F&I and Showroom Supplements

2013

F&I and Showroom, the industry's leading source for F&I, sales and technology

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Students Against Destructive Decisions hosts an annual conference promoting good decisionmaking among teens. Funding from DCH Auto Group allowed students from which the group serves attend the conference. Shau-wai Lam DCH Auto Group South Amboy, N.J. Traffc crashes are the No. 1 cause of death among American teenagers. In fact, mile for mile, teenagers are involved in three times as many fatal crashes as all other drivers. These sobering facts led Shau-wai Lam, chairman of DCH Auto Group, to champion a cause for promoting safer driving practices and better decision making among teens. DCH Auto Group employs about 2,500 people at 27 dealerships located throughout New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Southern California. For some, there's a personal connection to the cause. "Our own employees have been impacted by these tragedies," says Susan Scarola, vice chairman of DCH Auto Group. In 2008, DCH reached out to partner with Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) in communities served by the company's dealerships. The group, which had long been known as Students Against Drunk Driving, changed its name in 1997 to refect an even broader mission of addressing teen risks such as distracted driving, drug use and teen suicide. The group continues to work toward empowering young people to lead education initiatives to prevent drunk and distracted driving, drug use and teen suicide in their schools and communities. The part- nership with DCH has established new SAAD chapters in high schools and expanded existing ones. Funding from DCH Auto Group has also allowed more students to attend SAAD's annual national conference. In 2011, DCH launched the DCH Teen Safe Driving Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity that allowed the group to expand its work with the cause beyond its partnership with SADD. The foundation's website (dchtsdf.org) has information about activities and events sponsored by the foundation, along with valuable information about safe driving for teens, parents and educators. The site also contains information and reports on safe driving statistics, Graduated Driver's License (GDL) laws and dealership activities. Earlier this year, DCH launched the Impact/DCH Parent Teen Workshop series, a three-hour course held at the dealership that focuses on the dangers teens face from distractions when behind the wheel of a car. Students also learn about the safety features of the car, basic vehicle maintenance, including how to change a tire, and the importance of maintaining a safe vehicle. The emphasis is on avoiding distracted driving — especially texting — and the importance of remaining focused behind the wheel. "Research has shown that distractions like loud music and cell phone usage contribute to the probability of being in a crash," says Roy Bavaro, DCH Teen Safe Driving Foundation executive director. The DCH Teen Safe Driving Foundation and its collaboration with SADD have generated positive, communitywide awareness. It even played in role in saving a life, Bavaro says, referring to an incident in which a student turned to her school's SADD chapter for help after multiple suicide attempts. With support from both SADD and DCH, she turned her life around, earned a college degree and eventually became a volunteer for a suicide hotline. Her high school teacher told Bavaro and Scarola that, without SAAD's fellowship, her story could have been very different. "She said that because of what we did with their school, she's crediting us with helping to save a life," Bavaro says. Josefna Hooker Freedom Buick GMC Odessa, Texas In 2002, Josefna Hooker established the ATHENA Leadership Award to recognize the importance of female role models in her hometown of Odessa, Texas. The dealer principal of Freedom Buick GMC joined forces with the local chamber of commerce to launch the program, which was designed to inspire younger women to become leaders themselves. Hooker says that the award, which affliated with ATHENA Interna-

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