Support NH Food Bank and Ford Focus on Child Hunger

Sarah Britton Community, Ford Leave a Comment

Bow, N.H. – The Ford Motor Company Fund and Grappone Ford, together with the New Hampshire Food Bank and Boys and Girls Clubs of Central New Hampshire, kicked off its first Ford “Focus on Child Hunger” New Hampshire Peanut Butter Drive today during a special launch event at Grappone Ford in Bow. Over the next four weeks, the New Hampshire Food Bank, a program of Catholic Charities New Hampshire, is encouraging the public and businesses to fill a Ford F-150 pickup truck with peanut butter at Grappone Ford in Bow, or to donate online at https://www.nhfoodbank.org/ford-child-hunger-pb-drive/.

“This is an exciting and timely opportunity for the New Hampshire Food Bank, as summer can be a difficult time of year for many of the children and families we serve through our network of more than 425 partner agencies,” said Eileen Liponis, executive director of the New Hampshire Food Bank. “Many children and families rely on free-and-reduced school meals during the school year, and without that option in the summer, it can be challenging to ensure children get the nutrition they need. Peanut butter is a terrific source of protein that children enjoy. We are tremendously grateful to the Ford Motor Company Fund for bringing this effort to New Hampshire.”

“When kids struggle with hunger, they struggle to learn,” said Marc Rogowski, Ford Motor Company’s New England Regional Manager. “The Ford Fund’s global mission of strengthening communities and improving lives extends to New Hampshire during the Ford Peanut Butter Drive as we continue to invest more than $12 million in New England for hunger relief, education, and veteran’s initiatives.”

The Ford Motor Company Fund has been fighting hunger with its national peanut butter drive, generating more than 180,000 pounds of peanut butter, which equates to more than 2.5 million high-protein, kid-friendly sandwiches. In 2015, the Fund committed $2 million over five years to address hunger insecurity, working with Feeding America food banks in New England. The Fund is also a proud partner of the Red Sox Foundation, helping to fund college scholarships to New England and New Hampshire students who demonstrate leadership through participating in community service programs, such as the Peanut Butter Drive.

The New Hampshire Peanut Butter Drive stands to make a major impact in the Granite State, where more than one in nine residents are food insecure, meaning they do not know where their next meal is coming from.

The 2018 national Ford Peanut Butter Drive launched last month and will continue throughout New England this summer.

Support from the Peanut Butter Drive is essential as the need continues to grow in New Hampshire. The New Hampshire Food Bank, which receives no state or federal funding for food distribution, delivers nutritious food to more than 425 partner agencies statewide, including food pantries, soup kitchens, afterschool programs, senior centers and other nonprofit feeding programs. During 2017, the New Hampshire Food Bank distributed 13.7 million pounds of food to its partners. This year, due to the growing demand, the New Hampshire Food Bank expects to distribute more than 14 million pounds of food

About Ford Motor Company Fund
Ford Motor Company Fund is the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company. Established in 1949, Ford Fund invests in transformational programs that advance innovation, empower people, promote social mobility and improve community prosperity. Ford Fund works with local and global partners to create opportunities in education, encourage safe driving, enlist employee volunteers and enrich community life. Ford Fund’s signature programs include Ford Blue Oval Scholars, Ford College Community Challenge, Ford Driving Dreams, Ford Driving Skills for Life, Ford Next Generation Learning and the Ford Volunteer Corps. For more information, visit http://community.ford.com, or join us on Facebook @FordFund and Twitter @FordFund

About the New Hampshire Food Bank
The New Hampshire Food Bank, a program of Catholic Charities New Hampshire, has been working to relieve hunger in the Granite State since 1984.  The New Hampshire Food Bank receives no federal or state funding for food distribution.  In 2017, as the state’s only Food Bank, the New Hampshire Food Bank efficiently procured and distributed 13.7 million pounds of food to people in need through more than 425 non-profit registered agencies. Agencies include food pantries, neighborhood centers, low-income housing sites, senior nutrition centers, family crisis centers, hospices, soup kitchens, emergency shelters, after school programs, and day care centers. For more information about the New Hampshire Food Bank, please visit www.nhfoodbank.org. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

For more information and to donate, visit www.nhfoodbank.org.

 

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Leadership Grappone 2018: Session 3

Sarah Britton Leadership Grappone Leave a Comment

Session 3 at Shaker Village in Canterbury was a truly special day. Not just because Shaker Village is a wonderful place to draw inspiration from, but it was a day that allowed us to get back to a lot of variables that made our overnight such a great experience; time together, team building and time to reflect on what we are learning from each other and the new concepts we are being presented with to be better presenters and future leaders.

Since we were to meet up with Amanda at Shaker Village, we went over our homework on the ride over to save some time. We arrived to Amanda greeting us in a country-style grand entrance that I don’t think she intended but was a great opener for Shaker Village! We settled into the Visitor Center to talk about the agenda for the day and loaded up on bug spay and sun block. By the way, thank you Laura as I had no idea SPF 100 existed until then.

David Lamb greeted us soon thereafter and joined us on our tour with Bill, our funny and very knowledgeable guide for the morning. He led us through the village on a perfect sunny day and did a great job of painting a picture of the past.  He explained what the first settlers hoped to accomplish here, free from religious persecution after leaving England, and more specifically The Shakers that settled into this area and flourished because of their foundation of religion and community.

David was very eager to point out The Shakers’ incredible building skills and general attention to detail as well as their drive to refine processes and technology to make their lives better.  As the tour ended, we thanked Bill for his time and made our way back to the vans and on to David’s amazing workshop!  The man is truly the salt of the earth, proud of his ability but knows it’s not so much a gift of natural talent but the hard work and dedication required to get where he is today. While explaining his craft, David laced in some perspective on leadership, awareness of community as well as the importance of caring about the relationship we have with our environment and the people that live there. We finished up with a self tour of his shop and some chit chat. He thanked us for stopping by and off we went back to the Visitors Center for some lunch and to each create an artistic vision of what we felt represents leadership.

After lunch we were off to do some exploring of the grounds on our own, have some reflection, and journal answers to questions listed on our agenda. I really appreciated this time as I’m sure everyone else did. Slowing down for a little while is a blessing in disguise for everyone’s busy lives. We had agreed to meet at the Welcome Center at 2PM to share reflection questions with each other.  We also tried out some opera skills with Tom Dunn and Will Ogmundson who were a lot of fun.  They provided us with laughs in the process of writing a short opera on our own and then we all worked with them to write some musical opera and explore our theatrical ability.  Some of us were more gifted then others as far as signing….nice work Amanda and Greg. Regardless, everyone was 100% involved in the process and the finished result was hilarious and overall another great opportunity to get out of our comfort zones.

We finished up the day by sharing our answers to the questions.  What is one thing that prevents me from being a more effective leader at home and work? Why did I choose that one thing, and not something else? What is one thing I can do to begin to address this area of my life? I think in the short time we have spent together, sharing seems to be becoming a lot easier for people. A safe place if you will. Safe to share our hopes, dreams and struggles with balancing work, life, family in the pursuit of our own personal growth.

Author: James Cortez, Toyota Parts Department, Leadership Class of 2018

5 Ways Grappone Will Save You Time This Memorial Day

Sarah Britton The Grappone Express Way Leave a Comment

1. View all our new and pre-owned inventory online

Compare all models, trim levels, and availability from your smart device. Have questions? No problem! Our concierge team is here to help you through every step of the online process. Now, you can spend time on the things you’d rather be doing…like going out for ice cream with the family in your new Grappone vehicle. 

2. Get low, upfront pricing instantly

With so much to do over the holiday weekend, we want to help by saving you time. Here at Grappone, our dedicated pricing team does all the research for you to ensure our pricing is competitive. Now, you have the extra time for the things you want to do…like getting that landscaping done…finally.

3. Evaluate your trade using your smart device

We have innovative software that gives you a firm offer on your trade using photos captured on your smart device. What’s more, you can factor your trade value into the purchase form and see exactly how it will affect payments on your new vehicle. This simple process saves you a boat load of time. So go ahead, take a nice cruise on the lake.

4. Review ways to protect your investment

We understand that your vehicle is more than just four wheels that get you from point A to point B. The Grappone Express Way is a huge time saver because the service informs you on the protection plans that are available. Like pre-paid maintenance for instance, which will really save you time down the road. There’s no need to leave the family BBQ for a trip to the dealership to go over your options anymore.

5. Secure financing

The Grappone Express Way allows for you to secure financing simply and easily from the comfort of your home, office, or local beach, without ever having to visit the dealership. Here’s how it works: We’ll bring the vehicle to you, then you take it out for a test drive, and once you’ve fallen in love with the exact vehicle that meets your needs, we’ll have the paperwork ready to sign! It really is that easy and allows you to take a trip to the beach, worry free.

Leadership Grappone 2018: Session 2

Sarah Britton Leadership Grappone Leave a Comment

If you live in New Hampshire, you’ve probably heard of the Grappones. More than likely, you’ve heard Amanda’s voice on the radio. You probably know that we are a car dealership, and you may or may not know that we do business quite differently than the typical dealership. Something you likely don’t know, however, is our mission statement.

The mission of Grappone Automotive is dedication to building lifelong relationships with our team members, guests and community by serving with integrity, kindness and respect.

Did you notice something different? Grappone is dedicated to building lifelong relationships – with our team members FIRST. I know what you’re thinking, “shouldn’t you be more worried about your customers?” First of all, I will correct you and tell you that while our GUESTS are very important, the real value comes from a healthy and happy team. I was always told that this was intentional, and it is definitely true. However, I have never experienced it more than now, while being a part of Leadership Grappone.

Leadership Grappone is a fantastic program that has been in Amanda’s brain for a long time. It is now happening, and it is more than I could have ever expected. I figured I’d be learning some skills on how to boss people around (kidding), maybe have some brainstorming sessions with the group, you know, “leadership” stuff. In the two sessions we have had, I have learned more about myself, my peers, and New Hampshire than I would have ever expected.

I am a part of a group of ten individuals from all different departments and dealerships at Grappone. We have representation from our Parts Department, Sales Department, Corporate, and even a Master Technician. People that, while all hired at Grappone, may not always interact. Heck, I’ve been at Grappone almost five years, and I hadn’t even met one of my group mates! We are all on board with the same mindset – to learn and develop ourselves to take Grappone to the next level of excellence.

My people! (Just missing Mark and Amanda) Back row (l to r): Greg Scarfo, Laura Bullek, James Cortez, Jim Snedeker, Adam Berthiaume and Doug Poole. Front row (l to r): Leah Lister, Stevenna Pisapia, Rachel Brown and Jenn Spinney. Missing: Mark Brown, Director of Sales; and Amanda Grappone, Fourth Generation Family Member and Steward.

We have traveled to Portsmouth and toured Strawberry Banke, (which is WAY better going as an adult rather than as a third grader on the obligatory field trip). We have visited our State House and toured downtown Concord, and have been lucky enough to meet and speak with some amazing people from all different parts of New Hampshire. We are more aware of our community, and we are working together to develop a community project. We have also had the opportunity to reflect on ourselves and each other.

I feel that this program is one of the best things that Amanda could ever do for this company. I know she believes and lives our mission statement, and this is concrete proof. She cares about our personal and professional development, and this program solidifies that. So, at the end of the day, when you hear Amanda’s voice on the radio, remember she’s got a great group of leaders behind her to support and develop each other, as well as our team!

Author: Rachel Brown, Sales Training Specialist, Leadership Grappone Class of 2018

6 Inexpensive Gifts for Mom

Sarah Britton Fun Facts, Grappone Leave a Comment

1. Vacuum Mom’s car while she gets to sleep in.

Vacuum Mom’s car while she gets a little extra sleep this Mother’s Day. Simple ways to ‘Wow!’ Mom with an interior cleaning can be washing her windows, cleaning the dashboard, and vacuuming the inside. Don’t forget to shake out the floor mats too! If you’re crunched for time, give our service department a call to schedule a reconditioning appointment at 800-528-8993 or visit grapponetoyota.com/service

 

2. Wash the exterior, tires and wheels.

For all the baths Mom gave you…she is sure to appreciate you taking the time to wash her car. Make sure to clean her tires and wheels, since they are the part of the vehicle that touches the road most- hence dirt, brake dust, and grime from grease. Make Mom smile this Mother’s Day with a shiny, clean vehicle.

3. Replace windshield wipers.

Keep Mom safe with this simple and inexpensive gesture. Did you know that wiper blades should be replaced every six months to a year? When the rubber on the blades wears down it can reduce visibility for the driver. Grappone Ford currently has a Buy One Get One Half Off wiper specials going on now.

4. Go on an adventure.

If your mom loves hiking, take advantage of the spring time weather to hike some of New Hampshire’s best peaks. Load up the car with Mom’s favorite snacks and head to her favorite spot. Visit www.nhstateparks.org/Activities/hiking/ for destination spots! What Grappone vehicle will you take to the trail head?

5. Trunk Trays are a flower’s best friend.

 

Bring Mom to a local nursery and help her favorite flowers get home to the garden. Trunk trays are perfect for transporting flowers…without the mess. Plus, it’s a gift she will enjoy for many Mother’s Days to come!

 

6. Schedule an oil change.

 

Help Mom with her busy schedule by making her next oil change appointment at Grappone. The importance of an oil change is to keep the engine clean and we all know Mom likes to keep things clean. Overtime, oil breaks down into sludge, which can cause damage. Clean engines equal a longer life for the vehicle. We have some great service specials going on now at Grappone Mazda, check out grapponemazda.com/service-specials.

 

Leadership Grappone 2018: Session 1

Sarah Britton Leadership Grappone Leave a Comment

In March, the Leadership Grappone class embarked on a yearlong journey to explore their own leadership potential, learn more about the company, and discover what makes the state of NH such a special place to live, work and play. We asked one of the class participants, Jim Snedeker, Asst. Office Manager, to walk us through what happened during the group’s first class.

“Ever since I began working at Grappone, I have sought after opportunities that take a more active role in the ongoing development of the company as we continue to (re)define who and what we are. I have also participated in any offerings that would aid in my own personal development. The purpose behind the Leadership Grappone (LG) class seemed to be the perfect answer as to how I could do both simultaneously!

This group will allow each participant to be an integral part of the evolution of our company as we strive to better understand ourselves. While we may have similar aspirations, we each bring our own unique experiences and style to the table. The common goal being to put it all together, dive in and explore, in order to learn valuable lessons and come away stronger and more driven than we began.

During our first “meeting” (actually an overnight retreat with the entire LG group) we jumped right into the thick of it and had a number of eye-opening and boundary-pushing experiences. To begin with, we visited the NH Public Broadcasting Service (NHPBS) studio where each of us went on camera to record our own “spot” describing what we would like to get out of our time in the LG program. I’ll just say that comfort zones were abruptly exited. After lunch we made our way to Strawberry Banke, in Portsmouth, and sat with Peter Jude Ricciardi. Peter worked as a marketing professional at Disney for 15 years and now owns his own marketing firm here in NH. He shared a number of great stories and provided us with many pieces of sound advice as we continue moving forwards in our lives and careers. Afterward, we were given a private tour of the Strawberry Banke neighborhood to (re)introduce us to a special part of NH. Following our tour, we spent a couple hours as a group exploring and fine-tuning our improv skills… which was hilarious, yet unexpectedly unifying.

In the midst of a snow storm we (eventually) found our overnight home at Alnoba, in Kensington, NH and we settled in for the night. We made dinner as a group and again we were able to spend time talking and strengthening our connection to each other. Morning came fast and after breakfast we took part in a team building exercise that cut to the core of some of us; revealing that each of us is dealing with our own challenges personally and professionally, which only further solidified our bond as a group. Later, we were given an assignment that, once completed, will help shape the manner in which we form and maintain lifelong relationships with our return guests. I think I can safely speak for each member of the LG group when I say that this has been a great experience so far and I very much look forward to our future meetings and the adventures that we will share with each other!”

Author: Jim Snedeker, Asst. Office Manager, Leadership Grappone class of 2018

Team Grappone Fights Youth Homelessness

Sarah Britton Community, Grappone in the Community Leave a Comment

The Child and Family Services (CFS) SleepOut is an annual event to raise local consciousness and funds to help youth homelessness in New Hampshire. The community truly came together to make SleepOut 2018 a major success. A total of $301,463 was raised to support youth homelessness; that’s 121% of their $250,000 goal!

Youth homelessness is not as obvious as one may believe. Kids with backpacks or walking down the street— homelessness could look differently for any child. Some go to school, some have jobs and some are escaping abusive or neglectful homes. Others struggle with trauma, mental illness, or addiction. Some are hungry, cold, and scared; taking desperate measures to survive. Most are flying under the radar of their own communities.

Child and Family Services has an array of services for young people experiencing homelessness. The CFS Street Outreach Team offers the basics to survive and resources to succeed. Runaway & Homeless Youth Program is another service, which provides crisis intervention, along with a Youth Resource Center where young people can access basic needs such as food, clothes, showers, laundry. What’s more, is they provide mental health counseling, substance misuse treatment, educational advocacy, and job skills training, which are life changing services. Their Transitional Living Program provides housing and support services as they advance toward independence and success.

Team Grappone played an active role in SleepOut 2018. Participants include Amanda Osmer, 4th Generation Steward, Scott Martin, Toyota Service Support Team Leader, and James Cortez, Toyota Parts Counter Representative. The Team slept out during the event in downtown Manchester on Friday, March 23rd from 9 pm to 5 am, in an effort to raise money and awareness. There were 125 community members on Friday night sleeping in the cold on tarps under a tent. Special guest Sleepers included Governor Sununu and Mayor Joyce Craig. The Grappone Team raised $2,530! Scott and James presented Child and Family Services with a total of $500 dollars donated through the Grappone in the Community program, on their behalf. Thanks for making a difference in your community Team Grappone!

Team Snowspeeder Completes the 2018 Junior Iditarod

Sarah Britton Community, Grappone in the Community Leave a Comment

Team Snowspeeder is the Lakes Region Sled Dog team from New Hampshire, which is lead by Lara Renner who is 15 years old. Lara followed her dreams for competing in the Junior Iditarod in Alaska this past weekend, February 24-25, 2018.

Lara and Team Snowspeeder have been rigorously training for this competition for years. Lara’s hard work, dedication, and lifelong passion for Siberian Huskies have led her to this monumental race. She started mushing when she was 10 years old and says “My passion for mushing only grew when I learned more about the Iditarod and the Yukon Quest and the bond between mushers and their dogs that only comes through training and racing a dog team.” You can read her full biography on the Junior Iditarod website at jriditarod.com. Lara is coached by her father, Steve Renner, who shares Lara’s interest for mushing and provides his unconditional dedication and support.

Cost estimates from Alaska Airlines to fly their gear and dogs from Boston were $16,000, which did not include Lara and her father Steve’s travel expenses. Therefore, it was apparent that the Team would need to drive from Alton, NH to Wasilla, AK in order to participate in the 2018 Junior Iditarod. Team Snowspeeder purchased a 2017 Ford F-250 from Ruth Stephenson this Fall. Grappone Automotive Group was happy to provide a sponsorship discount to assist with getting the Team, dogs, and gear to Alaska safely.

Larry Haynes, President and CEO of Grappone Automotive Group, shared his wishes for Team Snowspeeder before the race, “Please know how impressed I am with you and what you are trying to accomplish. Stay safe, good luck and please give each of your teammates a hug from Team Grappone.” Many team members followed Lara’s progress using the GPS tracker on the Junior Iditarod website, in addition to frequent updates through internal emails and Facebook.

Team Snowspeeder finished the race strong in 8th place. The Team averaged a speed of 9.5+ mph and held a steady pace throughout the competition. We are very proud of Lara and Team Snowspeeder. We look forward to watching her career grow in the years to come.

 

Grappone in the Community- Salvation Army

Sarah Britton Community, Grappone in the Community, Uncategorized Leave a Comment

Thirty-seven team members from Grappone Automotive Group volunteered at the Salvation Army in Concord, NH, during the Christmas season. Team members sorted, packed and delivered toys and clothing for children in need. At the end of two weeks of volunteering, Joe Dubois, Grappone Senior Team Leader, presented the Salvation Army with a $500 donation from Grappone in the Community, on behalf of all Grappone volunteers.

The Salvation Army’s mission each year is to distribute toys and clothing as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community. They served over 800 children in the local community this holiday season. The goal is to spread hope to less fortunate youngsters that will assist them in becoming responsible, productive and patriotic citizens. Their primary objective is to unite all members of the local communities in a common cause each year and to contribute to better communities in the future. The Salvation Army mission is very similar to our mission statement here at Grappone Automotive Group. “We are dedicated to building lifelong relationships with our team members, guests and community by serving with integrity, kindness and respect.”That being said, what a perfect opportunity this was for our team members to serve their community here in Concord, NH, and spread kindness during the holiday season.

Grappone in the Community- Child and Family Services of NH

Sarah Britton Grappone in the Community Leave a Comment

Marc Catino, Grappone Guest Experience Coordinator, volunteered for Child and Family Services of NH on Thursday, December 7, 2017. Child and Family Services is a non-profit that works to advance the well-being of children and families through many social services.

Grappone in the Community is an employee volunteer program that allows team members to spend a day volunteering at a not-for-profit organization of their choosing. It is our hope that by engaging our staff in volunteerism that they will have a chance to share their skills and talents with our community while experiencing the true joy of charitable giving.

Marc was excited to share his time and talent with Child and Family Services. This is what he had to say about his experience volunteering; “Thank you for helping me volunteer at the Child and Family Services’ Christmas Is for Kids Telethon. I had decided that I was going to volunteer my time to Child and Family Services because of the work they did in helping my son find my wife and I, his forever family, after spending more than three years in a dozen different foster homes. At the telethon, I fielded more than thirty calls from people who were willing to open their hearts (and wallets) to help Child and Family Services provide underprivileged families with the means to have a great Christmas.”

At the end of his day of volunteering, Marc presented his chosen non-profit with a $250 donation, made on his behalf, through Grappone in the Community program. Thanks for volunteering Marc!