“I can’t thank Cleveland enough for their unprecedented commitment to the NADA Foundation,” said Bob Mallon, foundation chairman. “Cleveland is setting a fine example for how other state and metro dealer associations can honor their leaders in the future.”
The ambassadorships were presented by GCADA to its past 11 chairmen and current chairman, Brian O’Donnell, in gratitude of their hard work on behalf of Cleveland-area dealers, said Lou Vitantonio, GCADA president.
“This is the beginning of a new tradition for us. We plan to do this for each successive chairman as a way to honor these individuals who have spent so many years working on behalf of dealers in the Greater Cleveland area,” Vitantonio added. “This is a perfect way to show them how grateful we are.”
The 12 new Ambassadors are Nicholas Abraham, Elyria, Ohio (1999 chairman); Fred Baker, Aurora, Ohio (2004); Joe Firment, Lorain, Ohio (2002); Robert Gillingham, Parma, Ohio (2001); Paul Hrnchar, Sr., Strongsville, Ohio (1996); Lou Kaltenstein, Hinckley, Ohio (1997); Gary Milan, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio (1998); Brian O’Donnell, Cleveland, Ohio (2011); Gary Panteck, Brunswick, Ohio (2003); Frank Porter, Jr., Cleveland, Ohio (1994); Jacob Studor, Middleburgh Heights, Ohio (1995); and Stu Zalud, Ashburn, Va. (2000).
In addition to the 12 new ambassadors, GCADA also has previously named Cleveland-area dealers Tom Ganley, Richard Bass and Kirt Frye as foundation Ambassadors. The Cleveland association itself is also an Ambassador.
The NADA Foundation’s Ambassadors Program
To become an Ambassador, a dealer, company, association or individual makes a tax-deductible contribution of $10,000 to the foundation in their name or in recognition of loved ones, living or deceased. Grants of at least $1,500 are made to organizations of their choice every three years in perpetuity.
Today, there are a total of 552 Ambassadors who provide about $250,000 to organizations each year in the public or private sector, supporting a variety of causes from emergency medical services and education to job training for adults with disabilities. This year, 155 Ambassadors will present grants to organizations of their choice. Since 1994, more than $1 million has been donated through the Ambassador program to organizations across the country.
For more information about the program or to become an Ambassador, contact the foundation at (703) 821-7102 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the National Automobile Dealers Charitable Foundation
The foundation, established in 1975, is the philanthropic arm of the National Automobile Dealers Association. Funds contributed by new-car and -truck dealers and friends of the industry provide emergency disaster relief, financial support to colleges and universities and community service programs. For more information about the foundation, visit www.nada.org.