17th Annual Urban Wheel Awards Announces Dealer of the Year Finalists

The 17th Annual Urban Wheel Awards, the official multicultural event of the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), announces the finalists of the 2013 Dealer of the Year Awards who will be honored on Sunday January 13, 2013 in Detroit, Mich.
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* Lori Lum Toyooka

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Finalists Reflect a High Standard of Excellence in Serving the Auto Industry

The 17th Annual Urban Wheel Awards, the official multicultural event of the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), announces the finalists of the 2013 Dealer of the Year Awards who will be honored on Sunday January 13, 2013 at the Sound Board Theater, MotorCity Casino Hotel in Detroit, Mich. A world class premier networking event and global marketing initiative, the UWA is attended by more than 2,500 guests, including the presidents of the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers (NAMAD), the American International Automobile Dealers Association (AIADA), media, automotive executives, businesses, politicians, celebrities, and community and trade organizations, who come together to promote multicultural consumer awareness of auto manufacturers, vehicles and technology. The event will honor the contributions of women in the automotive industry in management, manufacturing, engineering, design, marketing, human resources and communications, as well as other segments of the industry. Companies who are dedicated to the development and advancement of women in the auto industry will also be recognized.

The finalists of the 2013 Dealer of the Year awards are being honored for demonstrating an unprecedented record of exceptional sales, exemplary service, strong customer relations and an overall commitment to excellence in the automobile industry. Nominees were selected by local and national minority business and trade organizations. The three finalists are:

Gail Burrus Martin — CEO, Martin Management Group, Bowling Green, KY

Lori Lum Toyooka— President and General Manager, Lum's Auto Center, Warrenton, OR

Evelyn Chatel — General Manager and co-owner, Freedom Toyota Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram, Harrisburg, PA

Martin is the CEO of Martin Management Group in Bowling Green, Kentucky. She continues the legacy of Cornelius Martin that began in 1985, along with her three children, Amber, Chadwick and Coleman, as owners of twelve automotive dealerships, two Harley-Davidson dealerships, Martin Management and Co-Mar Aviation. She has served as chairwoman of the Kentucky Foundation for Women Board and was the 2007 recipient of the Sallie Bingham Award in recognition of her outstanding contributions to women and the arts in Kentucky. She has also served on several community and nonprofit boards including: Western Kentucky University Kentucky Museum and Library Council, Capitol Arts Board of Directors, First Chairwoman for Western Kentucky University Women's Studies Fundraising Council, Endowed the Gail Martin Faculty Development and Lecture Series, Miami University Parent's Council, Western Kentucky University Foundation, Kentucky Foundation for Women Board, Friends of Riverview Board of Directors, Hobson House, Wheaton College President's Commission, and the Executive Advisory Council Prevention Partnership Anti-Drug Youth Program.

Chatel is the General Manager and co-owner of Freedom Toyota Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Her career has been marked by significant accomplishments, due to her professional ambition, passion for the automotive business, and genuine caring for her customers and community. In June 2012, she celebrated her 30th year in the auto business. Evelyn's diverse professional experience and her "from-the-heart" giving nature are in perfect concert with Freedom Auto Group's core business philosophy of "people come first!" Since her arrival at Freedom in 2006, Evelyn has been inspired and delighted to play an instrumental role in the success of the company's ongoing philanthropic mission. She has been actively involved in many community based initiatives, including the "Freedom Toyota Cares" and "Cars for the Cause," a DUI/highway safety educational program co-sponsored by Pennsylvania MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers), Freedom Toyota and Toyota Corporation. Most recently, Evelyn and her team donated $40,000 to Central Pennsylvania charities as part of the Freedom Toyota "Giving Thanks" initiative.

Toyooka is the President and General Manager of Lum's Auto Center, a multi-franchise dealership which includes Toyota, Scion, Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge. She began the process of family business succession by working in sales and finance at Lum's Auto Center while attending and graduating from the Chrysler Sons & Daughters Dealer Academy and the National Auto Dealer Association Dealer Academy where she was president of her graduating class. Taking direction from her father, David Lum, Lori has continued the businesses dedication to community support by actively participating in, supporting or creating numerous community events that would either raise awareness or funds for groups or organizations in need. Her business plan is focused on family, community, customer satisfaction and employee satisfaction. As a result, Lum's Auto Center has been awarded the highly regarded "Presidents Award" from Toyota Motor Sales in recognition of overall excellence. Lori is currently on the Board of Directors of the Oregon Automobile Dealers Association as well as on the Astoria Chinese Park Committee.

"Representing the automobile industry through reputable, successful and consumer driven businesses is extremely important to the multicultural market," said Randi Payton, founder of the Urban Wheel Awards. "As the global attention continues to shift toward meeting the needs of women and consumers of color, the Urban Wheel Awards is focused on celebrating women and inclusion in the automotive industry by spotlighting these individuals and their businesses. We are honored to recognize Gail, Evelyn, and Lori and their dealership teams for setting a high standard of excellence in serving the automotive industry."


The 17th Annual Urban Wheel Awards (UWAs) is world-class and the only Official Multicultural Event held in conjunction with the North American International Auto Show. The UWA brings together celebrities, automotive executives, international media, government representatives, and the multicultural community. This year the UWAs honor women in the automotive industry. The evening begins with a vehicle display at 4:00 p.m. followed by the Celebrity Red Carpet at 5:00 p.m., VIP and General receptions start at 5:30 p.m., immediately followed by the awards from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. An afterglow networking reception will conclude the evening. Proceeds from the event support the Emerging Diversity Education Fund, which provides internships, scholarships, and mentoring to students pursuing careers in communications and the auto industry. For more information, please contact Rosiland Triche at: events@decisivemag.com or (301) 850-2858, or visit www.urbanwheelawards.com.
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Tags:Urban.wheel, Gail Martin, Evelyn Chatl, Lori Lum Toyooka
Industry:Automotive, Media
Location:Upper Marlboro - Maryland - United States
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