2 time winner
Owner: Virginia "Jenny" Frieze Location: O'Fallon, Ill. Store size: 33,000 sq. ft. Vehicle brands: Harley-Davidson URL: www.freizeharley-davidson.com
The owner of this Dealernews February 2009 cover dealership has latched onto the green building movement by creating the only Harley-Davidson dealership in the country to get a gold-level LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating from the U.S. Green Building Council. The most obvious sign of these eco-leanings is the wind turbine spinning outside the clean, modern structure. This turbine produces about 10 percent of the store's power and is displayed on all the dealership's billboards and mailings. Other earth-friendly features include bamboo flooring, a waste-oil-burning heating system, a naturally lit showroom and a high tech lighting control system. But Frieze is more than nature-friendly.
To ensure that employees are knowledgeable, each new hire is teamed up with his or her department manager as a mentor. Employees are also required to attend Harley-Davidson University to stay current on the OEM's products. Once an employee is efficient enough to work alone, he or she starts to receive a commission on products sold. Staff parties, bonfires at the GM's house, and employee Christmas parties are also held to keep morale high and employees motivated.
The dealership keeps a strong presence in the community, and in 2008 held its 13th annual cancer benefit ride. The media campaign included two weeks of radio spots, detailed information on the store's Web site, the mailing of more than 10,000 fliers and an e-mail blast to more than 2,300 people. All of this resulted in more than 850 participants raising $29,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Each month also brings more interaction with the community. In April 2008, the store held a senior day at a local assisted-living facility and gave rides to the residents in H-D sidecars. Residents later received framed pictures of themselves in the hack. Given its green nature, the dealership is also a drop-off spot for such recyclable items as cell phones, household batteries, and ink and toner cartridges. The facility is also open to tours and field trips to local groups such as the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.