News-Sun file photo Alan Wildstein speaks to the crowd at the annual banquet for the Greater Sebring Chamber of Commerce scholarship presentations. Wildstein has long been a key part of the program, matching the funds raised by the Chamber.
published: Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Wildstein up for national award
By BARRY FOSTER
SEBRING -- Alan Jay Wildstein has been nominated for a 2013 TIME Dealer of the Year Award. Wildstein, who heads the Alan Jay Automotive Network, was tapped for the honor by Florida Automobile Dealers Association President Ted Smith.
Wildstein was selected as the Florida Automotive Dealer of the Year last month.
The TIME Dealer of the Year is one of the automobile industry's most prestigious and coveted honors. The 44-year-old Wildstein was chosen to represent the Florida Automobile Dealers Association. He is one of 57 auto dealers from 17,000 nationwide to be selected for the honor.
Wildstein's nomination comes during the 20th celebration of the Alan Jay Automotive Network, which started with the purchase of the flagship operation, currently known as the Alan Jay GM superstore in Sebring. The network now involves locations in Highlands, Hardee and Hendry counties.
"Our philosophy is simple," Wildstein said. "Treat customers like family and be a true partner in the community."
In the two decades of business, the company has grown from one location to 10 with future expansion scheduled and ongoing. Through its growth, the company has made a substantial impact on the community through increased employment and the creation of the most sought-after automotive industry related employment opportunity.
At last report there were some 274 people working for the company.
The Alan Jay Automotive Network also is proactive in education through the adoption of Fred Wild Elementary School.
Among other things, the company provides employees to mentor students during the entire year and during the Christmas holidays the company provides a Christmas gift for every student.
The company participates in the Greater Sebring Chamber of Commerce scholarship fund by matching the funds raised by the chamber for a graduating senior to continue his/her education in addition to the "Wheels for A's" program where a high school senior at each of five high schools has a chance to win a vehicle.
Students are provided a ticket for each "A" received during the school year that gives them an opportunity to win the vehicle. That program is underway already this school year. To date, the network has given out 50 cars.
"There are some absolutely touching stories that go with this program," said Alan Jay Operations Manager Randy Leonard.
Additionally, the Alan Jay Automotive network provides sponsorships and donations to youth sports and cultural programs including. The company also provides ongoing sponsorships for seniors for such things as golf, tennis and shuffleboard activities.
Wildstein has been involved with the community by volunteering for the Children's Services Council and Foundation since 1992, working at The United Way "Day of Caring" and sponsoring the Children's Car Seat Safety Program Inspection/replacement program.
His firm also supplies vehicles for the Drivers Education Program at all three county schools and provides transportation and vehicles for the American Red Cross.
In making the announcement, North American Auto Operations Executive Vice President for Ally Financial Tim Russi said, "Auto dealers play such an important role in the strength of local communities."
Wildstein will be presented with the state award formally this coming February at the annual National Automobile Dealers Association Convention & Exposition to be held in Orlando.
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