Fruitful partnership: San Tan Ford pledges large donation to Ahwatukee chamber

San Tan Ford is partnering with the Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce to provide the chamber with its largest-ever one-time donation at the end of July.

The dealership has promised to write a check for a minimum of $25,000 for the chamber, but expects that number to be well over $30,000. The amount of the donation all depends on how many cars the dealership sells. For each car sold during the month of July, $100 will be set aside for the chamber. There’s no limit to the amount of the final donation.

Tim Hovik, owner of San Tan Ford, said as an Ahwatukee Foothills resident the community has a special place in his heart. He hopes this donation allows the chamber to keep doing all that it does to keep the community humming.

“That chamber is such a unique chamber compared to others because the community is so unique,” Hovik said. “The chamber is not for a city, it’s really for a suburb of Phoenix so that chamber is much more community-based. It’s certainly a business advocate like all chambers are, but it has such a big part and represents the citizens of the community in a more dynamic way than the other chambers do. It’s one chamber that because it’s not its own city it takes on being a community leader as well.”

Hovik took over San Tan Ford about three years ago. At the time he decided his business plan would be to market to all communities along the Loop 202 corridor including Gilbert, San Tan, Queen Creek, Chandler and Ahwatukee Foothills. Hovik does more to market than place ads. He believes to truly reach an audience a company needs to be active in the community.

“We’re a big believer that in most small towns the auto dealership is the heart of the community,” he said. “If you go to any small town in the Midwest the auto dealership sponsors the little league. They’re the ones who are the biggest employer in the town. We’ve always taken the tack that if we want to do business with people and have them be our customers we need to be part of the community. We take that role seriously.”

A lot of good has come from Hovik’s activity in the community. When Hovik took over the dealership was selling a maximum of 65 cars per month. Now, they average 300. In 2011 the Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce awarded the dealership its annual Business of the Year Award. San Tan Ford is the fastest growing Ford store in the company’s history.

San Tan Ford has never adopted a business or community the way they are adopting the Ahwatukee chamber in July. They’ll be hosting all the chamber’s events throughout the month and writing a check once the month is over. The bigger the donation the better, Hovik said. Not only would a larger donation do more to help the community, but it would also mean he was able to sell a lot of cars. 

For those who can’t purchase a new car, Hovik suggests supporting the chamber in any way possible. Hovik’s dealership may be 15 minutes away from Ahwatukee Foothills, but he said his membership in the Ahwatukee chamber has been hugely beneficial.

“The chamber has a lot of programs that I don’t think people realize it has,” Hovik said. “It has something that would benefit almost any business or business person. There are forums, luncheons, an ambassadors group to develop relationships, networking events. There are so many different things going on.”

For more information on the Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce, visit ahwatukeechamber.com. For more information on San Tan Ford, visit santanford.net.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or ahurtado@ahwatukee.com.