0411 montrose opening 1

WARREN DILLAWAY | Star Beacon Mike Thompson, with scissors, chief executive officer of the Montrose Auto Group, cuts a ribbon with son John Thompson, far left, and Todd Mullen, vice president of Montrose Auto Group, holding ribbon with John Pildner, far right also holding the ribbon end on Saturday morning at the Kingsville Township Montrose Auto Group ribbon cutting. The auto group also held ribbon cuttings on Saturday in Jefferson and Ashtabula.

Three Montrose Auto Group locations celebrated their grand opening on Saturday after purchasing the car dealerships from Great Lake Auto.

"I think the most important thing is we have been able to come and be a part of the community," said Todd Mullen, vice president of Montrose Auto Group. He said the locations in Kingsville Township, Ashtabula and Jefferson were able to maintain employment so customers will be dealing with the same people.

"We want to have a huge presence in this market. We want to make sure we take care of the people in Ashtabula County," Mullen said. He said the dealerships will focus on Ashtabula County customers.

Ashtabula Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Greg Church helped organize the events in Kingsville Township and Ashtabula and attended the third in Jefferson.

"One of the things I am excited about is we hear they are vested in the community and community-oriented," he said.

Church said the AACC has 410 members that include a variety of communities around the county and some in Youngstown, Lake County and even a few in Erie, Pa.

Ashtabula County Commissioner J.P. Ducro attended the event and thanked the Montrose Auto Group for their investment in the community and also thanked Great Lakes Auto for their long=term work in Ashtabula County.

Mullen said he grew up in Ashtabula County and is very excited to be back.

"My family has been here for over 100 years," he said.

Mullen announced the winner of a car giveaway and also distributed six other prizes to people who attended the event in Kingsville Township.

John Thompson, owner of the auto group, explained the company's philosophy, which includes a commitment to members of the military. The Northeast Ohio Chapter of the Sons of the American Legion presented the colors and World War II Veteran John Pildner led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Bridget Sherman sang the national anthem during the ceremony as well.

A ribbon cutting was also held with company officials doing the honors.

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