Chicago Automobile Trade Association
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CATA Bulletin
June 16, 2008


5 newcomers among 6 elected to CATA board of directors

November 16, 2010

518 participate in annual outing

Inclement skies and soggy greens greeted 432 golfers on June 9 to Cog Hill Golf and Country Club in Lemont, where the players gathered as part of the 2008 CATA annual outing.

And 36 CATA allied members that sponsored the event (see Page 4 of the print edition of this newsletter) helped add a festivity to the proceedings.

That night at the dinner, results of this month’s balloting for the CATA board of directors showed a lone incumbent and five newcomers won election to three-year terms. Steve Foley Jr., the board secretary, was elected to his third and final term.

Other election winners were Ed Burke (Naperville Jeep-Dodge-Hummer), Tom Gollinger (Woodfield Chevrolet-Hummer), Dan Marks (Libertyville Lincoln-Mercury), Mike McGrath Jr. (McGrath Acura, Honda, Hyundai, Lexus), and Colin Wickstrom (Wickstrom Ford-Lincoln-Mercury).

Mark Scarpelli, whose term as chairman concluded at the outing, spoke about the new Chicagoland Dealers Care campaign, which donates to community causes that CATA dealers support. "We would like to help you fund those acts of good deeds," he said.

The June 9 outing featured several hole contests on the three courses. No one fired a hole-in-one, but other winners—who each collected $250 gift certificates—were:

Course 1
Straightest Drive               Charles Goodrich
Longest Drive                    Ben Neeley, Bill Cranley
Closest to Honor Box         Jim Coakley
Longest Putt                      Geno Kotecki

Course 2
Straightest Drive               Ed Braddock
Longest Drive                    Jason O’Connor, Jay Basney
Closest to Honor Box          Terry Dorch
Longest Putt                      Stan Balzekas

Course 3
Straightest Drive               Jeff Farley
Longest Drive                    Joe Johnson, Mike Mazzuca
Closest to Honor Box         Nicole Peters
Longest Putt                      Steve Salidas


Phelan elected CATA chairman for 2008-2009 board term

November 16, 2010

John Phelan’s fellow directors of the Chicago Automobile Trade Association voted him chairman of the board for the next 12 months, when the directors met June 11 for their monthly meeting.

The new board chairman succeeds Mark Scarpelli, who becomes chairman of the 2009 Chicago Auto Show. Phelan will act as the show’s co-chairman.

Phelan, principal of Jack Phelan Chevrolet in Lyons and Jack Phelan Dodge-Isuzu-Suzuki in Berwyn, leads a board of 18 dealers. Other board officers include Vice Chairman Kevin Mize (O’Hare Honda-Hyundai, Des Plaines); Treasurer Steve Foley Jr. (Steve Foley Cadillac and Rolls-Royce, and Bentley Northbrook); and Mike Ettleson (Ettleson Cadillac-Buick-Pontiac-GMC, Hodgkins; and Ettleson Hyundai, Countryside). Jerry Cizek is association president.

Five directors—Terry D’Arcy, Lee Drabek, John Guido, Bill Jacobs and Arthur Kelly—retired from the board after service since 1999. During their terms, both D’Arcy and Kelly ascended to board chairman.


Dealer alert

November 16, 2010

Addison man allegedly kited checks at 3 dealerships in 3 weeks, but vehicles recovered


Dealers should proceed with caution if they encounter an Addison man who police believe has bounced checks at three area dealerships in recent weeks. The involved vehicles were recovered.

Barrington police filed theft charges against Nicholas Ruffino, who is described as being in his late 30s, about 5 feet 6 inches tall, 300 pounds, and wearing short hair. Ruffino reportedly used his own identity in the dealership encounters.

Police said Ruffino spaced the dealerships he visited by about 40 miles each, first at a Chevrolet dealer in St. Charles, then a Lincoln-Mercury store in Barrington, then a Jaguar retailer in Naperville. The second and third dealers accepted trade-ins obtained from the preceding dealer. Employees at the Jaguar store ultimately sensed a scam because Ruffino wanted to flip his new Navigator so quickly.

Ruffino, said police, made minimum down payments in his attempts to trade up to pricier vehicles.

Ruffino reportedly attended one court hearing for the Barrington police charge, when he said he did not have an attorney. When Ruffino skipped a subsequent court appearance, a Lake County judge issued an arrest warrant.


New CATA charitable arm reaches out to special rec, shelter groups

November 16, 2010

Chicagoland Dealers Care, a new benevolent entity of the Chicago Automobile Trade Association, this month bestowed its first donations to two area nonprofit groups.

The Northern Suburban Special Recreation Association (NSSRA), based in Northbrook; and DuPage PADS (Public Action to Deliver Shelter), located in Wheaton, each were awarded $5,000 checks. Mark Scarpelli, CATA chairman, represented the dealer association for the awards.

Chicagoland Dealers Care was launched this year to highlight the community activism of CATA dealers. Full details are at

The campaign provides up to $5,000 in matching grants for a dealer’s contributions to local charities. Grant requests can be for a variety of causes: academic programs, cultural arts, performing arts, medical research, and even humanitarian needs.

In one presentation, Scarpelli joined Jim Jennings of Jennings Chevrolet in Glenview to benefit the NSSRA. The association provides and facilitates year-round recreation programs and services for children and adults in the northern suburbs with disabilities.

The NSSRA is an intergovernmental partnership of 10 park districts—Deerfield, Glencoe, Glenview, Highland Park, Kenilworth, Lake Bluff, Lake Forest, Northfield, Wilmette and Winnetka—the city of Highwood and the village of Riverwoods.

My wife and I," said Jennings, "have been deeply involved in the NSSRA for years. Like many others, our son has been a beneficiary of their terrific programs.

"When we heard about the Chicagoland Dealers Care matching funds program, it was a natural for us to ask for their support. And we got it."


Helping the homeless

In DuPage County, where the perception is of luxury and abundance, the reality of homelessness is very real. The PADS program provides interim housing to help stabilize the lives of those whose lives are in crisis. Their mission is to provide housing and the support systems needed to get lives back on track.

Joel Weinberger, owner of Continental Audi in Naperville, became involved with the PADS program because of the generosity of others he knew.

"It was really quite amazing," said Weinberger. "My employees pitched in to give me a Christmas gift years ago, and I decided to honor their generosity by contributing the gift to a worthwhile organization.

"After a good search of many great groups, it was the PADS program that really excited me. I matched their gift and soon found out at PADS functions that many of the people I knew were already involved.

"It was a wonderful dynamic that has grown year after year. Chicagoland Dealers Care helps extend those dollars even further, and I find that exciting."

Scarpelli and Weinberger presented the $5,000 check to Carol Simler, executive director of PADS.

Scarpelli said: "Dealers are so deeply involved in the communities in which they do business. It’s gratifying that the CATA has established this program to assist those dealers in extending the good they have done with little or no recognition.


"In times like this, every dollar counte. Every CATA member can be proud of this new initiative."


Time award nominations due July 7

November 16, 2010

New-vehicle dealer principals with financially healthy operations and a concern for the health of their communities are ideal candidates for a prestigious honor presented annually by Time magazine.

Nominations for the 2009 Time Magazine Quality Dealer Award must be received by the CATA by Monday, July 7. Call the CATA’s Erik Higgins for the nomination form, at 630-424-6008.

A committee of the CATA board of directors will review all nominations and submit the name of one CATA candidate for national consideration. Ultimate TMQDA winners are selected by a panel of faculty members from the University of Michigan Graduate School of Business Administration.


Salata putt for $10,000 misses mark

November 16, 2010

Ron Salata was the lone contestant from among 22 semifinalists to qualify for the chance to win $10,000 for sinking a 50-foot putt at the June 9 CATA golf outing.

Alas, Salata’s putt went wide right and long. But Salata, who is an automotive sales manager for the Chicago Tribune, still won a $250 gift certificate for any of the many Lettuce Entertain You restaurants.

The putt contest was one of many special events at the outing, attended by more than 500 golfers and dinner guests.


NADA backs visits with congressmen

November 16, 2010

The National Automobile Dealers Association is encouraging dealers to invite their senators and representatives for informal dealership visits during Congress’s Independence Day recess, June 28-July 7.

Ray Ciccolo, chairman of the NADA Government Relations Committee, said the inaugural Congressional Dealership Days can help familiarize congressmen with the realities of automotive retailing and give dealers an opportunity to build long-lasting relationships with their federal lawmakers.

"This," said Ciccolo, "is an opportunity to educate elected officials about your business, explain your investments in your community, introduce them to your employees, and discuss the challenges of running a successful dealership."

Ciccolo said hosting congressmen is simple and does not require extensive knowledge of the NADA’s public policy positions. "Particularly in an election year," he said, "senators and representatives are eager to visit, as this allows them to meet with a broad cross-section of their constituents."

Nearly all members of the NADA’s Governmental Relations Committee have agreed to participate. For help in hosting a visit, call the NADA legislative office at 800-563-1556.


Thanks, sponsors!

November 16, 2010

Many allied members of the CATA participated June 9 as sponsors of the association’s annual golf outing, to help offset the event’s costs. Please express your thanks to the sponsors and give them your consideration when doing business throughout the year.

Gold Sponsors
Sun-Times News Group
Franczek Sullivan P.C.
Harris N.A.
Protective Life Insurance Company
Aspen Marketing Services
Chicago Tribune
Ford & Harrison LLP
NBC 5 Chicago – Telemundo Chicago
97.1 the Drive & 101.9 the MIX
Chase Auto Finance
Mudd Advertising
The Reynolds and Reynolds Company

Silver Sponsors
Hillstrom Select Marketing Group
Phillip’s Flowers & Gifts
Safety-Kleen Systems, Inc.
S&S Automotive Group

Bronze Sponsors
JM&A Group
The Fairmont Chicago
Manheim Arena Illinois
CBS 2 Chicago
Crowe Chizek and Company, LLC
First Look
GES Exposition Services
Park National Bank
Sentry Insurance Company
Toyota / Lexus Financial Services
Tri-State Chicago Auto Auction
WCPT 820 AM & 9FM

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