May 2, 2018
2018 Cornerstone Partner: Charlie's Family of Dealerships
When customers purchase a vehicle at Charlie’s Family of Dealerships, it is with the understanding that they are joining the Charlie’s family—where customer care is the number-one priority. This sense of support extends to the community as well, with Charlie’s being the largest supporter of United Way of Kennebec Valley’s (UWKV’s) annual campaign.
What began as a single-franchise Subaru dealership with 17 employees more than 30 years ago has morphed into the Shuman family’s ownership of eight franchises and nine buildings across Augusta and Winthrop, employing over 240 staff as part of the largest new-car dealer group in the state.
Through a corporate gift and employee donations, Charlie’s has pledged to contribute a total of $171,336 in 2018—an all-time high for any business supporting UWKV’s campaign. This contribution establishes Charlie’s as the leader among United Way’s 12 Cornerstone Partners, which collectively make up more than 53 percent of UWKV’s annual campaign.
United Way has been fortunate to build a 30-year partnership with Charlie’s Family of Dealerships and the Shuman family. Charlie’s son, Stephen, and daughter, Elissa Emmons, hold key leadership positions and are driving the company into the future.
The company’s culture of giving leads 100 percent of employees to elect to contribute to United Way through payroll deductions.
"We've built a culture at all of our stores. All of our employees realize the importance of giving back to the communities that have made Charlie's the success it is today,” said Steve, vice president and general manager of Charlie’s Motor Mall - Toyota, Jeep, Nissan and Subaru. “The United Way helps out so many great causes and people in need.”
The dealership is involved in every facet of United Way, from ensuring the ongoing success of the Augusta Community Warming Center, to Charlie and his wife Nancy’s leadership of the Alexis de Tocqueville Society for high-level donors, to Steve’s position as chair of UWKV’s Annual Golf Scramble. Nancy has also been a longtime friend of United Way in her own right, supporting every UWKV program initiative and making regular in-kind donations throughout the year.
Charlie’s has been giving back to the community since the company first turned a profit in the 1980s. Beyond United Way, Charlie’s Family of Dealerships forms strong partnerships with other area nonprofits to improve the well-being of Kennebec Valley people and the economic vitality of the region. The Shuman family estimates the business has donated more than $2 million to local charities, including the Kennebec Valley Humane Society, Augusta Food Bank, Winthrop Food Pantry, Maine Breast Cancer Coalition and numerous others. The family has also pledged a five-year commitment to support MaineGeneral Health and the hospital’s Alfond Center for Cancer Care.
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