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Dolan feted for truck dealers’ top ATD honor

November 17, 2010

Mary Ford Dolan, president of Freeway Ford-Sterling Truck Sales in Lyons, was recognized April 14 for her nomination for the annual Truck Dealer of the Year Award, bestowed for business excellence, industry participation and outstanding civic accomplishments.


She was honored at the opening session of the 44th convention and exposition of the American Truck Dealers division of the NADA. 

Dolan began her career as a special education teacher in Highland Park. She joined the dealership in 1980 shortly after her father, John Ford, purchased it. Working her way through several different positions and learning the basics of business operations, she became dealer principal in 1999.


Dolan attributes much of the company’s success to the "family comes first" attitude at Freeway Ford-Sterling Truck Sales, Inc., believing that the policy helps to create a close relationship among the employees. That closeness, in turn, prompts the employees to treat customers as part of the family. 

In 2003, Dolan became the first woman and the first truck dealer elected to the board of directors of the Chicago Auto Trade Association. She is chairwoman of the board’s Illinois Attorney General Advisory Committee and is a member of the CATA’s Advisory Committee to the Illinois secretary of state. She also has served as chairwoman of the board’s Dealer and Civic Relations Committee.


Dolan was a 2005 nominee for the Time Magazine Quality Dealer Award, the automobile industry’s award for car dealers.


She is an active member of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Glenview, serving as chairwoman of the Parish Pastoral Council, president of the 700-member Women’s Club, and member of the Executive Committee of Lay Advisors.


Dolan participates in the Night Ministry, serving hot soup to youth and young adults on the streets in Chicago, and prepared and served meals at Marquardt Center, a drop-in center for the homeless.


She also is a board member of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago and was instrumental in involving the organization in the Chicago Auto Show’s benevolent event, First Look for Charity, which this year raised $2.8 million.