For Mark Scarpelli, ’86, “family” is deeply rooted in the automotive industry. Growing up in his father’s Chevrolet dealership in Antioch, Ill., he learned about the family business early on. He continued to build automotive connections as a student at Northwood, where he met other young people who were as involved and passionate about the industry as he was. One student even became part of his family when he married Julie Scarpelli (Parent), ’87. This year, Scarpelli represents his extended “dealership family” as chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA). In 2017, NADA celebrates 100 years of representing the interests of new car and truck dealers to consumers, automotive manufacturers, legislators, and the media. As the organization’s long-time educational partner, Northwood’s relationship with NADA is vibrant and highly collaborative. Having the first alumnus leading the organization during its centennial anniversary is especially exciting for the Northwood family.
“Mark is a great example of what Northwood alumni do to help strengthen their industries and communities through dedication and involvement. They live the school’s ideals of personal integrity and responsibility every day,” said President Keith Pretty. “We are proud of Mark’s many achievements in his career and look forward to the positive difference he will make in the industry during his year as NADA chairman.”
Scarpelli takes to heart the responsibility of being the voice for 16,500 dealers in the U.S. And he has a personal understanding of their concerns given his career as president of Raymond Chevrolet and Raymond Kia in Antioch and co-owner of Ray Chevrolet in Fox Lake, Ill.
“Being the NADA chairman is the honor of a lifetime. I speak for dealership professionals who live and breathe their businesses. They have a strong entrepreneurial spirit that creates jobs and builds local economies. And they are the bedrocks of their communities.”
Leading a New NADA Initiative
Scarpelli has never been one to sit on the sidelines. He likes to be involved and active, especially when it comes to promoting dealerships in his town, state, and around the U.S. So he was happy to introduce one of NADA’s newest initiatives, MyDealership.org, that spotlights the valuable connection new car and truck dealers have with their employees, customers, and communities.
MyDealership.org uses videos and social media to communicate the importance of a healthy franchised dealer network in the U.S. It also describes the employment opportunities and avenues for advancement that are available to dealership employees. And finally, MyDealership.org highlights the many ways that auto dealerships contribute to their communities through economic strength and social responsibility.
“As past chairman of the Chicago Automobile Trade Association and now working with NADA, I’ve met many dealer professionals. They have huge hearts and care deeply about their neighbors,” noted Scarpelli. “As foundational businesses in their towns and cities, these dealerships – many of which are multigenerational – make a big difference through taxes, donations, and volunteerism in the organizations and institutions that define their communities.”