Northwood to Honor Ten with Dealer Education Awards

Northwood University will honor ten automobile dealers from across the United States and The Netherlands with its annual Dealer Education Awards. The dealers are recognized for their individual contributions and efforts to improve education at all levels.

Since 1972, Northwood has recognized individuals in the automotive marketing field who have made noteworthy contributions to public or private education inside or outside of the industry. The ceremony is held in conjunction with the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) convention to be held this year in New Orleans, LA.

The awards will be presented at a special breakfast at 8 a.m. on Sunday, January 26, 2014, in the Westin New Orleans Canal Place in New Orleans, LA, for students, alumni and friends of the University.

“We have been recognizing outstanding dealers for 43 years and there has never been a time when their contributions have meant more to their communities than they do today,” said Keith A. Pretty, president and CEO of Northwood University. “These leaders have made outstanding sacrifices of time and resources. We are proud of all the Dealer Education Award winners and commend them for their leadership.”

Those being honored are: Thomas J. Cole, general manager/vice president, Cole Chevrolet-Buick-GMC-Cadillac, Bluefield, WV; Frank L. DeLuca, president/owner, DeLuca Toyota, Ocala, FL; Jerry V. Durant, owner/principal, Jerry Durant Auto Group, Weatherford, TX; Bryan M. Gault, president, Wind Gap Chevrolet-Buick, Wind Gap, PA; Scott LaRiche, executive manager/vice president, Lou LaRiche Chevrolet, Plymouth, MI; Frank J. McCarthy, general manager, Sheehy Ford-Nissan-Subaru, Springfield, VA; Brett A. Morgan, dealer principal, Toyota of Tampa Bay, Tampa, FL; Alan J. Wildstein, president, Alan Jay Chevrolet-Buick-GMC-Cadillac, Sebring, FL; Ina Willekes-van Maren, Willekes Ophemert Car Company Ophemert, The Netherlands; Harold Zeigler, chairman, Zeigler Auto Group, Kalamazoo, MI.

Thomas J. Cole

Frank L. DeLuca

Jerry V. Durant

Bryan M. Gault

Scott LaRiche

Frank J. McCarthy

Brett A. Morgan

Alan J. Wildstein

Ina Willekes-van Maren

Harold Zeigler


Northwood University is committed to the most personal attention to prepare students for success in their careers and in their communities; it promotes critical thinking skills, personal effectiveness, and the importance of ethics, individual freedom and responsibility.

Private, nonprofit, and accredited, Northwood University specializes in managerial and entrepreneurial education at three full-service, residential campuses located in southern Florida, mid-Michigan and northern Texas. Adult Degree Programs are available in seven states with many course delivery options including online. The DeVos Graduate School offers accelerated, evening and weekend programming in Michigan, Texas and Florida. The Alden B. Dow Center for Creativity and Enterprise provides system-wide expertise in family enterprise, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, and new business development. International education is offered through study abroad and in Program Centers in China (Changchun and Wuxi), Malaysia and Sri Lanka.