WASHINGTON - Seven dealers have won the 1998 All-Star Dealer Award sponsored by the American International Automobile Dealers Association.
The award recognizes exceptional business performance and community and industry service.
The national winner will be announced tonight, May 18, at the All-Star Dealer Awards Banquet at AIADA's 21st annual American International Automotive Congress here.
The winners are:
Erhard Dahm of Erhard BMW in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
At age 28, Dahm, his wife and daughter came to the United States and settled in Detroit. Dahm started as a technician 35 years ago. He now operates the largest BMW dealership in BMW's Central Region, and is a winner of the BMW President's Club Award. He also has a Land Rover franchise.
Dahm has served on the BMW regional and national dealer councils for more than 15 years. He is a member and former chairman of the BMW Detroit Dealer Ad Council.
Dahm has held a holiday party and auction for his customers for the past seven years, with the proceeds benefiting a local charity. He helped support a driving event sponsored by the ad council to raise money for breast cancer research, and raises funds for the local schools. Dahm's dealership has sponsored local hockey teams for 20 years, and recently donated three BMW Z3 roadsters to support the fund-raising efforts of local charities.
Alan DeBoer of Southern Oregon Subaru-Volvo-Mitsubishi in Medford, Ore.
DeBoer has been recognized by Subaru, Mitsubishi and Volvo throughout his career for superior performance. He is a two-time winner of the Subaru Quality Dealer Award and has won a Parts Excellence Society Award from Mitsubishi for eight straight years.
DeBoer is known in his community for his contributions. He is a member of the board of directors for the local YMCA, school board and Rotary Club. He raises funds for the Boys & Girls Club of Jackson County; the YMCA and programs benefiting the blind, the homeless and handicapped children.
He is an appointed member of the Ashland City Council, a member of the city's budget committee and chairman of the Ashland School Board. He has been named Retailer of the Year by the Ashland Chamber of Commerce and the Medford Chamber of Commerce, and was honored as Outstanding Rotarian of the Year in 1997.
Jay Marks of Jay Marks Toyota in Houston
Marks, a 40-year auto industry veteran, is known for his community spirit.
He earned a membership in the Gulf States Toyota President's Cabinet for outstanding sales volume and customer satisfaction in 1995 and 1997 - two of the three years he owned his Toyota dealership. He has been a charter member of Mazda's President's Club since 1990. His other franchises are Hyundai and Chevrolet.
Marks has been national fund-raising chairman for the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation, and has overseen a doubling of contributions.
Marks' dealership underwrites 100 percent of the admission fees at the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston, resulting in free admission to the public. He also is a founding member and active fund-raiser for Earning by Learning of Houston, which rewards fourth-graders with $1 for every book read. Last year, 6,500 children read more than 106,000 books, earning over $106,000.
Kent Petersen of Petersen Motor Co. Inc. in Ogden, Utah
Petersen, an AIADA board member, is a strong supporter of free trade and small business. He is chairman of Americans for Free International Trade, and is a member of the National Automobile Dealers Asso-ciation's Dealer Election Action Committee.
In his 50 years with Petersen Motor Co., he has worked his way up from part-time parts runner to president, overseeing Honda, Nissan and Mitsubishi franchises. He has served on the national dealer councils for each of the lines he represents. Petersen has been part of Nissan's President's Circle for the past two years, and is a two-time winner of the company's Award of Merit.
Petersen is active with Weber State University, serving as a member of the university foundation and advisory board. He has received several awards, including 1995 Businessperson of the Year and the Legacy Award - Lifetime Presidents Society, from the university.
Locally, Petersen has been active with civic groups including Rotary, Kiwanis, the Chamber of Commerce and the Boy Scouts.
Steven Pieper of Heishman Inc. in Arlington, Va.
Pieper, a BMW dealer since 1973, has dedicated many years to the industry and community. He also sells Porsche and Audi.
Pieper is a former AIADA board member and treasurer, and he was instrumental in the association's efforts to phase out the luxury tax on automobiles.
Pieper's dealership has been recognized for its efforts in the fight against cancer. The store is a major contributor for several years to the Vince Lombardi Cancer Fund's Silent Auction, which benefits the area's leading cancer research facility.
Pieper is active politically on behalf of his business and the industry as a contributor to the Americans for Free International Trade and the Dealers Election Action Committee.
Kenneth Schnitzer Jr. of Park Place Motorcars in Dallas
Schnitzer is one of the largest Lexus dealers in Texas and a four-time winner of the Elite of Lexus Award. He also has Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Audi franchises.
Schnitzer has worked to support several pro-business candidates during state and local elections. He is involved with the Americans for Free International Trade and the Dealer Election Action Committee.
Schnitzer donates his time and money to many charitable organizations, including the National Kidney Foundation, American Cancer Society, United Way, the Boys and Girls Club, March of Dimes, Special Olympics, Salvation Army and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
Schnitzer supports the Dallas Museum of Natural History, the Cattle Baron's Ball, the Yellow Rose Foundation, Scottish Rite Children's Hospital and the annual Winter Ball to benefit the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation.
David Wilson of David Wilson Automotive Group in Orange, Calif.
David Wilson has been in the auto business for more than 25 years. He sells Toyota, Lexus and Ford vehicles.
Toyota of Orange is the only dealership in Orange County to receive the Toyota Touch President's Award every year since 1988. Wilson is the only dealer to score a 'triple double': achieving Toyota's three highest awards for two stores in the same year - a feat he has accomplished every year since 1992.
Wilson has served on AIADA's board of directors. Since 1983 he has been a member of the Toyota Board of Governors. For the past seven years, he has been appointed to the Toyota Parts and Service Presidential Advisory Council.
Wilson is a member of the board of the Orangewood Children's Foundation, and is the originator and sponsor of the Round Orange Race, a 10-kilometer/5-kilometer race with more than 4,000 participants annually that has raised more than $250,000 for the foundation over the past nine years.
His employees established the David Wilson Endowment Fund as a gift to him, which enables worthy former residents of the Orangewood Children's Home to obtain a post-secondary education. This fund now contains over $200,000 and this year is paying for the college educations of five young people.