StateWide Ford 25th Anniversary: A Letter From Our President

Anniversaries are important! If you think that is up for debate, try forgetting your wedding anniversary. I guarantee you'll be reminded about their significance.

Of course, there are all sorts of anniversaries from the aforementioned to birthdays (the anniversary of one's birth) to the day you started your job (vacation hours reset, vesting levels increase, etc.) and too many more to list, each one special to the celebrant. In addition to at time for celebrating, anniversaries can be a time to reflect and reminisce. An important anniversary for me is when I came to Van Wert and started in business as StateWide Ford Lincoln Mercury 25 years ago. I've been contemplating all the milestones, people (some no longer with us), and events along the 25 year journey. Here are a few highlights that have come to mind.

  • Purchased the dealership (formerly Bob Dunn Ford) from Bob Dunn in 1993. Bob passed away in 1997.
  • My daughter was born in 1993. Such a happy day whose celebration is an annual delight.
  • My Dad, Mother-in-Law, and Mom died in 2010, 2011, and 2012. That was a tough several years, but anniversaries all the same.
  • In 1993 at the inception of StateWide I had a business partner who exited in 2000.
  • In 2017 I sold 49% interest of the business to Brad Greve. I hope he goes on to celebrate that anniversary happily for many decades.
  • Many things changed in 25 years and one of them is the way we get the word out. In 1993 the advertising budget was a combination of radio, TV, and newspaper. Now, 25 years later traditional advertising is all but dead with the new word-of-mouth, digital internet based and social media keeping our customers informed and driving new business to our doorstep.
  • In 1993 I joined the Van Wert Rotary Club in order to become more involved in the community. In the process I met and got to know community leaders and business owners that were Rotary giants. Some have departed this world such as Bill Derry, Herb Kephart, Dee Whitcraft, Nick Ross, and others. They are missed by many and their absence is still felt.
  • I also had the pleasure of meeting and working with many local legends who've left us that were also the nicest people you could meet. People like Gaylord Leslie, Jon Rhoades, Dick Schultz, and Jim Robey.
  • Eighteen of the years I spent serving on the Van Wert County Hospital Board and I am still inspired by the higher calling our local healthcare workers exhibit daily.
  • In the midst of all that I was also diagnosed, treated for, and BEAT Non Hodgkins Lymphoma. During that struggle I greatly appreciated the outpouring of thoughts and prayers that got me through the toughest battle ever and allowed me to be here to celebrate this 25th Anniversary in Van Wert.

Yep, anniversaries are important. So, too everyone who joined in the last 25 years and helped make this one worth celebrating in grand style, I say Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!

J. Andrew Czajkowski


StateWide Ford Lincoln

Join us on November 12, 2018 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. to celebrate 25 years in business!
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