Automotive News - September 19, 2016 - Supplement - S5

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT GIVING BACK BUILDS A LEGACY When Hurricane Katrina hit the southern United States in 2005, no community was affected more profoundly than New Orleans, where thousands lost their homes, family members and livelihoods in the storm, the flooding and the aftermath. Eight feet of water engulfed Premier Honda in New Orleans, located less than a mile from the overflowing waters of Lake Ponchartrain. After the waters receded, Premier owner and New Orleans native Troy Duhon opened a relief center at his Honda dealership, offering food and supplies to the many citizens still desperately in need. "I remember that day; our employees were not worrying about their own problems, but focused on serving people. I told my wife, 'This is what it is all about,'" says Duhon. "That is when we started Profit for a Purpose." In the past decade, Premier has expanded beyond Louisiana to California, Indiana, Kansas and Tennessee; the company now operates 22 dealerships. At each store, the company makes Profit for a Purpose a central part of the way it does business. It commits to give $25 for each car sold back to the community-to, as it says, plant seeds through donations to local nonprofit organizations. In New Orleans, Duhon converted an adjoining dealership building into a permanent food pantry with a kitchen. The location provides groceries to those in need, and this year is on track to prepare 180,000 hot meals, most delivered to lower-income assisted-living centers. Duhon went further to found Giving Hope; the nonprofit foundation supports local charities but also works to build orphanages around the world. Premier employees are encouraged to be part of the dealerships' community service. "We want them to realize that selling cars and making profits is important, but there's got to be more. We've got to give a lot of it back," Duhon says. He says the Premier dealerships allow every employee to partic- Premier Honda delivers hot meals daily to assisted-living centers in New Orleans. Troy Duhon ipate in Giving Hope's community service days, three to five days a year when they can volunteer, for instance, in the New Orleans food kitchen cooking or delivering meals. The dealership treats the time as an extra paid vacation day. Vendors are invited to be part of the volunteer experience as well. Premier also partially subsidizes the trip for employees who want to volunteer in locations where Giving Hope is building orphanages-in countries such as Gambia, India and Honduras. Whether volunteering at the food pan- try, delivering hot meals or working on a construction site, "Employees feel that they're part of something bigger than themselves," Duhon says. "They also know that this is an organization that believes in helping people." He says he and Premier don't do these things to sell cars, but because the company wants to do the right thing and to make a difference. But he knows people learn about the Premier community service efforts through local media coverage, as well as the dealerships' social media presence and employees telling their own stories to friends and neighbors. Duhon says his personal motivation has been not only his upfront view of Katrina's devastating effect, but also the journey of his father, a former dealership general manager whose struggles with alcoholism led him to become a preacher. "My daddy realized there was more to life than making money. He taught me the value of doing more," Duhon says. "He told me, 'You can spend your life building wealth, but the real value will be to create a legacy, something that lives past you.' That is what I am trying to do every day." SEPTEMBER 2016 / ally / 5

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Automotive News - September 19, 2016 - Supplement

Automotive News - September 19, 2016 - Supplement - Intro
Automotive News - September 19, 2016 - Supplement - S1
Automotive News - September 19, 2016 - Supplement - S2
Automotive News - September 19, 2016 - Supplement - S3
Automotive News - September 19, 2016 - Supplement - S4
Automotive News - September 19, 2016 - Supplement - S5
Automotive News - September 19, 2016 - Supplement - S6
Automotive News - September 19, 2016 - Supplement - S7
Automotive News - September 19, 2016 - Supplement - S8
Automotive News - September 19, 2016 - Supplement - S9
Automotive News - September 19, 2016 - Supplement - S10
Automotive News - September 19, 2016 - Supplement - S11
Automotive News - September 19, 2016 - Supplement - S12
Automotive News - September 19, 2016 - Supplement - S13
Automotive News - September 19, 2016 - Supplement - S14
Automotive News - September 19, 2016 - Supplement - S15
Automotive News - September 19, 2016 - Supplement - S16
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