Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Message to Congressman Delaney: It's about my people

Yesterday I met with Congressman John Delaney from Maryland's sixth district, where many of our stores are located.

Rep. Delaney was kind enough to visit to learn more about our business and the challenges we face each day in provdiding the best possible experience to our customers, and the challenges are many.

I am so grateful to all my associates for always putting customers first and creating processes that center around creating the best possible experience. I'm so proud that our people have maintained our ISO certification for ten years and counting.

There were really two messages that I wanted to make sure we shared with Congressman Delaney. One, the need to do more for medium size businesses like ours that provide so many jobs when it comes to the estate tax, and two, the need to do more to make the transaction on consumers easier.

Whe we both looked at the long Maryland law contract that customers sign to finance a car we both agreed there was too much information and probably few people read the entire document. In the government's effort to protect consumers, which I firmly believe in, we've created a burden in disclosures and complicated language.

In our discsussion about the estate tax I shared how we are preparing to pay the estate tax, so as to avoid disrupting the lives of so many of my staff, many who started as teenagers and built careers with us. I think he sees the need for revenue neutrality in the government, and the estate tax idea that I have built a grass roots initiative around, called ASSET, prevents the job losses but maintains neutrality. I explained the real reason I've been working so hard on reforming the estate tax over the last few years in particular has little to do with me personally, it's all about my people. I always tell elected officials and staff in their offices that it's going to be hard enough getting by St. Peter as a used car salesman, but the most important issue for me is making sure my people are taken care of by assuring the business goes on. I am hopeful that Congress will do more, while in the meantime continuing to prepare.

I believe it is important to reach out to our elected officials to help them understand the role Fitzgerald Auto Mall and all dealerships have in creating jobs and helping our local economy. I appreciate the efforts of all my associates in making Fitzgerald Auto Mall a great place to work and a great place to buy and service vehicles for all our customers.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Applauding NBC4 & Liz Crenshaw: Child Safety

The odds are 1 in 2. These odds are pretty bad and this is the misuse rate of child safety seats in the United States. Tonight at 5:00 pm, Emmy award winning consumer reporter, Liz Crenshaw, will show how to select the right child safety seat for your child, and more importantly, how to properly install it. The segment airs on the evening news program on NBC News 4.
Fitzgerald Auto Mall is passionate about the subject, passionate enough to commit our own resources and time to protecting kids. Our employees put in hundreds of volunteer hours as certified installers at our monthly Fitzgerald Child Safety Seat Program events. In 1999, my first year of the program, the misuse rate was 97%. The numbers have dropped to 50% year to date, but that’s still too high.
I’m happy that Liz Crenshaw is drawing attention to how seats have to be properly installed to keep your child safe.
Fitzgerald associates have installed and inspected over 42,000 child safety seats. No other local volunteer program in the United States has ever achieved this many child safety seat inspections within a single program.
The success of this program is the public-private partnership we have with the local Montgomery County police and fire rescue volunteers, and working with the office of the Montgomery County Safe Kids Coalition. They have been integral in helping to organize and promote the events.
U.S. National Highway Traffic and Safety states the misuse of car seats remains a big problem and motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among children ages 3 to 14. The latest numbers show that every day in the US, an average of 4 children younger than 14 were killed and 529 were injured in motor vehicle crashes.
I hope you watch Liz Crenshaw’s report tonight at 5:00, and mark your calendars for the next monthly child safety seat inspection on Thursday, November 15, from 10 am-12:30 pm. Monthly inspections are held on the third Thursday of every month, from March to December at the White Flint Rockville dealership on Nicholson Lane. Visit for details or to make an appointment.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Road Trips in 2011

As I continue my visits into 2012 I want to thank all our associates for your time and attention during our discussions about the workplace. Please keep that same positive attitude and keep smiling. We spend so much time together, and creating that positive place to work is a responsibility we all have. Thank you again for your efforts in taking care of our customers. After reading a recent article predicting the demise of Best Buy, we should all be reminded that it is the people who make the difference for customers, who ultimately determine our success or failure. We need to keep focused on taking care of the customer at every moment, or we risk losing the very reason for our existence.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Washington Post Talking About ASSET

By Thomas Heath - Washington Post 10/28/2011

Speaking of auto dealers ...

Jack Fitzgerald, local auto dealer turned grassroots organizer, is turning his attention to a new cause: the estate tax.

The gravel-voiced businessman, born poor on North Capitol and K street, has helped to found Americans Standing for the Simplification of the Estate Tax.

“We’ve been in and out of 100 offices and organizations,” said Fitzgerald. “We haven’t been thrown out yet. People are interested in it. Our proposal eliminates the forced closure of a business or of a farm to pay a 35 percent estate tax, which may soon be raised to 55 percent.”

The coalition hopes to have a bill before Congress in 2012.

Friday, May 20, 2011

40,000 Child Safety Seats

It was an amazing milestone to celebrate on May 19th the installation and education with a parent on our 40,000th child safety seat. When we first started this program in 1999 with Montgomery County we could not have imagined that we would still be so active and involved, to reach 40,000 car seats. The best news is how much the misuse rate has continued to drop with each event, from a high of 97% in 1999 to just 50% year to date. Remarkable. Thank you to all the volunteers and to our friends at the state and local level for making this possible.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Fitzgerald Joins Billion Acts of Green: Earth Day 2011

Jack Fitzgerald talks about the Billion Acts of Green theme for Earth Day 2011. Fitzgerald Auto Malls is committed to doing our part by recycling 82% of what we use. In addition, our LEED Gold dealership in Germantown Maryland uses Solar and Wind Power, and all our Maryland dealerships are 100% Wind Power. Florida and Pennsylvania are Green Power.