Celebrating 35 Years of Excellence

Park Place Dealerships’ 35th Anniversary Celebration at Texas Live was filled with joy and laughter, and even a few tears as we paid tribute to Motorcars Dallas GM Robert Morris’ 31 years of service. But first and foremost, it was a time to celebrate 35 years and our outstanding members.

We took this opportunity to give back to the community through our partnership with Children’s Health which included a $10,000 donation. The generosity of our members also filled an extended-length Sprinter van with more than 1,000 backpacks and toys! This incredible contribution made an impact on Volvo SEM Kurt Rongey, who shared with Tony Carimi what this meant to him. 

“Park Place’s decision to collect toys for Children’s was very meaningful to me. When my nine-year-old daughter Julianne was in the hospital after her brain cancer diagnosis a little over a year ago, one of the bright points was when a social worker offered her a choice of toys that a generous person had donated. Julianne chose a LEGO set. In November of 2021, Julianne passed away. But that toy donated anonymously was a bright spot at a difficult time that gave my girl some joy and pride. We still display that LEGO set in our home. I was overwhelmed to see all the toys Park Place members had given. A whole van full! Believe me, they will bring a lot of happiness to some sweet kids who need something to smile about. I loved the opportunity to bring a LEGO set to donate in honor of my daughter.”

The Power of a Lego

This past week, Park Place brought all of our team members together, with their guests, to celebrate our 35th anniversary.  Aligned with our core belief of Expressing Care and living with a genuine spirit of service, our team members chose to use the evening to align with Children’s Health, the leading pediatric health care system in North Texas by bringing toys and making donations to “Cape Day,” a fundraiser for patient and support services, research, and new equipment.

Our Park Place Family showed up in a big way.  Not only did they completely fill an extended-length Sprinter with toys and backpacks, but our members opened their hearts to show how much Park Place cares for others and our communities.

After the event, Tony Carimi, Park Place Dealerships Managing Director, received the note below from a member of our team, sharing the impact of how a single toy affects lives and creates real experiences.  Individually, we’re strong.  Together, we’re unstoppable.

I wanted to say that Park Place’s decision to collect toys for Children’s was very meaningful to me. 

When my 9-year-old daughter Julianne was in the hospital after her brain cancer diagnosis a little over a year ago, one of the bright points was when a social worker offered her a choice of toys that a generous person had donated. Julianne chose a Lego set that she began but had to abandon when her motor control deteriorated because of the tumor. Later, after radiation treatments, we were able to continue and finish the set. 

In November of 2021, Julianne passed away. But that toy donated anonymously was a bright spot at a difficult time that gave my girl some joy and pride. We still display that Lego set in our home.

I was overwhelmed to see all of the toys Park Place members had given at the 35th Anniversary party for kids at Children’s Health. A whole van full! Believe me, they will cause a lot of happiness for some sweet kids who need something to smile about. I loved the opportunity to bring a Lego set to donate in honor of my daughter.

Kurt Rongey
Sales Experience Manager, Park Place Volvo

Grace Holds 4th Annual Poker Tournament at Park Place Jaguar Land Rover

“We are so proud to partner with Park Place and the Wright family, “said Shonda Schaefer, GRACE CEO. “Their support for GRACE and the community is what allows us to put on amazing events such as the Poker Tournament.”

Roy Choi, CEO of Champions Club with Johnny Campanello during the Fabulous Poker Tournament benefiting GRACE at Park Place Land Rover/Jaguar in Grapevine, Texas, Saturday Feb. 5, 2022. (Michael Ainsworth)

More than 30 players joined the poker tables along with their “lucky charms.” The tournament lasted more than three hours with back-and-forth action between the competitors, until Scott Coolbaugh was crowned the champion, winning a trip to Las Vegas, including a 3 day/2 night stay at the luxurious Cosmopolitan Hotel Courtesy of Shannon O’Brien – the Travel Purveyor, and a bottle of Columbia Valley Magnum Pedestal. Runner up, Paul Bischler, won a bottle of Tequila Clase Azul Reposado. Roy Choi came in third place and won a 15-year-old Macallan single Malt Scotch whiskey.

Scratch Kitchen & Fine Foods provided hors d’oeuvres and delicious tacos while Classic Wine and Storage supplied extraordinary wines for the evening.

“We’ve supported GRACE for many years,” said Kara Connor, Park Place Experiential Marketing Manager. “In addition to the recent Poker fundraiser, we will host the organization’s Christmas Cottage Kick-Off and Toy Drive at Park Place Lexus Grapevine in November. We’re proud to support the great work they do in our community. Park Place members often volunteer to help GRACE’s programs, such as the Feed Our Kids summer program.”

during the Fabulous Poker Tournament benefiting GRACE at Park Place Land Rover/Jaguar in Grapevine, Texas, Saturday Feb. 5, 2022. (Michael Ainsworth)

GRACE was organized in 1987 as a response to the growing need for emergency assistance services in far northeast Tarrant County. Local churches responded to community needs with a plan for distributing available resources through Grapevine’s Ministerial Alliance. Today, GRACE continues to be a centralized, coordinated effort of churches, businesses, and individuals donating food, clothing, monetary donations, and even professional services to Grapevine, Colleyville, and Southlake residents, as well as homeless and transient families in need. Programs have grown to include low-cost medical services, transitional housing, and general emergency assistance (food, clothes, furniture, financial assistance, information, and referrals). More information is available at gracegrapevine.com.

More than 350 Applications Received for the $100,000 Park Place Season of Giving

24 local non-profits were awarded a total of $100,000 from the SEASON OF GIVING campaign by Park Place Dealerships, which is celebrating its 35th year in North Texas. Park Place selected the organizations for its SEASON OF GIVING campaign because of their commitment to serving the Dallas/Fort Worth community.

A committee comprised of Park Place members from different dealerships across North Texas selected the non-profits out of more than 350 applications received. Under Park Place Cares, the company’s philanthropic arm, the company donated $100,000 to 24 charities that met the following criteria:

  • A 501(c)(3) non-profit organization
  • Supports one of Park Place Cares’ Pillars of Giving, which include: Education; Medical; Advocacy; or the Arts
  • Serves at least one of the following counties: Dallas, Tarrant, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall, Kaufman, Hunt, or Johnson
  • The charity cannot have received donations or in-kind support from Park Place in 2021

“Selecting these non-profits was very challenging,” said Tony Carimi, managing director of Park Place Dealerships. “There are so many worthy non-profits doing admirable work in the areas we would like to impact. Our team had the difficult task of narrowing down the charities from 350 to 24 across North Texas to make the greatest impact during our Season of Giving.”

The charities receiving a grant for the 2021 Season of Giving representing Park Place Cares’ four pillars include:

Advocacy

  • Denton Co. Friends of the Family
  • Journey to Dream Foundation
  • Canine Companions
  • For Oak Cliff
  • Rainbow Room of Rockwall
  • A Wish with Wings
  • Don’t Forget to Feed Me Pet Food Bank
  • Ally’s Wish
  • Tara Sawyer Foundation
  • LGBTQ Saves
  • Defenders of Freedom

Arts

  • Dwell with Dignity
  • Laughter League
  • Cara Mîa Theatre
  • Texas Winds Musical Outreach
  • Sixty & Better

Education

  • AVANCE
  • Camp Summit
  • The Jordan Elizabeth Harris Foundation
  • Bettie Gonzalez Foundation of Hope
  • Computers for the Blind

Medical

  • Heavenly Hooves Therapeutic & Recreational Riding Center
  • Heroes for Children
  • Project4031

“We are humbled to have received such an incredible response to the Season of Giving campaign with the opportunity to reach so many people across our community through these outstanding non-profits,” said Anam Ali Hashambhai, Marketing Director for Park Place Dealerships. “Over the past 35 years, we’ve donated millions of dollars and countless volunteer hours to support great causes across North Texas, but this is the first time we have implemented this type of giveaway. The Season of Giving campaign expands our benevolence giving this holiday season to organizations we haven’t worked with previously. We look forward to developing these new relationships in the year to come.”

Grace Christmas Cottage Toy Drive Kicks Off At Park Place Lexus Grapevine

Park Place Lexus Grapevine hosted the kickoff for the 2021 GRACE Christmas Cottage. Guests were encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy to the event.  By the end of the evening, a Lexus LC500 convertible and two Lexus SUVs were overflowing with toys and gifts for GRACE, an acronym for Grapevine Relief and Community Exchange.

“We’ve partnered with GRACE for more than a decade,” said Robert Hinkle, Park Place Lexus Grapevine general manager. “Now more than ever, many families in our community might not have Christmas without our help. We want to make sure every child in our community has a Christmas to remember. The GRACE Toy Drive makes it easy to give back.”

During the kickoff event, Christmas music serenaded guests as they enjoyed sweet and savory treats from Southlake Town Square’s restaurants including Brio Italian Grille’s sliced steak bruschetta, pasta, and pumpkin bread; Del Frisco’s Grille’s deviled eggs, seared tuna crisp, and lemon cake pops; and Mi Cocina’s beef, brisket and cheese quesadillas, mini chimichangas and bacon-wrapped shrimp brochettes with a poblano cream sauce. A selection of beer, wine, and cocktails set the festive mood, including the special Mistletoe Martini, made with Tito’s Vodka, Elderflower Liqueur, and cranberry juice.

Models displayed fashions from Southlake Town Square merchants, including Malouf’s, Market by Macy’s, and White House Black Market.

The GRACE Christmas Cottage provides new, unwrapped gifts to families facing financial hardship due to limited incomes or recent emergencies. Each qualified family is given a voucher with a value based on the number of children in the family, allowing the parents to “purchase” donated toys, home goods, and appliances in a private, store-like setting. This approach allows families to budget their resources to select unique presents while also preserving the family’s dignity.

The community is invited to drop off a new, unwrapped toy for the GRACE Christmas Cottage through Dec. 15 at the Lexus dealership at 901 Highway 114 East, or drop them off at GRACE Christmas Cottage at 1058 Texan Trail in Grapevine. To make a monetary donation to the GRACE Christmas Holiday Fund, go to gracegrapevine.org.


GRACE was organized in 1987 as a response to the growing need for emergency assistance services in far northeast Tarrant County. Today, GRACE continues to be a centralized, coordinated effort of churches, businesses, and individuals donating food, clothing, monetary donations, and even professional services to Grapevine, Colleyville, and Southlake residents, as well as homeless and transient families in need. Programs have grown to include low-cost medical services, transitional housing, and general emergency assistance (food, clothes, furniture, financial assistance, information, and referrals).

Park Place Dealerships Breaks Ground on Trinity Habitat for Humanity Home in Fort Worth

Park Place Dealerships and Trinity Habitat for Humanity broke ground on a new home in Fort Worth with a single mom and her two children. This is the 32nd home constructed by volunteers in 2021 for the non-profit organization, which has received more than 4,000 inquiries in the last year from families seeking affordable housing.

“To partner with the homeowner, Cassandra Davis, and her children is an absolute pleasure,” said Tony Carimi, managing director of Park Place Dealerships. “We make dreams come true every day for our clients. This is an opportunity for our team to be a part of helping the Davis’ realize their dream to own their own home.”

The build will take approximately 10 weeks and will incorporate over 200 volunteers from Park Place Dealerships. When the project is completed, this joint partnership will provide the Davis family with a safe and affordable home. The volunteers are expected to contribute approximately 1600 hours on the construction of the home.

“Due to the pandemic, our corporate donations were down significantly in 2020 and 2021,” said Gage Yager, CEO of Trinity Habitat for Humanity. “Companies were cutting back on expenses and contributions to non-profits. Not only was our funding impacted, but volunteer support was down 75%. We need more companies in Tarrant County to step up just like Park Place Dealerships did to help us serve our families in the affordable housing space. We cannot do it without the support of our community.”

Trinity Habitat empowers families with pathways for affordable homeownership. In the last 32 years, the organization has built 858 homes. There continues to be a need for more homes.

“As home prices climb, affordable housing continues to be a significant challenge in North Texas,” said Anam Ali Hashambhai, marketing director for Park Place Dealerships. “Our organization is committed to be a part of the solution. We built our first home in Dallas County last year which our members loved and are pleased to work with Trinity Habitat in Tarrant County.”

Members from Park Place Motorcars Dallas, Park Place Motorcars Fort Worth, Bodywerks Fort Worth, Jaguar Land Rover, Park Place Corporate Office, Park Place Auto Auction, Park Place Porsche Dallas, Park Place Volvo, Bodywerks Dallas, Park Place Lexus Plano, Park Place Lexus Grapevine and Park Place Motorcars Arlington will volunteer throughout the build.

“Park Place Dealerships is a new partner with Trinity Habitat for Humanity in 2021,” stated Yager. “They have led the way during a challenging time to provide financial and volunteer support in building the Davis family home. The impact of their investment will be integral and long-lasting for the Davis family. Thank you, Park Place Dealerships for being such an important part of our community.”

The Park Place Cares program supports more than 250 organizations around the Dallas-Fort Worth area throughout the year. Park Place’s 1,400 members are further challenged to volunteer their time and resources to serve local communities. To follow Park Place Dealerships’ build of the Habitat for Humanity home, visit www.parkplace.com/habitatforhumanity.htm

Season of Giving Kicks off Today Benefiting Local Non-Profits and Organizations

Park Place Dealerships was founded in 1987 and has been engaged in the community through its support of the arts, medical research, children’s advocacy, and education. Park Place pursues the highest standards of corporate responsibility in everything we do – and that includes supporting and empowering our team members to improve the quality of life in the communities where we do business. A new initiative from Park Place Dealerships provides local organizations an opportunity to apply for assistance through the luxury automobile group’s SEASON OF GIVING campaign, which kicks off today.

Under the umbrella of Park Place Cares, the company’s philanthropic arm, Park Place’s SEASON OF GIVING campaign offers local non-profits the chance to apply for a one-time, end-of-year grant. The company will give away a total of $100,000 before the end of 2021 to deserving non-profits who are serving the greater Dallas-Fort Worth area.  The SEASON OF GIVING campaign coincides with the start of Park Place Dealerships’ 35th year of “Experts in Excellence” serving North Texas.

“Park Place has a long history of giving back to our community,” said Anam Ali Hashambhai, Park Place Dealerships Marketing Director. “Over the past 35 years, we’ve donated millions of dollars to deserving non-profits. We want to expand our benevolence giving this holiday season by reaching out to non-profits and organizations who haven’t received support from Park Place in 2021. We encourage local organizations to apply.”

Non-profit organizations must fit the following criteria:

  • The organization must be a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
  • The charity must be able to support one of Park Place Cares’ Pillars of Giving which include: Education; Medical Research; Children’s Advocacy; or the Arts.
  • The charity must serve in at least one of the following counties: Dallas, Tarrant, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall, Kaufman, Hunt, or Johnson.
  • The charity cannot have already received donations or in-kind support from Park Place in 2021.
  • Charities must apply by midnight Nov. 30, 2021.

Charities can apply at ParkPlaceCares.com and the winners will be announced on December 6, 2021.

“Giving back is part of our culture,” said Tony Carimi, managing director of Park Place Dealerships. “Our members take great pride in knowing the company they commit so much of their time to is dedicated to making North Texas a better place to live. We have encouraged our members to reach out to organizations they are connected to and invite them to apply for a grant. We want to bless as many non-profits as we can during our SEASON OF GIVING.”

The Good Samaritans

Motorcars Fort Worth shop foreman James Kuebler was taking a car for a test drive early one morning when he spotted a lady sitting in the middle of a bank parking lot, next door to the dealership, holding her ankle.

I walk that path all the time, said Rev. Wil Gafney, a professor at TCUs Brite Divinity School. I don’t know what happened. I just heard my ankle crack, and I went down. I couldn’t get up on my own.

James stopped and helped Dr. Gafney into the car and drove her home, where her personal assistant gathered the necessary papers and took her to the hospital.

I can’t thank James enough for stopping to help me, she said. Id always heard Park Place had great service. It’s true.

James has worked for Park Place for more than 35 years, starting in Oak Lawn in 1984. He went to work in Euless for a Mercedes-Benz store, then returned to Dallas before transferring to Motorcars Fort Worth in 2005.

But James is not the only good Samaritan in his family. James’ daughter, Rachel Kuebler, a booker with Porsche Dallas, just celebrated her five-year anniversary. Park Place recently received a gushing email from another grateful lady who had been helped by Rachel.

Last week Rachel from your Porsche store was my angel, said the thankful woman. I was stranded on the side of the road with a flat tire when she stopped to help. She insisted on changing my tire, then offered to follow me to the tire shop down the road so I could get the tire replaced. I was floored. If this is the kind of help you give to people who aren’t your customers, I can only imagine the top-notch service your regulars receive. I don’t know if a luxury vehicle will ever be in my family’s budget, but the next time I need a car I will absolutely be checking out your used cars. Park Place and Rachel, you are doing it right.

When the email reached Tony Carimi, he replied, It’s a great nod to James leadership, both in his professional role and with his family. The stories show how his great example at work and home contributes to the goodwill running in the family. This perfectly exemplifies the Park Place spirit of serving!

HIPsters Tour Park Place Lexus Plano

The term “hipster” can have many meanings these days, but for the adults who attend My Possibilities (MP) in Collin County, the term is much more than a label. For them, HIPsters stands for Hugely Important People, and they have an important role to play in society.

Recently a group of HIPsters stepped out of their comfort zone to take a tour of the Park Place Lexus Plano dealership and participate in an auto safety expo, including demonstrations on how to safely jump-start a battery and check the air pressure on a tire. The goal of the field trip was to better prepare the HIPsters to flourish in the community.

“Everyone who interacted with these amazing young people received much more than they gave,” said Chris Brunner, Park Place Lexus General Manager. “The HIPsters were attentive and witty and full of life. We were thrilled to meet them and plan to host another group soon.”

MP is a Plano-based non-profit that serves as a pioneering leader in vocational education and job placement for adults, 18 and above, with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) such as Down Syndrome, Autism, Cerebral Palsy, traumatic brain injuries, and many more diagnoses.

“We first met with Park Place Lexus in February 2019,” says Michael Thomas, Executive Director of My Possibilities. “Our Campus Life Manager Jamie Zozaya engaged Park Place, and they were eager to help. We were unable to move forward with our annual gala due to the pandemic, and some things were put on hold. As we began to reopen, Park Place was first to step in, and they made ‘Welcome Back’ signs for our HIPsters’ first day back on campus. They also joined our car parade for North Texas Giving Day last September. Through coordination with our Campus Life Manager, one of Park Place’s shop teams came out on their own time and brought supplies to trim bushes and edge the front of the MP campus. We are grateful for Park Place’s intentions and its genuine passion for giving back. They are true HIPster Heroes!”

Park Place Lexus members who set up the tour, put together swag bags, and conducted the auto safety expo included Assistant Service Manager Stephen Enloe (whose younger brother was a HIPster and now works at a restaurant in Allen); Service Warranty Administrator Romayne Brown; GM Administrative Assistant Katie Stutts; Preowned Sales Administrator Olivia White; HR Krissi Elliott; and GM Chris Brunner.

The Park Place Cares program supports more than 250 organizations around the Dallas-Fort Worth area throughout the year. Park Place’s members are also encouraged to volunteer their time to serve local communities.

Park Place Dealerships was founded in 1987. For the past 34 years, the company has been engaged in the community through its support of the arts, medical research, children’s advocacy, and education. Park Place Dealerships employs more than 1,400 members and operates two collision centers, an auto auction, and eight full-service dealerships representing luxury brands including Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Volvo, Jaguar, Land Rover, and Sprinter Vans. For more info, visit parkplace.com.

Kendall Richards Leads Veterans on Their Last Ride

JLR SEM Kendall Richards swore he’d never go into the car business. “My dad owned a VW Audi dealership, and I wanted nothing to do with the family business,” he said.

After graduating from Hillcrest High in 1980, Kendall got his undergraduate degree at Stephen F. Austin. Then he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, where he spent seven years as an air traffic controller, the last three as an instructor.

“I served on the Honor Guard at Keesler AFB in Biloxi, Mississippi,” he said. “It was a very special duty, but I thought I was done with that part of my life when I got out.”

While in the Air Force, Kendall got his MBA from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. After working in IT at EDS, he moved into the mortgage banking business until the economic bust of 2008, when a friend suggested he consider Lexus Plano.

“I can do this for a while until something else comes along,” he thought. He steadily rose up the ranks from Sales Consultant to Internet Sales, Finance Director to New Car and Pre-Owned Sales Manager before moving to JLR a year ago.“

A friend’s dad knew I liked to ride my Harley, and he asked if I’d be interested in joining the Patriot Guard Riders,” explained Kendall. The Patriot Guard Riders is a volunteer nonprofit that ensures dignity and respect at memorial services honoring fallen active duty military, first responders and honorable discharged veterans.

“I was hooked from the first mission!” he said. “The majority of our rides are at DFW National Cemetery, but this one was a service for a 95-year-old World War II vet at a little country cemetery in Savoy, Texas. When his kids and grandkids got up and spoke, it made me want to be a better dad, grandfather and friend.

For the past year, Tuesdays have been Kendall’s day off. “The ride captain leads the mission,” he concluded. “I’m the first guy they call for a Tuesday funeral.” And that’s just the way he wants it.