will be given to those in need,” he continued.

“The coats were collected by 100 dealers and thanks to their generosity, and that of their customers and staff, the total number of coats collected by the association over the past four years now tops 25,000,” Schienberg added.

“That says an enormous amount about auto dealers in greater New York, and I am very proud of them all,” he went on to say.

The charity organization pointed out thousands of New Yorkers will be forced to make a choice this winter between buying a warm coat and putting food on the table, heating their homes, or meeting other basic survival needs. That’s why for the last 27 years, New York Cares has collected and distributed winter coats to thousands of men, women and children who would otherwise go cold.

For more details about the organization, go to www.newyorkcares.org.



Ford, Toyota join MLK celebration


As the nation celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Toyota Financial Services and the Ford Motor Company Fund joined the festivities with actions that aimed at augmenting principles upheld by the famed civil rights leader.

TFS is continuing its support of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and their communities, by providing $60,000 to five HBCUs as well as the Tom Joyner Foundation.

“We're really excited to work with our new partner Toyota Financial Services," said Thomas Joyner, Jr., president and chief executive officer of the foundation.  "The support of these scholarships is a really important step in helping these students complete their college education and, in the long run, help sustain these HBCUs."

Officials highlighted Bennett College in North Carolina, Tuskegee University in Alabama, and South Carolina State University will each receive a $10,000 contribution to support their scholarship funds.

Additionally, TFS is donating two $10,000 scholarships to Wiley College in Texas and North Carolina Central, through the Tom Joyner Foundation. 

Furthermore, TFS is donating an extra $10,000 to support the Tom Joyner Foundation, as well.  The foundation provides academic support, scholarships, and programming to more than 80 HBCUs in the Southern and Eastern United States. The overall goal of these contributions is to support educational opportunities within many of the communities in which TFS operates.

“Education is truly the greatest equalizer and should be accessible to all. Toyota Financial Services’ donation to Historically Black Colleges and Universities is a much needed investment that will help support students attending our HBCUs,” said Rep. Alma Adams, a Democrat from North Carolina and co-chair of the Bipartisan Congressional HBCU Caucus.

“As a former professor, administrator, and an alumnus of an HBCU, I’m always happy to see the philanthropic endeavors of a socially responsible company that shares my interests in scholarship, education, and helping underserved communities,” Adams continued.

TFS group vice president of service operations and corporate planning Al Smith added, “Toyota Financial Services is honored to echo the dream of Martin Luther King, Jr., by supporting these fine institutions and advocating higher education in these communities.

“TFS has a deeply held commitment to diversity and inclusion, not only now, but year round as seen with our national Making Life Easier Scholarship Program and with our 10th anniversary of supporting the CBS Baltimore Black History Month Oratory Contest,” Smith went on to say.

 According to the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, the college graduation rate for black students in the U.S stands at 42 percent, as opposed to 62 percent for their white counterparts.  It is also noted that the financial support of universities is key in black student retention, thereby producing high graduation rates.

“When speaking with each of the institution's officials, it's so inspirational to hear how this money impacts these HBCUs and the plans that they have for these scholarships,"  said John Ridgeway, corporate manager of TFS’ customer service center in Maryland.

“HBCUs are challenged with lower student retention resulting from financial hardships. As a Toyota executive and an HBCU alumnus, I am proud that Toyota Financial Services is making a contribution to these HBCUs and the Tom Joyner Foundation to support their efforts,” Ridgeway went on to say.

 TFS has been named a Diversity Inc Top 50 company for the past eight years in a row and has been consistently recognized by Black Enterprise, Hispanic Business, and the Human Rights Campaign as a Best Company for Diversity and one of the Best Places to Work.  TFS executives actively support and sponsor the company’s many diversity and inclusion initiatives.

For more information about Toyota's commitment to diversity and inclusion, visit www.toyota.com/diversity.

Ford throws support behind Men of Courage

Officials from the Ford Motor Company Fund on Monday launched a national initiative around Men of Courage — a program that honors and amplifies the accomplishments of African-American men with the goal of strengthening communities and creating positive social change.

The Blue Oval’s charity arm explained the initiative consists of a national contest of inspirational stories from which Ford will select a winner to honor at Ford Freedom Awards May 17 in Detroit.

Ford Fund is also developing a free online curriculum and teaching guide that profiles 20 prominent African American men. The program seeks to enable junior and secondary high school students to create visions for success. Visit www.MenOfCourage.com for contest and curriculum information.

The national contest is being launched as part of a Men of Courage gathering at Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture in Baltimore. Ford, Baltimore Gas and Electric Company, and 100 Black Men of America convened a diverse group of 60 black men ranging in age from 17 to 70 for a daylong forum of storytelling, visioning and developing plans for action.

“Ford has a long history of supporting the African American community and is a trusted source when it comes to building communities,” said forum participant Burt Jordan, Ford vice president of global vehicle and powertrain purchasing and supplier diversity.

“Men of Courage has the power to bring together African American men in a way that will positively impact people throughout the country,” Jordan continued.

Group members have made more than 300 commitments to provide social and financial capital to projects honoring black men. These include support for a yearlong program at Reginald F. Lewis Museum around the theme, Year of the Black Male, which explores past, present and future issues facing black men.

Members also have pledged to help scale Shop Talk — a monthly panel discussion; the series was developed by Sebastian Jackson, a Detroit-based entrepreneur and owner of Social Grooming, an innovative barbershop and community meeting place.

“I believe we have the talent and skills to solve today’s social challenges right in our own communities,” said Calvin Butler Jr., CEO of Baltimore Gas and Electric Company.

“Men of Courage is an important program because it provides support to those who are developing solutions, and gives our young people a guide to how they can create a brighter future for themselves,” Butler added.

Launched as a pilot program in Detroit last year, Men of Courage is geared to connect diverse black men from local communities with a growing list of renowned advocates and celebrities. Together, these groups seek to support one another and align to build relationships in an effort to help improve the perception of African American men in society.

“After being a part of the Men of Courage pilot program and witnessing the benefits of uplifting our community, I am proud to lend my voice and take this effort to the national level,” said Big Sean, Grammy-nominated multi-platinum-selling artist.

Ford is also continuing to work with former Detroit mayor and NBA Hall of Famer Dave Bing to elevate positive stories from a range of audiences.

The company’s support of the African American community dates back to the early 20th century when Ford was the largest employer of African Americans in the auto industry.

“Now, with signature initiatives including Men of Courage, the annual Ford Freedom Awards and Historically Black Colleges & Universities Community Challenge, Ford is building on that support,” officials said.

Follow the online conversation using hashtag #MenOfCourage.

Enterprise outlines 5-year sustainability plans


Enterprise Holdings announced its newest five-year goals for its businesses on Monday, included in its fiscal year 2015 sustainability report.

Within the report, titled The Business of Sustainability, the operators of well-known companies such as Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car built on their last five years of sustainability results and set new goals through its 2020 fiscal year.

"These new goals reflect a fresh look at our priorities based on conversations with our many stakeholders and leadership teams," said Pam Nicholson, president and chief executive officer at Enterprise Holdings.

The goals Enterprise Holdings listed include the following:

  • Waste: Reduce companywide paper use 40 percent by FY 2020.
  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG): Reduce Scope 1 (direct GHG from owned operations) and Scope 2 (indirect GHG from consumption of purchased electricity, heat and/or steam) greenhouse gas emissions 10 percent by FY 2020.
  • Energy: Reduce annual direct and indirect energy use and related costs, compared to the previous year.
  • Water: Reduce annual water use (per vehicle wash), compared to the previous year.
  • Workforce Development: Continue investing in the workplace by providing an average of at least three days' professional development annually per full-time management employee, and also encouraging all employees to attend relevant company sessions, events, programs and forums.

"We still firmly believe providing long-term benefits and seamless solutions to customers, partners and communities is the key to sustainability in the transportation and travel sector," said Brad Carr, vice president of corporate business development for Enterprise Holdings. "However, we're also seeing more and more contract-related questions about top-line sustainability issues. That means we work to help organizations better understand the long-term impact of corporate travel in terms of cost, plus environmental considerations, efficiency and duty of care."

Looking back at the 2010-2015 fiscal years, Enterprise Holdings listed the following achievements in the area of sustainability:

  • Energy: Reduced natural gas consumption 14.8 percent and cut electricity use 19.1 percent, compared with FY 2010 baseline. Figures have been calculated using same-store and weather-normalized data (excluding new locations and branch offices where an external landlord is responsible for utility bills).
  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG): Achieved a 10.1 reduction in Scope 1 emissions and a 31.2 percent reduction in Scope 2 emissions since FY 2010. Combined, Enterprise Holdings reduced its GHG emissions intensity 18.6 percent.
  • Alternative-Fuel Shuttle Buses: Converted 98 percent of airport shuttle buses to biodiesel, synthetic diesel, compressed natural gas or hybrid models since FY 2010.
  • Enterprise Sustainable Construction Protocol (ESCP) Guidelines: Invested more than $150 million, including thousands of new and retrofitted construction projects, since FY 2010.
  • Product Lifecycle: Recycled 1.4 million gallons of oil and more than 1 million oil filters for its fleet last year, representing 95 percent of the oil and virtually all of the filters used in its North American service centers.

To learn more about Enterprise Holdings’ sustainability values, click here.

KAR makes $170K donation to United Way

CARMEL, Ind. - 

KAR Auction Services closed out 2015 on a philanthropic note, announcing toward the end of December that it had raised $173,228 for the United Way of Central Indiana.

Following two weeks of fundraising, the campaign involved employees partaking in various activities to raise awareness about United Way’s endeavors. The events included a trivia contest, a coffee chat with Torchbearers and loaned executives, a silent auction, collectively raising $3,890. Another $84,669 was raised by employees. KAR matched the funds raised dollar-for-dollar, bringing the total over $170,000.

The figure broke last year’s total funds raised of $129,000.

“It is inspiring to work with people who are so generous and so dedicated to giving back to the communities in which we live and work,” said Jim Hallett, KAR’s chairman and chief executive officer. “We continue to surpass our record each year, and I couldn’t be more proud of our team and thankful for the positive impact this will have in helping those in need in the Indianapolis area.”

KAR’s annual United Way fundraising campaign is part of the company’s year-long corporate giving campaign. To learn more about the company, click here.