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 are 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 94 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.
Ford’s 2013 Salute to Dealer award recipients. This program, started in 2001, recognizes dealers who provide outstanding products and services and improve the lives of those in need.
Our 2013 awards recognized the following dealer principals for their unparalleled generosity and commitment to their communities:
Kittivut Chairat, Ford Chokechai Sukhothai, Sukhothai, Thailand: Kittivut Chairat is leveraging his success in the showroom to help his community through myriad projects targeted to help those in need. He is committed to and engaged in a series of charitable projects for the community that have benefited many in need and raised social awareness for those same causes. His San Fun project, which translates to “weave the dream for the children,” benefits local schools in the province of Sukhothai. Through many different events, he and his dealership employees have raised necessary funds to improve school equipment and facilities in the region. One example is the construction of a restroom area where students are able to brush their teeth and wash their hands. Providing these facilities and teaching the importance of cleanliness is part of the health education in the school. A project close to Chairat’s heart is the Baan Nokkamin Foundation, which provides shelter for homeless children. The foundation’s name means “house of homeless birds.” Chairat also sponsors educational scholarships for students with financial challenges. His dedication to improve the community he works and lives in is contagious and serves as a shining example that encourages others to follow. “I want everyone to work together and be selfless and build a culture toward giving,” he said. “I want us to be able to get past ‘me’ or ‘what’s mine.’ If everyone is giving, then our society will be much better.”
Dimas Arnoldo da Silva, Dimas Comércio de Automóveis Ltda, Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil: Dimas Arnoldo da Silva is dedicated to improving the quality of life for those less fortunate so they can succeed in his native Brazilian community. The value of social responsibility in the community has been passed down from Dimas to his two sons, Ricardo and Daniel. Most of Dimas’s charitable efforts focus on children in need, like the boys and girls at the Center for Education and Training Hope. The Center has a home for children, a day-care facility and an orphanage. Concerned about community needs, Dimas also donates his time and resources to several activities that promote the education and welfare of those living in the region. Through his partnership with the Center for Popular Education and Evangelization, he helped finance an event to educate underprivileged children on important health issues and citizenship. His Christmas campaigns, to collect toys and food for the poor, have helped thousands of children in need in several communities in and around his dealership. He also organized a significant winter clothes drive that resulted in the collection of more than one ton of needed clothing; the clothes were distributed to children, teenagers and the elderly in the surrounding communities. There are many smiles on the faces of Brazilian children as a result of the Dimas Group’s generous outreach. Dimas’s work with these causes and countless others typifies his passion for helping those in need. He explained: “Someone who comes from a poor family like me, and I had opportunities in life, I think that other people should have opportunity too. I always felt that I should help, because I have had people help me.”
William R. Jarrett Jr., Bill Jarrett Ford, Avon Park, Florida: Bill Jarrett is a humble man who is quietly making a big difference in the small community of Avon Park, Florida. He is well known in the area as being a tireless advocate for youth charities. From coaching Little League to serving as a personal mentor for teens, his contributions are immeasurable. One example is Jarrett’s personal funding of an initiative for the local school district where students learn leadership skills through a program called the “Leader in Me.” He not only commits financial resources, but tirelessly pledges his personal time for the betterment of the community. Jarrett sits on the board of South Florida State College, where he is currently working to raise more than $20 million for a new performing arts center. He also helped raise needed funds for the establishment of a hospice center for terminally ill patients and their families in the community. Jarrett’s contributions have made him a household name throughout Highlands County. The Jarrett Family Foundation strives to build healthy hearts for young people by sponsoring the annual Rock’n Heartland Youth Triathlon Series. He also coordinates a yearly 5K run and walk to support the hospital, as well as the popular Drive Your Heart event. Habitat for Humanity is also a recipient of Jarrett’s good will, where he has sponsored and built seven homes for needy families. Jarrett sincerely feels his purpose is to help others have a better life, and his vision is to uplift the community in doing so: “My 30-plus years as a Ford dealer is really just a privilege...a privilege to help others.”
Jack A. Kain, Jack Kain Ford, Versailles, Kentucky: Jack Kain, a first-generation Ford dealer, is a visionary in his community, helping to stimulate economic development in Woodford County. He is devoted to countless social and community causes in and around the Versailles, Kentucky area. His personal commitment of time and leadership helped turn an abandoned farm area into a booming economic resource with more than 2,000 new jobs for local families. As a keen supporter of local education, Kain personally donated land to allow for convenient public access to a local technical college. As a retired U.S. Air Force Officer, Kain became aware of the need for personal supplies for the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. He implemented a program to adopt entire local military units for the duration of their tour of duty and provided needed supplies monthly. His involvement in social causes extends to the local Hope Center, where he is an adamant supporter of the facility, which provides drug rehabilitation services for substance abusers. Kain also championed full access to healthcare in the region, working tirelessly to keep the doors open at Bluegrass Community Hospital. He is also particularly committed to supporting organ donation in his community. This issue is very personal for him, as his daughter passed away before receiving a lifesaving liver transplant. As a means of giving back, Kain set up a special fund. For every car sold at his dealership, he donates a portion of the profits to the Kentucky Trust for Life organ donation program. Kain embraces his community with a lifetime of personal service and is the perfect role model for corporate citizenship. “Everything is new,” he said. “I meet new people and get to tell my stories and hear their stories and it is important to me, and I can’t think of anything that I’d rather do than try to help.”
Kevin P. Meehan, Imperial Ford, Mendon, Massachusetts: For Kevin Meehan, charity truly begins at home. Each year, he and his family transform their residence into New England’s largest outdoor Christmas display. Called Millis Wonderland, it comprises 43+ acres. The Salvation Army is the sole beneficiary, and the display has become the organization’s prime state-wide collection site. Meehan has also funded extensive renovations at a local hospital and hosted many charitable events at his dealerships, including a major fundraiser to cure breast cancer and an annual free car show and family fair that attracts 35,000 guests. His commitment to the community extends to his “Random Acts of Kindness” charity, which assists needy families during the Christmas season, plus to area schools, veterans groups, first responders, youth sports, scouting, DARE, Toys for Tots, and more. And, when the city of Mendon didn’t have the funds to build a new police station, Meehan came to the rescue. For his philanthropy, he is one of New England’s most loved, respected and admired businessmen. “I think that anyone who is successful within a community owes it to themselves and to that community to give back,” he said. “It’s doing the most and being the best that you can be, and being an example for your children.”
Gazi Osman Ovali, Ovali Otomotiv, Hatay, Turkey: Gazi Osman Ovali spends numerous hours on volunteer efforts focusing on health, education and improving the quality of life in his homeland of Antakya, Hatay, Turkey. In order to emphasize the importance of blood donations, he initiated a campaign to raise awareness among local citizens, resulting in a doubling of collections. As president of the Turkish Education Foundation Hatay Branch, he helps to provide thousands of scholarships for students with limited financial resources. He has donated a new library to the local science high school, will build a new automobile science laboratory for the local vocational high school and is continually working to create opportunities for high school graduates. These students are also better equipped to handle the transition to college due to the training they receive. His contributions to these projects are critical to their success. In an effort to educate local citizens, Ovali also established an association to protect historical artifacts in the region. The goal is to safeguard the integrity of ancient monuments, ruins and historical sites in the area. He is also active in helping Syrian refugees by providing food, medical help and clothing to the camps, and is the main sponsor and supporter of the orphanage and nursing home in Hatay. One can easily recognize the dedication and compassion that typifies Ovali’s commitment to helping those in need. “These social and community problems are not only the problems of our nation, but worldwide,” he said. “There are people who encounter these problems, people who were not at the right place at the right times. It is our responsibility to help them in any way that we can.”