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DEALER Magazine, Automotive Youth Educational Systems Announce AYES Dealer of the Year Award

Annual Award to Recognize Auto Dealer Principals for Their Grassroots Efforts To Promote Automotive Technology Careers to Local Students

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Sept. 4 -- DEALER magazine, the number-one read and used magazine for franchised automobile dealers and the Automotive Youth Educational Systems (AYES), a non-profit organization promoting careers in automotive service technology and collision repair, are proud to announce their "Fueling Tomorrow" Dealer of the Year Award.

The first award will be announced by DEALER magazine publisher and editor Mike Roscoe, managing editor Jim Leman, and AYES president and CEO Larry Cummings at the National Automobile Dealers Association convention in Las Vegas, Jan. 31- Feb. 3.

"Auto dealers are some of the most influential business men and women in their communities, and their businesses offer well-paying, safe technical careers for our nation's youth," said Roscoe, publisher and editor of the 22,000-circulation business practices magazine. "By getting personally involved in promoting this message within their communities, dealership owners and their service directors become part of the technician shortage solution. The 'Fueling Tomorrow' award recognizes the dealer who best exemplifies this mission."

AYES is a dynamic partnership among participating automotive manufacturers, participating local dealers, state dealer associations, state departments of education and selected local high schools and technical centers. Its mission is to encourage bright students with a good mechanical aptitude to pursue careers in the ever-changing fields of automotive service technology or collision repair/refinishing, and to prepare them for entry-level positions or challenging academic options. AYES is supported by Audi, BMW, DaimlerChrysler, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, Toyota and Volkswagen, and the National Automobile Dealers Association.

The "Fueling Tomorrow" Dealer of the Year is chosen according to AYES criteria, which is based on that dealer's personal activities that promote technical careers in his or her community. Such activities involve meetings with local educators to talk about auto retailing careers, inviting school tours of the dealership, making internships within the service department available to high school and technical center students interested in an automotive technician career and by providing an open, mentoring environment within the dealership to develop the talent dealerships will require for the future.

"We're asking dealers to be involved in an education partnership in their community. That means actually participating in the education process and getting involved with that age-old concept and principle known as mentoring - something we've never had with technical education in the United States," AYES' Cummings said. "Those dealers who do make a difference deserve recognition."

Nominations for the '04 award are open until Oct. 15. Contact Susan Doherty at AYES at 248-526-1750 or by email for nomination information or to learn more about AYES. Visit the online version of DEALER magazine at .