A local family is to be recognized for its entrepreneurial spirit Thursday in Maumee.
Reineke Family Dealerships will be given the Excellence in Family Business award, after being nominated by Mike Reser, and will be inducted into the 2010 Entrepreneurial and Business Excellence Hall of Fame.
Founder William F. Reineke Sr. began his business 50 years ago, with the purchase of J. Oliver Pore's Buick Olds dealership in Fostoria. There was a Ford plant in Fostoria at the time, said his son, William Reineke Jr., who operates Tiffin Ford-Lincoln-Mercury at 2020 W. SR 18.
Shown here are Kerry Mitchell (from left), Daniel Reineke, Thomas Reineke, William F. Reineke Sr. and William F. Reineke Jr.
He said his father's business actually was appointed as a Ford dealership by "the" Henry Ford.
In 1972, the Fostoria dealership, Reineke Ford, moved to its present location at 1003 Perrysburg Road. In 1984, the Tiffin Ford Lincoln Mercury dealership was established and moved to its present location in 2001. In 2005, the Lima dealership, Reineke Lincoln Mercury Mazda Inc., 1350 Cable Road, was purchased as a Ford-Lincoln-Mercury and Mazda dealer.
In 2006, Upper Sandusky saw Reineke move there with the acquisiton of a General Motors and Chrysler dealership, which now is Reineke Motors Inc.; as of today, Reineke said, it will be Chrysler only.
In 2009, the Findlay dealership, Reineke Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Inc., 12000 CR 99, was acquired.
"We now have five dealerships in five different locations, with approximately 204 full- and part-time employees," Reineke said. "This year, we sold 4,000 new and used cars."
Reineke said that of his nine siblings, most worked at one point in the dealership, and many of their spouses are working there as well. His brothers Dan, Tom and sister Jackie Mitchell are in administrative position in at least one of the dealerships.
"We worked in the parts department, in the office and cleaning cars through the years," he said. "Dan has always been in sales, I've been more of an administrator, and Tom, working in the service end."
"We are very grateful to our employees and to our customers," Reineke said. "We pride ourselves on the service that we provide, and our philosophy is that what we do in Fostoria and Tiffin we try to copy over to the new communities. We are also very involved in community activities."
The customer base extends throughout northwest Ohio, and even the Columbus area.
"We've really expanded our website and Internet business," Reineke said. "Our customers like that, and come in well equipped with questions about vehicles."