Thursday, October 31, 2013

In Memoriam of Jim Yark, 1950-2013

Jim Yark, Owner 
of Yark Automotive Group Dies at Age 62 


TOLEDO, OH Donald James (Jim) Yark, Jr., founder and owner of The Yark Automotive Group passed away Wednesday, October 30, 2013 at Hospice of Northwest Ohio after an extended battle with Alzheimer’s. He was 62. 

Jim graduated from Devilbiss High School in 1968 and attended The Ohio State University where he graduated with a marketing degree in business. During that time Jim was a member of the 180th Fighter Wing of the Air National Guard. 

Upon graduation, Jim worked in accounting for Papenhagen Oldsmobile and was promoted to General Manager. He purchased the dealership in 1980 and started to expand by bringing in Jeep. Jim had great business vision and strove to create the largest new and used vehicle dealership in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan and reached that goal by acquiring BMW, Subaru, Nissan, Chrysler, Dodge, Ram, SRT, Chevrolet, and Fiat. Yark Auto has maintained that position for the past 18 years and created over 350 local jobs.

“For Jim, it was always about his employees,” said John Yark, President of Yark Automotive Group and Jim’s brother. “He always knew Toledo had great people and having the best people work for him would make the business the success that it is today”. This philosophy recently led to recognition by Automotive News as having 5 of the best dealerships to work for in the nation out of a field of 17,000 and earned Jim the recognition as TIME’s “Quality Dealer of the Year” in 2006. In 2011, Yark Automotive received the Torch Award from the Better Business Bureau because of its strong business ethics. 

Jim served on numerous boards of local organizations and ensured that his business was active in supporting local events, charities, and the arts around the Toledo area. He supported the Toledo Zoo, the Toledo Opera and Symphony, Make-A-Wish, Toledo Botanical Gardens, United Way, and the American Red Cross, to name a few, as well as local soccer clubs and schools. In recent years Yark Automotive has also supported The Alzheimer’s Foundation of Northwest Ohio. 

Jim was a generous man and a loyal friend. His dream was to build a business in which all his children and other family members could be involved. That dream was recognized as 4 of his children and 2 nephews currently work at the Yark family of dealerships. He was a passionate Ohio State Buckeyes supporter and was a member of the Ohio State Presidents Club. In his free time he loved to boat on Lake Erie and relax with family and friends in the Florida Keys.

Jim was a visionary to the Yark Automotive Group organization and a dedicated community leader. He has left behind a company of integrity that is respected in the community and beyond. In spirit, he will always be the foundation of Yark Automotive Group. 

Jim is survived by his beloved children Emily, Jamie, Bill, Dan, DJ, and Jack, his wife, Mary, his father, Don, brother John (Karen), and sister Lynn (Dick) Baker, as well as many nieces and nephews. His mother, Marilyn Shuey Yark, preceded Jim in death. 
A celebration of his life will be Sunday, November 3rd from 11am-8pm at Walker Funeral Home in Sylvania. A private burial will follow. 
The family suggests tributes be made to the Alzheimer’s Association of Northwest Ohio or Hospice of Northwest Ohio. 

More info: 
Warren Vess, Marketing Director, Yark Automotive Group 419-842-7722 

Founded in 1981, Yark Automotive Group has grown from 50 employees and less than $20 million in sales to more than 300 employees and annual sales of over $250 million. For the last 18 years, Yark Automotive Group has been the Largest Volume New & Used Vehicle Dealership in Northwest Ohio & Southeast Michigan showcasing 10 vehicle franchises: BMW, Nissan, Subaru, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram, SRT & FIAT. 

The Yark family is originally from Toledo and both Yark brothers, Jim and John, graduated from local high schools and The Ohio State University. After acquiring the organization in 1981, the Yark brothers implemented a detailed business plan and grew the dealership to include its 9 franchises, 6 Pre-Owned vehicle lots, a body shop, a car rental company and the area’s largest retail and wholesale parts department. Today, the business continues to grow and the family tradition continues with 4 of the Yark children now working in various positions within the company. 

Yark Automotive Group has been recognized by the Better Business Bureau as the 2011 Torch Award Winner and by Time Magazine as a Quality Dealer. The Toledo City Paper has voted Yark Automotive Group as the Best Place to Buy a Car in Toledo for the past 12 years in a row and all of the Yark stores have been awarded a spot in the top 100 Best Dealerships to Work For in the US by Automotive News. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Watch this Jeep Willys return to its birthplace after 70 years

Earlier this month, a very significant Jeep was celebrated at the Toledo North Assembly plant. No, it wasn't the upcoming reincarnation of the Jeep Cherokee, but instead it was a 1943 Willys MB that visited the Toledo grounds where it had been built exactly 70 years ago to the day.

Of course, the actual building where the MBs rolled off the assembly line before heading to Europe for World War II no longer exists, but that didn't stop Italian owner Vittorio Argento from having the vehicle shipped to the US to make its trek back to its birth place. According to Chrysler, Argento's MB is still 95-percent original and it drove 1,000 miles from New Jersey to Toledo.
The whole adventure was chronicled on a blog aptly named A Jeep Comes Home. Scroll down for a brief video from Chrysler and for some photos of the Toledo visit and be sure to read more at Argento's blog.

Yark Automotive Group Technician Talks About Working on the 1943 Jeep Willys MB, Toledo, Ohio


Yark FIAT Art Car at Crosby Festival Gala Event

Yark FIAT will unveil this summer's Art Car as part
of the Crosby Festival of the Arts Preview Gala

Since opening its doors in 2011, Yark FIAT has introduced a FIAT model 500 wrapped in a local artist's
art as part of the dealership's community involvement in the cultural arts.

Dubbed the Yark FIAT Art Car, the 500 model has been the palette to 2 artists including a 5 year
Autistic child where the Art Car was auctioned off for charity right here in Toledo. This year, MR
ATOMIC has been commissioned to provide the inspiration and art for a celebration of 'Art in

The theme Art in Motion was chosen to convey the many places in Toledo the Yark FIAT Art Car will
be this year. Starting with the unveiling of the car at the Crosby Festival of the Arts Preview Gala and
other appearances at the University of Toledo's Art on the Mall, and the Art Commission's Art Walk
among others.

MR ATOMIC artists Mark and Michael Kelsey were excited to be chosen to be the Art Car's Artist
and chose prints from their current collection to exhibit their quirky candor with bright colors and an
homage to some of their celebrity inspirations. “You may see George or Ringo, maybe Mr Poe make
an appearance,” said Mark. “We are still ironing out the details right down to the wire.”

MR ATOMIC, whose studio is located on Reynolds Road in the former Glann Elementary School
building, has been gracing the Toledo art scene since the mid seventies. Both Mark and Michael,
identical twins, grew up in Toledo and have worked for such businesses as Thomas Hart Associates and
Libbey before opening up their own studio. Their style of art is Pop Surrealism described as an
underground visual art movement started in Los Angeles in the late 70's based on underground comix,
punk music, and hot-rod cultures of the street.

The Yark FIAT Art Car will not disappoint those looking for that gleeful, low-brow, sarcastic colorful
concepts that MR ATOMIC has been giving the area for years. The Art Car will be on display for the
duration of the Crosby Festival of the Arts and will return to the dealership on Central Avenue until
its next appearance.

Fourth of July Pet Safety Tips

Here are several great tips to consider while celebrating the holidays...
For many people, nothing beats lounging in the backyard on the Fourth of July with good friends and family—including the four-legged members of the household. While it may seem like a great idea to reward Rover with scraps from the grill and bring him along to watch fireworks, in reality some festive foods and products can be potentially hazardous to your pets. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center offers the following tips:
  • Never leave alcoholic drinks unattended where pets can reach them. Alcoholic beverages have the potential to poison pets. If ingested, the animal could become very intoxicated and weak, severely depressed or could go into a coma. Death from respiratory failure is also a possibility in severe cases.
  • Do not apply any sunscreen or insect repellent product to your pet that is not labeled specifically for use on animals. Ingestion of sunscreen products can result in drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy. The misuse of insect repellent that contains DEET can lead to neurological problems.
  • Always keep matches and lighter fluid out of your pets’ reach. Certain types of matches contain chlorates, which could potentially damage blood cells and result in difficulty breathing—or even kidney disease in severe cases. Lighter fluid can be irritating to skin, and if ingested can produce gastrointestinal irritation and central nervous system depression. If lighter fluid is inhaled, aspiration pneumonia and breathing problems could develop.
  • Keep your pets on their normal diet. Any change, even for one meal, can give your pets severe indigestion and diarrhea. This is particularly true for older animals who have more delicate digestive systems and nutritional requirements. And keep in mind that foods such as onions, chocolate, coffee, avocado, grapes & raisins, salt and yeast dough can all be potentially toxic to companion animals.
  • Do not put glow jewelry on your pets, or allow them to play with it. While the luminescent substance contained in these products is not highly toxic, excessive drooling and gastrointestinal irritation could still result from ingestions, and intestinal blockage could occur from swallowing large pieces of the plastic containers.
  • Keep citronella candles, insect coils and oil products out of reach. Ingestions can produce stomach irritation and possibly even central nervous system depression. If inhaled, the oils could cause aspiration pneumonia in pets.
  • Never use fireworks around pets! While exposure to lit fireworks can potentially result in severe burns and/or trauma to the face and paws of curious pets, even unused fireworks can pose a danger. Many types contain potentially toxic substances, including potassium nitrate, arsenic and other heavy metals.
  • Loud, crowded fireworks displays are no fun for pets, so please resist the urge to take them to Independence Day festivities. Instead, keep your little guys safe from the noise in a quiet, sheltered and escape-proof area at home.


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Planning A Road Trip? Here Are Tips On How To Keep Your Pets Safe During Travel

For some pet parents, a trip's no fun if the four-legged members of the family can't come. But traveling can be highly stressful, both for you and your animal companions. With thoughtful preparation, you can ensure a safe and comfortable trip for everyone.
Planning a road trip? Traveling with a pet involves more than just loading the animal in the back seat and motoring off—especially if you will be driving long distances or plan to be away for a long time. The ASPCA offers the following tips to help you prepare for a safe and smooth car trip:
  1. Keep your pets safe and secure in a well-ventilated crate or carrier. There are a variety of wire mesh, hard plastic and soft-sided carriers available. Whatever you choose, make sure it's large enough for your pet to stand, sit, lie down and turn around in. And P.S., it's smart to get your pet used to the carrier in the comfort of your home before your trip. 
  2. Get your pet geared up for a long trip by taking him on a series of short drives first, gradually lengthening time spent in the car. And please be sure to always secure the crate so it won't slide or shift in the event of a quick stop. 
  3. Your pet's travel-feeding schedule should start with a light meal three to four hours prior to departure. Don't feed your furry friend in a moving vehicle—even if it is a long drive. 
  4. Never leave your animal alone in a parked vehicle. On a hot day, even with the windows open, a parked automobile can become a furnace in no time, and heatstroke can develop. In cold weather, a car can act as a refrigerator, holding in the cold and causing the animal to freeze to death. 
  5. What in your pet's traveling kit? In addition to travel papers, food, bowl, leash, a waste scoop, plastic bags, grooming supplies, medication and a pet first-aid kit, pack a favorite toy or pillow to give your pet a sense of familiarity. 
  6. Make sure your pet has a microchip for identification and wears a collar with a tag imprinted with your home address, as well as a temporary travel tag with your cell phone, destination phone number and any other relevant contact information. Canines should wear flat (never choke!) collars, please. 
  7. Don't allow your pet to ride with his head outside the window. He could be injured by flying objects. And please keep him in the back seat in his crate or with a harness attached to a seat buckle. 
  8. Traveling across state lines? Bring along your pet's rabies vaccination record, as some states requires this proof at certain interstate crossings. While this generally isn't a problem, it's always smart to be on the safe side. 
  9. When it comes to H2O, we say BYO. Opt for bottled water or tap water stored in plastic jugs. Drinking water from an area he's not used to could result in tummy upset for your pet. 
  10. If you travel frequently with your pet, you may want to invest in rubberized floor liners and waterproof seat covers, available at auto product retailers.


Thursday, March 14, 2013

St. Patrick's Day Safety Tips

We are fast approaching St. Patrick's Day, when everyone is Irish for a day, right? Many of us will be donning our green t-shirts, Leprechaun hats and shamrock socks for a day of celebration!!!  But whether you are going out to celebrate at a local pub or hosting a party at home, remember these St. Patrick's Day safety tips to ensure your day is full of lucky charms.......

•  Don't bring valuables to any celebration. Only bring with you what is necessary, such as your driver's license, money, a phone and shamrock necklaces. 

•  If you're attending an event with a large crowd, such as a local St. Patty's Day parade, be aware of your surroundings and locate where you can go for help if necessary. 

•  If you plan on drinking, don't drive! Protect yourself and others by having a designated driver and make sure everyone wears a seatbelt. 

•  If you are the designated driver, watch out for intoxicated walkers who pay no attention to lights or crosswalks. 

•  Use public transportation or take a cab both to and from your location so you can avoid leaving your car in an unfamiliar place overnight. Many places offer free rides. 

•  If going out with a group of friends, have everyone "buddy up" to make sure they get home safely. 

•  Stay hydrated and fed. Make sure you don't drink on an empty stomach and definitely consume water or non-alcoholic beverages in between the green beer. 

•  Do not leave drinks unattended. Many pubs have outdoor tents set up with port-a-potties outside. Finish your drinks before hitting the restroom. 

•  If you become separated from your group, don't wander off alone. Ask the party staff to contact a taxi company for you. 

•  If the party is at your house, have guests turn their keys in to you when they arrive. That way you can ensure that everyone has a safe ride home. But be prepared to let your guests stay the night as an alternative. 

•  Have phone numbers handy for a cab company, emergency contacts and poison control. 

•  Have plenty of food and snacks available so your guests aren't drinking on an empty stomach. 

•  If cups are unattended for a while, dump them out, especially if there are curious kids around. 

There are plenty of fun things to do on St. Patrick's Day with family and friends, but it's important to have a high level of awareness when it comes to safety. Good health and happiness is the real pot of gold!