Ryan LaFontaine, 35

Ryan LaFontaine
Background
Ryan LaFontaine has helped take the automotive industry in Michigan back to the top. He has grown 10 dealerships and 16 franchises in a time when no one thought he could. He is married to his wife Sarah, and was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma when he found out his wife was pregnant with his first set of twins. While undergoing treatment and battling cancer, he had made some spectacular accomplishments. They include: building GM's first L.E.E.D Gold Certified Dealership in the country and creating two more environmentally "Green" dealerships, he earned the prestigious Dealer of the Year for Cadillac Buick and GMC for his second year in a row, he won Crain's 40 under 40 award as well as the dbusiness 30 in their 30's award, and he was recognized as the 2010 and 2012 Man-of-the-Year by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. He has raised over $500,000 in the past 3 years for cancer research and has helped support local grants at U of M Hospital. He employs over 700 people in Michigan throughout his 10 locations and 16 franchises. He is now 4 years in remission and is thriving in the automotive industry. Ryan LaFontaine is a true Champion of the New Economy.
 
Growing up in the car business, Ryan always had a passion for cars and to sell cars. In high school, LaFontaine was a 5-foot-6, 140-pound running back. By then, he was already selling cars. At 21, he was a sales manager, and 10 years later he was still putting in more hours than anyone else at his dealership, determined to prove every day that he had more going for him than his last name. Ryan LaFontaine has helped take the automotive industry in Michigan back to the top. If you're going to be an SUV, be an Escalade. "Running and gunning," he says. Whatever the game, he plays to win, and "I don't have a slow speed."

At 32, Ryan was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma and while undergoing treatment and battling cancer, he did not slow down once while relentlessly climbing his way to his well deserved position as Dealer Principal . Ryan is a true Business Hero and a true family man. He is married to his wife Sarah, and they now have two beautiful sets of twins.
 
Current Position
Ryan LaFontaine is Dealer Principal of the LaFontaine Automotive Group. He has taken this company to another level with his quick-witted high spirit. This man never sleeps and is always thinking in terms of growing business. He has just acquired a Volkswagen Dealership in Dearborn and a Ford Dealership in Lansing. His dream of diversifying his franchises is quickly becoming a reality. He now owns 16 franchises: Cadillac, Buick, GMC, Chevy, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Nissan, Scion, Hyundai, Toyota, Kia, and warmly welcomes Volkswagen and Ford. In his position as Dealer Principal he has also gained 10 Dealerships. Two of them aspiring to the L.E.E.D. or "Green" qualifications and their Headquarters, Cadillac Buick GMC location in Highland, being their Gold L.E.E.D. Certified Dealership; the first in that Nation. Ryan has truly stepped up and created an astounding Business, all while keeping the "Small Family Business" characteristic alive.
 
Charity/Community/Board Involvement
Ryan has served on many boards and has a passion for community involvement such as: Serving as the Vice President of the Cadillac LMG Board, Vice President of BPG LMG Board, On-Star Advisory Board, Huron Valley Chamber Board Member, Association Board, National Green Summit Speaker and Board Member, National Kidney Foundation involvement, Childhood Cancer Speaker and Presenter, and Northwood Auto show 2009 Panelist. He also is heavily involved with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and was awarded Man of the Year for 2010 and 2012 for raising over $550,000 and fundraising many grants for the U of M Hospital in the past three years.
 
Oakland County Involvement
Whether he's hosting a Leukemia and Lymphoma Society event to raise money, working, supporting local businesses, or simply dining out with his family; Ryan is more than likely in Oakland County. Having grown up here and starting off in a small family owned business himself, Ryan understands the passion and need of supporting your local community and small businesses. Ryan and his marketing team have supported, sponsored, and fundraised over $200,000 in the Oakland County area within the past year alone! Being involved and giving back is very important to the LaFontaine Family. By supporting Back Pack Programs, Duck Races, Community Festivals and Expos, Hosting Networking Mixers for local Businesses, Helping Local Families in Need, supporting Christmas in Action, Schools, Churches, and much more; a business can truly make a difference.
 
LaFontaine isn't backing off in 2013! After seeing Meals on Wheels time after time for repairs for their vans and noticing that each one had over 200,000 miles on it, Ryan had to do something to help out these local heroes. LaFontaine recently hosted a 200 person Networking Mixer that fundraised over $2,300 for the West Oakland Chapter of Meals on Wheels, but they didn't stop there! They helped Meals on Wheels obtain a van to transport over 1,000 meals each day to congregate sites and homebound seniors in need.
 
LaFontaine isn't backing off in 2013! After seeing Meals on Wheels time after time for repairs for their vans and noticing that each one had over 200,000 miles on it, Ryan had to do something to help out these local heroes.  LaFontaine recently hosted a 200 person Networking Mixer that fundraised over $2,300 for the West Oakland Chapter of Meals on Wheels, but they didn't stop there!  They helped Meals on Wheels obtain a van to transport over 1,000 meals each day to congregate sites and homebound seniors in need.
 

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