Car Culture

Car Culture

A woman has died following a shooting during a Martin Luther King Jr. Day car show in Florida, sheriff's officials said Tuesday.

The unidentified 29-year-old Fort Pierce native was at the MLK Day celebration in Fort Pierce, Fla., with her daughter on Monday when shots rang out between two rival gangs, St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Brian Hester said on Tuesday. 

In total, eight people were shot and four were injured attempting to flee the scene, Sheriff Ken Mascara said. 

"And now what was a shooting investigation has turned into a murder investigation," Mascara said. 

No arrests have been made as the sheriff's office collaborates with local, state and federal agencies to investigate the shooting, Hester said. 

Deputies said they believe there was more than one shooter. Investigators found over 50 shell casings from three different calibers of weapons at the scene, Hester said. 

Authorities asked anyone with any information to contact a local hotline and warned anyone against protecting anyone involved in the shooting. 

Fort Pierce Sheriff Ken Mascara. 

"Yesterday was MLK Day, a legacy built on nonviolence, and sadly we experienced violence in our community," Mascara added. "Our heartfelt sympathies go out to the young lady’s family who lost her life in this senseless act, and our community in general."

WPTV reported the shooting was preceded by an argument between two people.

The car show was listed as part of the city's Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration.

“It was mass chaos as you can imagine when shots ring out with, you know, there were 1,000-plus people here at the event. People were just running in all directions,” Hester said.

The sheriff's office says two deputies were at the event on a detail and were able to respond to the incident right away. The sheriff's office says since Ellis Park is a county park, the agency has jurisdiction in that area. The responding deputies rendered aid to victims shortly after the shooting. 

Other people at the event rendered aid to victims as well. Some people transported victims to a local hospital in their cars.

"Multiple people were shot, it sounds like from our initial investigation here on scene there was a disagreement of some sort between two parties, and unfortunately, they chose to resolve that with guns,” said Hester.

Investigators say dozens of deputies are following up on leads throughout the Fort Pierce area. 



Results of the 2023 Motorcycle Industry Council Board of Directors election have been counted. Drum roll please. MIC welcomes the return of directors Jeff Brown of EagleRider and Tim Calhoun of Tim Calhoun Powersports Consulting and announces the addition of Marc McAllister of Tucker Powersports. McAllister will assume the seat recently vacated by Comoto Holdings’ Nicole Allen.

“There was a lot of interest in this year’s elections, both in the number of highly qualified candidates and voter turnout,” said Chuck Boderman, MIC board chairman and vice president, General Administration Business Unit, American Honda Motor Co. “I am looking forward to working with Marc on the Board and to Tim and Jeff’s continued contributions. Finally, I want to thank Nicole for her service over the last two years.”

The MIC board includes representation from across powersports.

Veteran marketing and sales executive Wayne Davis will join Hertz Global as Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer, effective Jan. 3, 2023. In this role, Davis will be responsible for leading the Hertz, Dollar and Thrifty brands and shaping the company’s marketing strategy to drive effective brand reach and customer engagement. Laura C. Smith, who has led marketing for the last two years, will continue in her role as Executive Vice President, Global Sales and Customer Experience.

Davis joins Hertz with more than 20 years of marketing, sales, and business development experience across multiple industries. For the last four years, he has led the mass premium Café brand for GE Appliances.

“I am delighted to have Wayne join our leadership team at this exciting time for Hertz,” said Hertz CEO Stephen Scherr. “Wayne’s brand-building experience and expertise in data-driven marketing analytics is a powerful combination, and I am excited about the vision he will bring to Hertz as we transform our business through electrification, shared mobility and a digital-first customer experience.”

Davis serves on the boards of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kentuckiana based in Louisville, Ken., Amplify Louisville and Fund for the Arts. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Morehouse College and an MBA from Xavier University.

Children will receive brand-new, warm coats thanks to over $100,000 pledged by automobile dealers across metro New York. Working with Operation Warm, the kick-off event took place recently at East Hills Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram in Greenvale, N.Y. Mark Schienberg, president of the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association, which organizes the coat drive each year, was joined by the dealership’s president, Oliver Brodlieb, who welcomed representatives from some of the charities who will be receiving coats for the children in their care.

“Each year, local franchised new car dealers come together to donate new winter coats for children throughout New York City, Westchester, Long Island, and the Lower Hudson Valley,” said Schienberg.  Participating dealers raise money from each car sold in their dealership, as well as donate thousands of dollars more.

Charities receiving coats for children in their care include The Boys & Girls Clubs, The Academy Charter Schools, Catholic Charities of Long Island and the National Council of Jewish Women, and many more.  

With over 550,000 children living in poverty in the metro New York area, many of them in desperate need of warm winter coats, GNYADA members have collected, purchased, and donated more than 80,000 warm winter coats over the past decade. 

“To every one of the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association and the local new-car dealerships for providing these incredible coats to our kids of Grenville Baker Boys & Girls Club. Our kids will be warm, happy, and appreciative during the holiday season,” said Michelle Gallucci, Youth Development Director for Grades K-5, Grenville Baker Boys & Girls Club.

Carvana is partnering with local food banks across the U.S., inviting the public to come to Carvana stores to donate canned and non-perishables this holiday season as part of the brand’s annual Happy Haulerday campaign.

Carvana is rallying customers and local community members to spread holiday cheer by dropping off canned goods at its Car Vending Machines through December 19.

“Carvana is dedicated to serving our local communities,” said Allison Andrews, brand manager, activation and community for Carvana. “We believe in treating people better, and the holidays can trigger financial stress and food insecurity for those struggling. We are excited to promote our Happy Haulerdays campaign and to give back more to families in need this holiday season.”

Customers, Carvana team members, and area residents may drop off nonperishable goods to benefit their local food pantry ahead of the winter holidays, even if they aren’t purchasing a vehicle. All types of nonperishable items are accepted for donation. The most needed items include peanut butter, canned soups/chilis, canned meat, and shelf stable pasta and sauces. Participating Car Vending Machine locations include Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Cleveland, Washington D.C./Gaithersburg, Detroit, Dallas, San Antonio, Raleigh, Greensboro, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Nashville, Oklahoma City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Houston, Tempe, and Glendale.

Copart Inc. has added two new members to its leadership team: Chief Financial Officer Leah Stearns and Chief Legal Officer Paul Kirkpatrick.

Stearns will lead Copart’s finance and accounting functions to help enable the company’s continuing profitable growth. She is a Fortune 500 executive, serving most recently as chief financial officer of CBRE, a global leader in commercial real estate services and investments She holds an MBA from Boston College’s Carroll School of Management and a bachelor’s degree in finance from the Questrom School of Business at Boston University.

Kirkpatrick will lead Copart’s legal department and help guide the company in areas of corporate law, transactions, commercial contracts, real estate, compliance, litigation, and government affairs. Kirkpatrick has extensive experience as a general counsel and chief legal officer, most recently at BayoTech Hydrogen, Omnitracs (including through its recent acquisition by Solera Global Holdings), and a decade at Commercial Metals Company. Kirkpatrick holds a law degree from the Dedman School of Law at Southern Methodist University and a bachelor’s degree in History from Baylor University.

Kirkpatrick succeeds Gregory DePasquale, who recently announced his intention to retire.

Kia America kicked off an early start to celebrating the arrival of 2023 with a nationwide tour of the iconic Times Square New Year’s Eve Numerals that will illuminate New York City’s Times Square on December 31, when the Ball Drops and the New Year begins. Yesterday, the 2023 Numerals departed the Kia Forum in Los Angeles and began a coast-to-coast road trip designed to bring the anticipation of the New Year to people across the country. The Numerals are being towed by a 2023 Kia Telluride X-Pro, and along the 2,795 mile journey, the 2023 Numerals will stop in exciting locations in conjunction with special holiday events to help share the anticipation.

Scheduled stops along the cross-country route include the following:

  • Area 15 – Las Vegas, NV – 12/1
  • Dickens Festival – Franklin, TN – 12/10
  • D.C. Holiday Market – Washington, D.C. – 12/14 – 12/15 
  • German Christmas Village – Philadelphia, PA – 12/17 – 12/18
  • Arrival - Times Square – New York City, NY – 12/20

“For the third consecutive year, Kia America is proud to share the excitement and anticipation of the New Year with people across the U.S., before delivering the iconic Times Square New Year’s Eve Numerals to their home at One Times Square,” said Russell Wager, vice president, marketing, Kia America.

Holley Inc., a platform serving performance automotive enthusiasts, has appointed Brian Appelgate to Interim Chief Operating Officer.

Appelgate, who has advised Holley since 2018 as head of mergers and acquisitions, will further align Holley’s operations in support of the company’s highest priorities and largest near-term opportunities.

“Brian is a performance aftermarket industry veteran with a wealth of operating experience,” said Tom Tomlinson, Holley’s president and chief executive officer. “He is a known quantity to our team and we are excited to partner with Brian to drive near-term improvement in our operating performance.”

In an effort to promote leadership talent across its brands, Cox Automotive has named Thad Sykes as vice president, Dealer Sales, where he will serve as a member of the Manheim and NextGear Capital sales leadership team. In this new role, Sykes will be responsible for leading Manheim’s Dealer Sales team, providing strategic leadership, strengthening client partnerships, and driving business growth.

“Throughout his years with Cox Automotive, Thad has distinguished himself as a proven leader committed to driving success for his clients, while developing a strong client-focused team,” said Peter Grupposo, senior vice president of sales for Manheim and NextGear Capital.

With nearly three decades of management-level finance and sales experience, Sykes joined Cox Automotive in 2007 as a general manager for NextGear Capital. Most recently, he served as an associate vice president for NextGear Capital.

Additionally, Cox Automotive has selected Kyle Ballinger to fill Sykes’ position as associate vice president, NextGear Capital Sales. Ballinger joined Cox Automotive in 2005 as a field sales representative supporting Manheim Cincinnati and growing his career with Manheim to include roles of increasing responsibility, most recently leading the regional dealer sales team for the Midwest market.

“I’m excited for Kyle to bring his years of experience with Manheim to NextGear Capital,” said Grupposo. “He is a champion for our clients, committed to helping them find the right mix of business solutions to grow their business.”

In observance of Veterans Day, Enterprise Rent-A-Car joined Progressive Insurance to support the insurance company’s annual Keys to Progress program. More than 100 veterans and military-related organizations across all 50 states received newly refurbished vehicles at nationwide giveaway events this week.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car joins Progressive Insurance to support the Keys to Progress program.

Since the program was established in 2013, Keys to Progress has donated more than 900 vehicles to veterans and veteran organizations. Enterprise Rent-A-Car is once again providing six months of auto insurance coverage to each vehicle recipient. Vehicles distributed through this year’s Keys to Progress giveaway were purchased by Progressive from Enterprise’s U.S. fleet.

“The Keys to Progress program is an important opportunity to give back to individuals who have sacrificed for our country,” said Mary Mahoney, a vice president at Enterprise Holdings. “By providing six months of auto insurance coverage to vehicle recipients, we hope to help bring peace of mind to veterans in need, as a small token of our appreciation for their service.”