The strength of our dealer network is something I’ve heard a lot about in my first few months with BraunAbility, but it wasn’t until I spoke with 29-year-old Carrie Greenwood of Kansas that I truly understood the importance of a strong dealer/customer relationship to deliver our customer’s dream vehicle.
Carrie has a physical disability called Arthrogyposis, which limits her range of mobility and strength. For most of her life, she relied on her family as her main form of transportation. But Carrie has always considered herself a very goal-driven individual. When her family purchased their first BraunAbility Entervan, she wrote down a goal for herself: to one day own a van she could drive independently. As she approached adulthood, her motivation grew stronger. “I wanted to have the freedom to go wherever I wanted to go, whenever I wanted to go there,” remembers Carrie. “I’ve always been the type of person to really fight for my goals in life. This was no different.”
Making this happen required a little help and a lot of training. Luckily, Carrie met Tony Cruise from United Access along the way, and he was with her for every step of her journey to driving independence. “I smile when I think of United Access because they’ve been such a large part of this journey for me,” she says. “I remember liking Tony right away because he was very positive, welcoming and seemed to really enjoy helping people increase their independence.”
That’s exactly the sense of care and compassion United Access works hard to promote. “Our slogan is: Mobility for Living, Service for Life, and I think that says it all,” states Tony. “Everyone here strives to build trust and a family atmosphere.”
As Carrie began the process of learning to drive using specialized controls, Tony was working to find the van that was right for her. “He explained the pros and cons of different vans. He asked me for my preferences. He kept me informed. Most of all, he was so pleasant to be around, which made the experience even more enjoyable,” Carrie remembers. “In the end, I told Tony I wanted a fairly new Dodge Braun Entervan… and I wanted it to be red.”
Not long after completing her training, Carrie found herself behind the wheel of her dream vehicle: a beautiful, RED Entervan. The van is the perfect fit for her, and she credits her relationship with Tony for making the experience so positive. Carrie encourages other customers to form a close tie with their dealers as well. “If you have a good relationship with your dealer, it will be so much easier to take your vehicle in for maintenance and feel comfortable with asking questions,” she says.
United Access has supported Carrie on her journey to driving independence and other areas of her life as well. Carrie has volunteered as state coordinator of Ms. Wheelchair Kansas for the past four years (after serving as the state’s first titleholder in 2004), and for the past two years, United Access has been a sponsor of the program. Tony even served as an escort for the annual event this past March! “They give to me and I try to give back to them,” Carrie sums up.
The same feelings are reciprocated by her favorite dealer. “Carrie’s a great friend and a true inspiration,” says Tony. “I’ve seen her do great things since she’s had her BraunAbility lowered floor minivan. I’m truly blessed to be part of her family, and United Access is a better place with someone like her showing people what we can do to help them find that freedom they so desperately deserve.”
Between her social life, volunteer duties and full-time work as Program Coordinator for the Kansas Youth Empowerment Academy, Carrie is constantly on-the-go. She knows she can rely on the quality of her dream vehicle, a red Braun wheelchair van, and the service of Tony and United Access to maintain her active and independent lifestyle.
“I am independent, I am successful, I have my very own beautiful red van…and I love it!” she adds.
If you have a great relationship with your BraunAbility Dealer like Carrie, we’d love to hear your story! You can click on “Tell Us Your Story!” to the left, or simply leave a comment below!