#1 Cochran Presents $25K Check to United Way

BOARDMAN, Ohio – #1 Cochran presented a $25,000 check to the United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley on Thursday at the newly acquired #1 Cochran Buick GMC dealership at 7997 Market St.

The funds came from the “Operation Santa” sales campaign conducted by Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC. #1 Cochran officially took over the Sweeney dealership last Friday.

Derek Snyder, executive manager at #1 Cochran Buick GMC, says the annual initiative has been a Sweeney tradition for about 10 years. Each year, the dealership picks a different cause to support – a tradition Snyder said will continue.

“Operation Santa is one of my favorite initiatives that we do,” he said. “Every year we get together and [take] a portion of every car that we sell from Nov. 15 to the beginning of the year, and then we donate it to a cause.”

In addition to the corporate donation, Snyder said staff members consistently contribute to the cause.

“We do efforts on our own, plus this initiative, so we donated over $50,000 this year to the United Way,” Snyder said. 

Throughout the years, Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC has provided tremendous community support. Snyder said #1 Cochran shares those same values.

“If you look around, the name on the sign has changed,” he said. “That much has changed for sure, but if you look around, you see a lot of the same great faces and camaraderie. Our values haven’t changed either.”

Almost all of the 200 Sweeney employees transferred to the #1 Cochran-owned business.

“It began with the Sweeney family, and it will continue with #1 Cochran,” said Bob Hannon, president of United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley.

Hannon said the money will be going to Boardman Center Intermediate School for its Care Closet. The care closet includes food, clothes and hygiene products so that students have access to those materials.

“Without this gift from #1 Cochran, we wouldn’t be able to do that,” he said. “The money all stays right here in the Mahoning Valley.”

United Way has been in the community for 102 years, Hannon said. The entire time, the Sweeney family has been giving to United Way, he said, as well as volunteering and serving on the agency’s board.

“All indications are that #1 Cochran … is very philanthropic – very giving in the Pittsburgh area where they’re based – and they want to continue to do so here in the Mahoning Valley,” he said. “We are excited about the future and the opportunity that presents itself with #1 Cochran.”

Hannon said United Way raises its money through workplace giving. The Sweeney-owned dealership conducted one of the best workplace campaigns in the Valley, he said.

“Their employees give, corporate gives and they volunteer for United Way,” he said. “We feel really good about the direction we are headed.” 

“We are rooted in this community,” Snyder said. “We have a long-standing history, both with the employees we work with and the customers we’re serving every day.”

Pictured at top: From left are the United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley’s Tina Chance, director of resource development; Roxann Sebest, vice president; and Bob Hannon, president; and #1 Cochran Buick GMC executive managers Bobby Stackhouse and Derek Snyder.

Copyright 2023 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.