Dealer Doings - Carson City Toyota’s dealer principal creates lasting bonds that go deeper than the showroom
“In 1969 I was 26 and my sister was 29 and back then they didn’t even know how to treat cancer,” says the dealer principal of Carson City Toyota in Nevada. “I watched her die. That’s why I have been so driven to donate to fight cancer over the years. Hopefully we’ll find the cure.”
Since buying a 25 percent share in Carson City Toyota in 1985 (he has since become sole owner), Campagni has more than kept his promise, donating regularly to the Carson Tahoe Cancer Center.
In addition to losing his sister to cancer, Campagni lost his service manager Eric Johnson to leukemia in 2004. Johnson began working at the store in 1981. Campagni took Johnson’s death hard.
“Eric was with me for 20 years before he passed,” Campagni says. “We’re like a family, man. And Eric was a big part of that family. He was a pretty cool guy. A wonderful person.”
Even though cancer research is closest to Campagni’s heart, he also gives to numerous other charities, especially those devoted to helping kids and the elderly.
The giving creates strong ties to the community and emboldens employees.
“It’s fun for me because I have my own special checkbook for charity,” says General Manager Dana Whaley. “Dick and (his wife) Mary are pretty open with giving if they think it’s a good cause.”
Whaley’s role is to organize the giving and figure out when to donate. He uses Toyota’s $10,000 Dealer Match program to stretch the dealership’s charitable dollar.
“One thing we use the dealer match money for is the Boys and Girls Club,” Whaley says. “That frees up money for other donations, like Food For Thought, an organization that helps feed hungry children at school.”
“It’s not just Dick Campagni making a good living from Carson City,” Campagni says. “It’s the people of Carson City and Dick Campagni working together to make it a better place.”