Local auto dealer to be awarded

Jan. 28—MIDLAND, Mich. — Northwood University will honor five automobile dealers from across the United States with its annual Dealer Education Award at the National Automotive Dealers Association (NADA) convention in Dallas, Texas.

This year's honorees include:

—Rik Fregia, vice president, Courtesy Automotive Group, Danville, Illinois

—Jamar Brinkley, dealer principal, Renaissance Cars, Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina

—Chris Saraceno, vice president and partner, Kelly Automotive Group, Melbourne, Florida

—Brandon Tomes, owner/general manager, Tomes Auto Group, McKinney, Texas

—Kevin Vanatta, owner, Newberry Motors, Inc., Newberry, Michigan

Since 1972, Northwood has recognized owners and dealer principals in the automotive marketing field who have made noteworthy, individual contributions to public or private education inside or outside of the industry.

"This marks our 51st year of recognizing outstanding dealers and community leaders who have made significant contributions to the industry and to efforts to create the next generation of automotive leaders," said Northwood President Kent MacDonald. "We are especially proud of this year's honorees, and look forward to celebrating them later this month."

The awards will be presented at a special breakfast on Saturday at the Hyatt Regency in Dallas, Tex. Attendees will include students, alumni and automotive guests of Northwood University.

Rik Fregia is the vice president of the Courtesy Automotive Group in Danville. Fregia started his automotive career working for a Ford dealership owned by his father. When Ray Fregia Sr. retired and sold his store, Rik Fregia teamed up with his brother, Ray, who had recently bought his first dealership.

Supporting local organizations, Fregia has served as a board member for the Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce and Deer Crossing. He also serves as chair of the New Hope Baptist Church Scholarship Committee, which supports seniors from the local high school pursuing a college degree.

Fregia's commitment to his community has earned him recognition with the Pride in Crystal Lake Award, McHenry County Best Under 40 Businessman Outstanding Achiever Award, Automotive News' 40 Under 40, and the Presidential Award of Excellence.