WASHINGTON D.C. (MAY 22)- The American International Automobile Dealers Association (AIADA) today proudly announced that Cheri Fleming of Valencia Acura in Valencia, C.A., was named the 2006 Dealer of the Year. Fleming was presented the award by Patrick Hagerty, U.S. Publisher of Newsweek magazine, during a dinner at the American International Automobile Dealers Association's 29th annual Automotive Congress, Monday, May 22, 2006.
"The accomplishments of this year's winner show you do not need to be a mega-dealer to make a difference," said AIADA Chairman Don Hicks, during the Monday evening awards program. "And this candidate definitely has proven this on multiple levels: beginning with the customer and those small personal touches that make shoppers return for second and third purchases; an incredible record of achievement at the manufacturer level; a keen understanding of the importance of the political process for our industry coupled with an active presence in every level of government (local, state, and federal); and truly, a heart of gold for the surrounding community and beyond."
Valencia-based auto dealer Cheri Fleming At Valencia Acura, customer satisfaction is a way of life; customer satisfaction scores, or CSI, are well-above the national average for the dealership. What's more, over 75% of Valencia Acura's business is repeat and referral. Fleming's small, personal touches show a determined focus on the overall customer experience. What's more, Valencia Acura was the first dealership in the state of California to institute American Honda Motors' EXCELL (Exceeding Customers Expectations for Life) program, which it maintains through today.
In her short tenure as a dealer, Fleming has won many accolades from Acura and CSI awards from 2001-2005, including: Acura's Precision Team (2002-2004), Honda's Council of Excellence (2004-2005), "Best New Car Dealership in Santa Clarita" (2003-2005), "Most Community Minded Owners in Santa Clarita" (2003-2005), and Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce "Business of the Year" in the medium-sized category (2001).
Cheri has been an active member in associations important to the industry, such as: NADA, AIADA, and the Santa Clarita Valley Automobile Dealers Association. She has extensive experience in state, local and national fundraising, and has received special certificates of recognition from the City of Santa Clarita (2003-2004), Los Angeles County (2001 & 2004), California's State Senate and Assembly (2002-2004), and the U.S. Congress (2003-2004) for her political involvement.
Her ties to worthy charitable causes are no less extensive. Currently, Cheri is the Vice President At-Large and a Director for the Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Health Foundation, Governor-Elect for the Soroptimist International Camino Real Region, member and Past-President of the Soroptimist International of Santa Clarita Valley, Vice President of Special Events and a Director for the Child and Family Center Foundation, a Director for The Roar Foundation Advisory Board, Chair-Elect and a Director for the American Cancer Society Unit Council and Los Angeles Regional Unit Council, Vice President of the Sheila R. Veloz Breast Imaging Center Advisory Board, Co-Chair of the Boys & Girls Club Auction (2004-2006), and Chair of the Arthritis Foundation Walk.
Cheri also donates to various community organizations, including: United Way, American Red Cross, American Heart Association, The Cowboy Music & Poetry Festival, Master's College, Hart High, Valencia High, Saugus High, Canyon High and other local schools. In recognition of her work with local area schools, she has been named PTA Partner by the Santa Clarita Valley School District for the past three years. This June, Cheri will make good on a capital investment of $100,000 to help build a cardiac-cath lab and new Emergency Room at Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital.
"Every day in communities across America, AIADA Members are making valuable contributions to our nation's economy, creating over 500,000 local jobs, providing consumers with safe, reliable transportation and supporting local community-based organizations," added Hicks. "A permanent fixture of AIADA's annual Automotive Congress, the Dealer of the Year Award is recognized as one of the most prestigious awards bestowed in the area of automotive retailing and has served as a constant symbol of our dealers' commitment to the betterment of communities across the 50 states and the auto industry as a whole."
This is the second year Newsweek has presented the prestigious annual dealer award. As part of their partnership with the Dealer of the Year Awards program, Newsweek will dedicate a special advertising section to America's 11,000 international nameplate auto dealers in an upcoming summer issue. The four-section spread will recognize the community and industry contributions of the Dealer of the Year Award finalists.
Held each May in Washington, D.C., AIADA's Automotive Congress brings together dealers, dealership personnel, industry executives and some of the nation's most prominent elected officials. The event is the largest grassroots lobbying event in the automotive industry.
2006 AIADA 'DEALER OF THE YEAR' AWARD RECIPIENT:
Cheri Fleming – Owner, Valencia Acura
2006 AIADA 'DEALER OF THE YEAR AWARD' FINALISTS:
Currie and Nelson Andrews (Father/Son) – President and Owner, Andrews Cadillac and Land Rover Nashville
Bruce Bendell – President/CEO, Major Motors
Long Island City, NY
Doug Callahan – Owner, Helms Bros.
Ed Corley – President, Corley Automotive Group
Cheri Fleming – Owner, Valencia Acura
Robert Grappone – President, Grappone Automotive Group
Abraham Lincoln Morehead – President, Morehead Honda
Miles Schnaer – Owner, Crown Automotive Organization
Mike Shaw – President/Owner, Mike Shaw Automotive Group
Clarence "Bud" Smail – President, Smail Auto Group