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NADA charitable foundation funds companion dogs for veterans

May 13, 2011
By Mark Scarpelli, Chicago Metro NADA Director
The National Automobile Dealers Charitable Foundation has expanded its support for a nationwide program that provides skilled companion dogs at no cost to physically disabled children and adults. And for the first time, support is offered to U.S. war veterans injured in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Retired Army Sgt. Sam Cila of Riverhead, N.Y., was introduced last month to his new service dog, Gillian, following the foundation’s first $10,000 grant to the Wounded Veterans Initiative of Canine Companions for Independence.
“Gillian has rounded out my new team. She acts as my left hand. But more importantly, she’s my teammate,” said Cila, who lost most of his left arm from an improvised explosive device during an ambush in Baghdad in 2005. “Gillian has made me stronger as an individual because I can live a more active lifestyle with her at my side.”
To contribute toward providing a service dog for a wounded veteran in your community, contact the NADA Foundation at (703) 821-7102 or  
In other legislative and regulatory news . . .
• NADA representatives stressed the importance of dealer-assisted financing at an April roundtable that the Federal Trade Commission conducted in Detroit to examine consumer protection issues related to five areas of vehicle sales and leasing. The NADA was represented on each of the panels by dealers, the ATAE, and attorneys who specialize in each of the subject matter areas.
The NADA team made a compelling case that problems identified by consumer groups are not representative of the industry and therefore do not justify the imposition of a new rule, and that they already may be addressed through an array of consumer remedies that exist under federal and state laws. Most importantly, the NADA representatives explained in detail the extraordinary benefits that optional dealer-assisted financing provides to millions of consumers, including how dealers’ access to multiple finance sources and their efficient pricing allows dealers to routinely offer consumers very competitive rates and, in many cases, secure financing for “unbanked” consumers who otherwise would not have the means to obtain transportation they need for employment.
“Even when dealer-assisted financing is not selected by consumers, its mere presence helps to create an intensely competitive market that significantly disciplines the rates that other finance sources will offer to consumers,” said the NADA’s Andy Koblenz.
• The NADA supports two bills seeking to reach a single, national fuel economy standard by prohibiting the Environmental Protection Agency and California from regulating tailpipe emissions. House Resolution 9, which passed the U.S. House on April 7, seeks to overturn a 2007 Supreme Court decision giving the EPA and California authority to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act. A similar measure in the Senate failed to gather the necessary 60 votes to pass. 
In other NADA news . . .
• For the first time, pedestrians walking past the CBS “Super Screen” in New York’s Times Square have been seeing public service messages from the NADA. A CBS representative approached the NADA with the unprecedented opportunity when space became available after the network canceled the TV sitcom “Two and a Half Men” starring Charlie Sheen. The first message, “Let’s Keep Them Safe at Every Age,” reinforces the dealer association’s position as a leader in promoting child passenger safety nationwide; and it highlights that America’s new-car dealers have inspected more than 1 million child safety seats over the past five years. Another message stresses the National Automobile Dealers Charitable Foundation’s commitment to the Wounded Veterans Initiative of Canine Companions for Independence. Both 15-second commercials appear once every hour, 18 hours a day, for 45 days on the 26-by-20 screen.
• Enroll now for Spring Dealer Academy classes. Upcoming classes include:
- Dealer Candidate Academy, starting June 6
- General Dealership Management Academy, starting May 16
- Individual Academy classes (e.g., Financial, Parts, Service and Variable Parts 1 & 2) are also open to department managers, who may attend a week of classes even if they don’t have a student in the Academy program. To learn more, call (800) 557-6232 or visit
• NADA University Webinars and Seminars in May
- Wednesday, May 18, at 12 p.m. CDT, a complimentary Webinar, “One-Price Selling: In Sync with Today’s Auto Purchasers,” presented by Mark Rikess, CEO of The Rikess Group, a leading consulting and training organization for the retail automotive industry. To register, call (800) 557-6232.