Northwood University will honor five automobile dealers from across the United States, including two from Michigan, with its annual Dealer Education Award during the National Automotive Dealers Association convention next month in Las Vegas.
Since 1972, Northwood has recognized owners and dealer principals in the automotive marketing field who have made noteworthy, individual contributions to public or private education inside or outside of the industry. Honorees include:
- Edward Siemans, president, Siemans Ford and Siemans Imports, Bridgman.
- Sam Slaughter, owner and chief operating officer, Sellers Buick GMC, Farmington Hills.
- Timothy M. Crenwelge, dealer principal, Crenwelge Motors, Kerrville, Texas.
- Christopher L. Gaunce, vice president, Central Maine Motors Auto Group, Waterville, Maine.
- Ralph L. Mastantuono, executive vice president and general manager, Mercedes Benz of Alexandria, Alexandria, Va.
Siemans’ strong belief in supporting education is witnessed through the variety of organizations with which he and his dealership are continuously involved. While some organizations are national, he prefers to support those programs and organizations that truly impact and benefit the local community.
Siemans is an advocate and supporter for the Blossomtime Festival, Gateway Services, Lory’s Place, Lakeshore Excellence Foundation, Five Pines Ministries and the Lake Michigan College Foundation’s Winner’s Circle Benefit Auction.
He is an active member of the Michigan Automobile Dealers Association, serving as a director and Group II chairman for the organization. With more than 60 years of automotive experience, Siemans runs the dealership alongside his three sons.
Slaughter is one of the most active and community-minded automobile dealers in southeast Michigan. He has created a culture of community support and involvement throughout his dealerships. Through his leadership, he and his employees support many organizations throughout the metro Detroit area, including the Special Olympics Plunge and the Tom “Killer” Kowalski Foundation. As president of the Farmington/Farmington Hills Foundation for Youth and Family, Slaughter transforms his dealership for one night a year into a beautiful hall, hosting the Annual Winter Gala to support youth in the local area.
Slaughter led an effort by the Detroit Auto Dealers Association to participate in the inaugural Covenant House Michigan’s “Executive Sleep Out” on one of Detroit’s coldest nights last November to raise funds for those in need. He also serves on numerous committees and boards, including the Huron Valley Educational Foundation and Leader Dogs for the Blind.
The awards will be presented at a special breakfast on April 2 in the Champagne Ballroom at Paris Las Vegas. Breakfast attendees will include students, alumni and friends of the university. The university will host more than 30 students enrolled in its Automotive Marketing and Management degree program at the convention. Several of these students will be involved in the awards presentation ceremony.