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Marquardt of Barrington dealer named a 2017 'Father of the Year'

June 16, 2017
Dan Marquardt, dealer partner of Marquardt of Barrington and a member of the Chicago Automobile Trade Association board of directors, was honored June 7 as one of two 2017 Father of the Year recipients by the Illinois Fatherhood Initiative.
The IFI is the country’s first statewide nonprofit fatherhood organization, whose mission is to connect children and fathers by actively engaging fathers in the education of their children. The initiative was established in 1997 to address the increasing problem of father absence in society. 
"I’ve been advocating for kids and dads for decades," said David Hirsch, founder of the IFI and the 21st Century Dads Foundation. "As a result, I’ve met thousands of dads. Dan Marquardt exemplifies the best of the best."  
Marquardt said: "When David called me with the news, I was nearly speechless. It is an incredibly humbling honor to receive such recognition." 
Marquardt’s Buick-GMC dealership has for more than a decade supported the IFI in a variety of ways, such as by donating vehicles for fundraising raffles. Dan Marquardt, a father of nine children, also offers his personal time volunteering for the organization. One of his previous contributions involved reading through thousands of essays submitted to the IFI by Chicagoland students. 
According to the IFI, research indicates that 24 million children — 1.1 million in Illinois — are growing up in homes without fathers.
Children from fatherless homes are four times more likely to grow up in poverty and nine times more likely to drop out of high school. According to the IFI, the children also are more likely to commit suicide; run away; have behavioral disorders; abuse drugs and alcohol; and commit crimes and end up in prison. 
Marquardt said good parenting skills, along with personal convictions, can translate to the workplace. 
"There are a lot of parallels between being a father and an employer," he said. "We often look at our (Marquardt of Barrington) staff as one big family, and I strive to provide them encouragement along with clear expectations to ensure success."