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Andy Crews: A Driving Force
Published Friday, March 23, 2012 7:00 am

Each day, we profile one member of our 2012 Influencer Index.

Andy Crews has hundreds of keys as president and CEO of AutoFair in Manchester, but its his influence he uses to open doors and opportunities for businesses, students and area nonprofits.

Crews, who moved to NH from St. Louis in 2006, is a key player in the NH Auto industry, serving as second vice chair of the NH Automotive Dealers Association and as NH chair of the Dealers Election Action Committee for the past three years. In that role, he has travelled to Washington and lobbied against a version of the Dodd Frank Act that extended oversight issues to auto loans. And he advocated for the Korea Trade Pact, which he said was needed to combat the lower levels in automobile inventory that were the result, in part, of the tsunami in Japan.

Crews sits on the board of many nonprofits, including Easter Seals Veterans’ Count (to which AutoFair donated $10,000), the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce and The Palace Theatre in Manchester. He is also a founding member of the Live Free or Die Alliance, which supports civic engagement. Crews says supporting nonprofits financially is important to keep the state’s taxes low.

However, his philanthropy isn’t just about writing big checks. “If you’re going to do something, you want to make an impact. That’s not just writing a check to a nonprofit that says they are going to do something good,” Crews says. That philosophy led to AutoFair’s Make the Grade Program, open to Manchester high school students (including the technical high school). Juniors and seniors earned lottery tickets throughout the 2010-2011 school year for making the honor roll and one won a Ford Fiesta. “I’m a big fan of incentives,” he says of the program.

AutoFair is also a leader when it comes to business practices. The dealership installed LED lighting at its Honda dealership, cutting costs by $60,000 a year in a first of its kind project in New England.

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