Special to the Citizen
Hometown auto dealer and businessman Louie Herron knows a thing or two about motivation and the importance of role models in a young person’s life. That’s why he invited teens from the Madison – Morgan Boys & Girls Club to come to his Louie Herron Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram dealership and participate in the Dealer for a Day Teen Mentoring Project on Saturday August 13. The national initiative is sponsored by the Chrysler Minority Dealers Association, Inc., which is the trade association representing ethnic minority owners of Fiat Chrysler Automobile (FCA) franchises throughout the United States. The Boys & Girls Club’s teens experienced meeting and being with a business owner, learning about goal setting and planning for the future, greeting customers, observing the management of employees and delivery of customer service, touring different business departments and learning about a variety of career paths. The U.S. Department of Education and vocational automotive schools provided college preparation and education materials for all of the teens. Ally Financial donated remote controlled toy cars and school supply bags.
The 14 and 16–year–olds from the Madison Morgan Club had great things to say about the program including Ken Williams who commented that the most memorable aspect of the day was how open Herron was about life. Jacarius Robertson said “Mr. Herron’s motivation speech and personal story really opened my eyes as a young male and made me think.” Both Javorius Dumas and Timothy Allen said his advice to “change the way you think in order to achieve your goals” really stuck with them. Sheila Sanders, the Boys and Girls Club event coordinator and administrator with Morgan County High School said she wishes all students had an opportunity to spend the day with business leaders like Herron who give back and motivate youth to reach their potential.
Herron, who overcame many personal and economic obstacles in his life to become one of community’s successful business leaders, enjoyed meeting and talking with the teens. He said “I believe working with the community as a business owner is a must. The law of reciprocity is extremely important to me as well as giving back in many ways. My passion is always young people and the boys and girls club is a tremendous organization.” Lisa Hogan, the Association’s executive director and CEO says “this corporate social responsibility project is important because it allows young people in the dealers’ communities to meet successful minority business owners, learn about opportunities in the automotive industry, and obtain motivation and educational tools to plan for their futures. Because they are very impressed with the young people and staff and are aware of the challenges faced by many families, Herron and the Chrysler Minority Dealers Association announced that they will make a $1,500 donation to the Madison Boys and Girls Club