Salute to Dealers
Ford annually recognizes dealers’ outstanding contributions to their communities through its “Salute to Dealers” program. The program was established in 2001 to demonstrate our commitment to dealers who provide outstanding products and services and improve the lives of those in need. These remarkable honorees and nominees were selected from a field of thousands of Ford and Lincoln dealers across the globe.
Ford is very proud of the contributions made by the dealers who are nominated for this award and the 88 men and women who have been selected as Salute to Dealers honorees since the program’s inception. Considering the high quality and community spirit of our dealer body, this is a tribute to their hard work and dedication to make the world a better place.
The 2012 Salute To Dealers Honorees
Our 2012 awards recognized these dealer principals for their unparalleled generosity and commitment to their communities:
- John F. Bergstrom, Bergstrom Ford Lincoln of the Fox Valley, Bergstrom Ford of Oshkosh, Neenah, Wisconsin, and Oshkosh, Wisconsin: John Bergstrom has devoted much of his life and career to improving the lives of others. He feels fortunate for his success and believes that with this comes a responsibility to make things better for others – especially those in need. One example is when Bergstrom led the effort to raise funds to purchase a twin-jet helicopter to quickly and safely transfer critically injured victims to the regional hospital trauma center. When Wisconsin needed a new dental school to serve the residents of the state, he led the charge to raise the money, and he oversaw the design and construction of the now nationally recognized Marquette University Dental School. He also led efforts to raise the necessary funds to build a new performing arts center facility to meet the needs of area schools and the community.
- Alton E. Blakley, Jr., Alton Blakley Ford Lincoln, Somerset, Kentucky: Alton Blakley, Jr. is a tireless advocate for improving the quality of life for those less fortunate and giving them an opportunity to succeed. His personal commitment of time and resources was instrumental in the construction of a new technical training facility at Somerset Community College, affording career opportunities where none existed before. When fire destroyed the local YMCA, Blakley led the campaign to rebuild the facility, including a new aquatic center that provides important treatment for residents who require physical therapy to help in their recovery. Blakley is also personally involved in raising awareness for women touched by breast cancer. His work with these causes and countless other charitable endeavors typifies his focus on, and passion for, giving back to the community.
- John Hynansky, Winner Automotive, Winner Imports Ukraine, Winner Ford Dover, Kyiv Region, Ukraine, and Dover, Delaware: John Hynansky’s humanitarian efforts center on the development and improvement of children’s lives in Ukraine. He sponsors local volunteer initiatives to support children’s hospitals and orphanages, giving them much-needed clothing, furniture and ongoing financial resources critical to their well-being. Hynansky devotes his personal time and leadership to working with Hope & Homes for Children, an international charity whose mission is to ensure that all children have the chance to live with a loving family in a secure home environment. Whether it’s working with the Rotary Club to finance medical incubators for premature babies, or relocating children to temporary summer camp programs during an unexpected health crisis, Hynansky has been instrumental in supporting the youth in his homeland.
- Gus Machado, Gus Machado Ford, Gus Machado Ford of Kendall, Hialeah, Florida, and Miami, Florida: Gus Machado is dedicated to countless social causes in greater Miami. His Gus Machado Family Foundation provides critical resources to improve health and education in the community and is closely aligned with the American Cancer Society and important initiatives that raise awareness and fight the disease. The Foundation spearheads a “Relay for Life” event that includes thousands of cancer survivors banding together to raise money for cancer prevention in the Hispanic community. He also generously supports R.O.C.K. (Reaching Out to Cancer Kids), which provides summer camps and college scholarships to teenagers stricken with the disease. Machado also runs annual “Back to School Community Fairs,” in which hundreds of school-bound children are provided with essentials such as health immunizations and backpacks full of school supplies.
- Oscar E. Villanueva Sued and Fernando E. Villanueva Sued, Grupo Viamar, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic: Oscar and Fernando Villanueva have a deep-rooted personal commitment to their Dominican Republic community and to those with special needs. Their “Love Me as I Am” Foundation reaches out to individuals living with Down syndrome and autism. The Foundation has touched the lives and hearts of those who are challenged by these afflictions, and made an immeasurable impact in the community through large-scale fundraising and awareness initiatives and events. One such event was a Foundation-spearheaded charity softball game held during the “Global Week of Caring” campaign. The teams were composed of current and past professional baseball stars, local and international celebrities, and the team that won the gold medal at the Special Olympics in Athens, Greece. The event drew more than 11,000 people, including national media, and raised record funds for the Dominican Associations of Down syndrome and autism.
- Qingping Sun, Shanxi Dachang Automobile Group Co., Ltd., Taiyuan, Shanxi, China: Qingping Sun’s passion for giving is a true model for others in her community. Her primary focus is on helping the many underprivileged children and families in the area, especially in education. She donated significant funds to build a new primary school in Dachang’s poor mountainous area and continues to provide much-needed supplies and equipment. She is a major contributor to local disaster rescue and relief efforts, including the recent Sichuan earthquake crisis. Qingping is also personally involved with supporting a local nursing home. When the home almost closed due to a financial crisis, she came to the rescue by donating operating funds to save the facility. She continues to help with monthly donations of rice, flour, oil and other essentials to keep the home well stocked for the hundreds of residents.