SOMERSET, Ky. (Jan. 30, 2012) – In recognition of his outstanding corporate citizenship and contributions to the community, Alton E. Blakley, Jr. has earned the Salute to Dealers award from Ford Motor Company. Blakley is one of three North American dealers receiving the twelfth annual tribute at a ceremony held February 3 at the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Convention in Las Vegas. Honorees were selected from among more than 3,000 Ford and Lincoln dealers across the United States and Canada for exhibiting unparalleled dedication to their communities.
“In an economically challenged rural community in Kentucky, Alton E. Blakley, Jr. gives to better the opportunities for the people who live in Somerset, Ky., and the surrounding counties,” remarked Greg Wood, Cincinnati parts, service and sales regional manager. “Al Blakley’s support is overwhelming with sincere generosity and unselfish time volunteered.”
The list of Blakley’s community involvement is extensive in scope, but his major focus has been on improving the lives and quality of life for Somerset-area residents. Growing up in the Somerset community, many of the children Blakley played with did not have the same opportunities or financial stability that he had. Blakley decided at that point, that if given the opportunity, he would do his best to make a difference.
Blakley’s efforts are demonstrated through his time and monetary investments, including financial support to the Pulaski County and Somerset Independent school districts, as well as through his work with the school to ensure their needs are met. Blakley has also served as General Campaign Co-Chair for the Partners in Progress Campaign for Somerset Community College. In addition, Blakley has served as a mentor through the Kid’s Hope Mentoring program and volunteered for the Kentucky Baptist Homes for Children organization.
Blakley has been recognized for his work by local, state and national entities. For example, the Kentucky United Way has awarded Blakley with their Outstanding Volunteer award. Blakley has also been the recipient of the Somerset-Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce Business Person of the Year award and the Distinguished Community Service Award. He has also received the the Rotary Club of Somerset’s Rotarian of the Year award.
“It is an honor to receive the Salute to Dealers award from Ford Motor Company,” said Blakley. “But the true reward is seeing how these efforts are helping the people of my hometown Somerset.”
An Important Ford Motor Company Tradition
Salute to Dealers is conducted under the guidance of Edsel B. Ford II, a member of Ford’s Board of Directors. The program was launched in 2001 to demonstrate the company’s commitment to its thousands of dealer principals who step beyond their showroom doors to make a difference where they live and work.
Edsel B. Ford II and three other judges selected winners from a total global field of 100 nominees located the U.S., Canada, Brazil, Europe, Mexico and Asia based on community service activities, length of participation and personal motivation.
A painted portrait of each honoree will have a montage of philanthropic and volunteer activities that led to the award. Duplicates of the portraits will join a Salute to Dealers display in the lobby of Ford’s World Headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan for year-round viewing.