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Dealership fosters a ‘giving back’ attitude

by Amy Leman | Austin American-Statesman | 02-21-2015

For the Nyle Maxwell Family of Dealerships and Fiat of Austin, selling cars is about much more than selling cars. Rather, it’s both literally and figuratively the “vehicle” for helping the community.

Support for Central Texas Table of Grace is just one example of the car dealer’s passion for the community, but this one hits a bit closer to home. Founded by former Fiat of Austin employee Stacy Johnson in 2014, the nonprofit organization provides temporary emergency housing for children in transition.

Johnson knows all too well the value of such a resource: She grew up as a foster child and was bounced from home to home from aged 2 until 13.

“I lost my self-worth. But someone believed in me, and then I believed in me. I found myself, my strength and my happy place,” she says. “I wanted to help create more stories like mine and prevent the all-too-common story of ‘the foster kid.’”
Lisa Copeland, general manager of Fiat of Austin, was one of those who believed in Johnson. She met Johnson through a mutual friend and hired her to work at the dealership. When she learned of her mission, Copeland, Fiat and the Maxwell Family of Dealerships wanted to support it.

“Selling cars is just a byproduct; it’s what gives us the ability to do the right thing,” explains Copeland. “We are lucky to have the platform and customer base in the community to do that.”

Central Texas Table of Grace is just one of the many community passions for Fiat of Austin and the Nyle Maxwell Family of Dealerships. Others include the Girl Scouts of Central Texas, the Stiletto Stampede for the Cure, and the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign, of which Copeland is the 2016 chair for Austin.

“We believe in Stacy, and our customers have supported her, too,” says Copeland. “We’ve found that people want to do business with those who give back.”


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