Speakers for the Tuesday morning session, include: Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN), Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-CA-10), Sen. George Allen (R-VA), and Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.
Valencia Acura named as a finalist for for this prestigious award.
(AIADA) announced this week that Cheri Fleming of Valencia Acura in Valencia, CA, is among ten finalists for the prestigious 2006 Dealer of the Year Award, presented by Newsweek. An annual award, the Dealer of the Year program honors the tremendous contributions the nation's international nameplate auto dealers make as outstanding small-business men and women and as citizens dedicated to community service and the betterment of the industry.
"Through this terrific program, we are honored to pay tribute to some of our industry's most vital contributors," said AIADA Chairman Don Hicks. "Their commitments to business, community, and American workers exemplify the true essence of the international nameplate automobile industry, and are further proof of the ways in which auto dealers are driving the nation's economy forward."
At Valencia Acura, customer satisfaction is a way of life; customer satisfaction scores, or CSI, are well above the national average for the dealership. What's more, over 75% of Valencia Acura's business is repeat and referral. Fleming's small, personal touches show a determined focus on the overall customer experience. What's more, Valencia Acura was the first dealership in the state of California to institute American Honda Motors' EXCELL (Exceeding Customers Expectations for Life) program, which it maintains through today.
In her short tenure as a dealer, Fleming has won many accolades from Acura and CSI awards from 2001-2005, including: Acura's Precision Team (2002-2004), Honda's Council of Excellence (2004-2005), "Best New Car Dealership in Santa Clarita"
(2003-2005) "Most Community Minded Owners in Santa Clarita" (2003-2005) and Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce "Business of the Year" in the medium-sized category (2001).
Cheri has been an active member in associations important to the industry, such as: NADA, AIADA, and the Santa Clarita Valley Automobile Dealers Association. She has extensive experience in state, local and national fundraising, and has received special certificates of recognition from the City of Santa Clarita (2003-2004), Los Angeles County (2001 & 2004), California's State Senate and Assembly (2002-2004), and the U.S. Congress (2003-2004) for her political involvement.
Her ties to worthy charitable causes are no less extensive. Currently, Cheri is the Vice President At-Large and a Director for the Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Health Foundation, Governor-Elect for the Soroptimist International Camino Real Region, member and Past-President of the Soroptimist International of Santa Clarita Valley, Vice President of Special Events and a Director for the Child and Family Center Foundation, a Director for The Roar Foundation Advisory Board, Chair-Elect and a Director for the American Cancer Society Unit Council and Los Angeles Regional Unit Council, Vice President of the Sheila R. Veloz Breast Imaging Center Advisory Board, Co-Chair of the Boys & Girls Club Auction (2004-2006), and Chair of the Arthritis Foundation Walk.
Cheri also donates to various community organizations, including: United Way, American Red Cross, American Heart Association, The Cowboy Music & Poetry Festival, Master's College, Hart High, Valencia High, Saugus High, Canyon High and other local schools. In recognition of her work with local area schools, she has been named PTA Partner by the Santa Clarita Valley School District for the past three years. This June, Cheri will make good on a capital investment of $100,000 to help build a cardiac-cath lab and new Emergency Room at Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital.
AIADA will recognize the ten finalists along with the winner of this year's award during a gala dinner held Monday, May 22, 2006 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. EST at the J.W. Marriott in Washington D.C., as part of AIADA's annual Automotive Congress [May 22-23, 2006]. The 2006 Dealer of the Year event will feature special guest Chris Matthews of MSNBC's "Hardball with Chris Matthews" and NBC's "The Chris Matthews Show," as well as Don Graham, Chairman and CEO of The Washington Post Company.
A panel of distinguished judges representing AIADA will select the 2006 Dealer of the Year from among the pool of finalists. The winner, along with the finalists, will be featured in an upcoming issue of Newsweek magazine and various AIADA publications.
Held each May in Washington, D.C., AIADA's annual Automotive Congress brings together dealers, dealership personnel, industry executives and some of the nation's most prominent elected officials. The event is the largest grassroots-lobbying event in the automotive industry.
To learn more about AIADA's Dealer of the Year Awards program or to view coverage from last year's event, click here.
2006 AIADA "DEALER OF THE YEAR AWARD" FINALISTS:
Cheri Fleming - Owner, Valencia Acura, Valencia, CA
Mike Shaw - President/Owner, Mike Shaw Automotive Group, Denver, CO
Doug Callahan - Owner, Helms Brothers, Bayside, NY
Clarence "Bud" Smail - President, Smail Auto Group, Greensburg, PA
Bruce Bendell - President/CEO, Major Motors, Long Island City, NY
Miles Schnaer - Owner, Crown Automotive Organization, Lawrence, KS
Robert Grappone - President, Grappone Automotive Group, Concord, NH
Abraham Lincoln Morehead - President, Morehead Honda, Newburgh, NY
Currie and Nelson Andrews (Father/Son) - President and Owner, Andrews Cadillac and
Land Rover, Nashville/Brentwood, TN
Ed Corley - President, Corley Automotive Group, Gallup, NM