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“Through the hard work of my team, Olathe Ford Lincoln continues to maintain an excellent reputation and rapport with the local community and the greater Kansas City area,” says nominee Mansker.
A 1966 graduate of Center High School in Kansas City, Missouri, Mansker served in the Air Force from 1968 to 1972, spending a year in Vietnam. After returning home, he worked in his uncle’s dealership, Griff Crawford Ford in Olathe, Kansas. “My uncle was blind, so initially, I would spend part of my day reading his mail to him,” he said. He also assisted with a variety of jobs and when the dealership was sold in late 1972, he stayed on fulfilling different positions before being named general manager in the 1980s.
Mansker and a partner began to buy the dealership in 2003 and took full ownership in 2008. “I am honored to have had the opportunity to work in the same location for more than 40 years and have enjoyed seeing a small store that started with fewer than 30 employees grow to employ more than 160 individuals from the area,” he said.
An active member of the state association, where he served as chairman and held other leadership positions, Mansker has lobbied the members of the Kansas legislature and Kansas' Congressional delegation on issues of importance to the retail automobile industry.
In the area of community service, Mansker helped the Olathe Hospital raise funds to buy defibrillators for most of the police patrol cars. His dealership also sponsors a golf tournament each year to benefit the Olathe Hospice, which is breaking ground on a new building. “I am proud that we were able to assist in this project,” he said.
Mansker is a member of the Optimist Club and Olathe Chamber of Commerce, serving as a director for five years. He has contributed to the Olathe School District’s driver’s education program by supplying cars and awarded up to six scholarships per year for area students and children of his employees. In addition to supporting education, Mansker has also donated to the YMCA, Salvation Army, 4-H, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Hidden Glen Arts Festival, Johnson County Fair, Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm historical site and many youth sports teams.
Mansker was nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year Award by Don McNeely, president of the Kansas Automobile Dealers Association. He and his wife, Cheryl, have two children and five grandchildren.