Ford Motor Company is honoring six dealers from around the globe for their dedication to their communities with a 2022 Salute to Dealers Award. The Salute to Dealers Award recognizes and honors Dealer Principals who have made an extraordinary commitment of their time and resources in 2021 to help improve the lives of others by providing support for countless meaningful causes.
Salute To Dealers
Now in its 22nd year, Salute To Dealers was founded by Edsel B. Ford II and is championed by Henry Ford III. “I am honored to recognize our dealers for all they do to support communities across the globe every day. They have made such a positive impact on our world and made it a better place while doing so,” Ford said.
This year, 60 nominated Dealers from around the globe were up for the award. A panel of judges narrowed the list down to six Honorees, based on the Dealer’s individual activities, length of participation and personal motivation. Watch Ford's video tribute highlighting each honoree here.
Once again this year, Ford Motor Company Fund is donating $10,000, in each Honoree’s name, to a charity of their choice. Honorees also received an exclusive painted portrait featuring a montage of their philanthropic efforts and involvement in their communities. Copies of the portraits will be on display in the lobby of Ford’s World Headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan for year-round viewing.
CarPro Ford Dealer Bess R. Wills-Avila from Gresham Ford in Portland, Oregon is among the honorees.
Bess Wills-Avila has a passion for the well-being of her community and local non-profit organizations, giving freely of her time and resources to a myriad of causes. She is personally involved in countless activities, touching education, health, safety, and other areas of critical importance to her community.
Numerous local schools, as well as the Gresham Barlow Education Foundation, have directly benefited from her support. She has been instrumental, along with other local businesses, in an annual Fill-A-Bag food drive for SnowCap Community Charities, a local non-profit organization created to provide food, clothing and advocacy to those in need. In addition to providing donations of food and funds, she has helped raise awareness of hunger and its effects in the community, showing that businesses can make a difference when they work together.
Bess is also an avid supporter of Gresham’s first responders, and an advocate of My Father’s House where homeless families are not separated. Through her dealership’s “Contribute to the Community”
initiative, she donates a percentage of each customer’s service bill, and a fixed amount per vehicle sale, upon request, to the charity of the customer’s choice. Extremely active in the local Chamber of Commerce, Bess produces an annual Christmas Charity Breakfast where she writes a script, performs the skit, and pays for the actors’ costumes, with all proceeds going to a local charity.
Bess Wills-Avila’s kindness, generosity, and willingness to give of her time, ideas and resources make her an extraordinary asset to the Gresham community and an exemplary example for others.
Photo credit: Ford.