Martin started Vehicles for Change (VFC) in April 1999 with a $30,000 grant from Precision CertiPro Warehouse an auto parts distributor. Martin has directed an expansion that included Maryland, most of Virginia and Washington DC.
VFC was selected as a “best practice” organization in a national study completed by the “National Economic Development and Law Center” and generally recognized as one of the premiere low income car ownership program in the country.
In 2005 Martin started Freedom Wheels, a retail used-car business that is a subsidiary of VFC. He was selected as the University of Baltimore 2007 Social Entrepreneur of the Year and the Baltimore Visitors and Convention Bureaus “Sales Person of the Year” award. In 2011, Martin was recognized as an “Influential Marylander” by the Daily Record and Vehicles for Change received the MassMutual Citizenship Award for its private public partnership developed with Precision Tune Auto Care. Martin co-authored a book on Social Enterprise titled Effective Social Enterprise: Practical Advice and Best Practices from Leaders in the Field and serves on the Baltimore Workforce Investment Board and the local Board of the Social Enterprise Alliance.
Steve Sullivan is serving his eighth year as program and service director of Vehicles for Change. Steve has over thirty-seven years of automotive experience, with a background in automotive service, parts, sales and training. Steve previously worked as an accountant at a nonprofit automotive association and in field sales and service for both Standard Motor Products, Inc. and Federal Mogul, Inc. He is ASE and IMACA certified and holds a B.A. in Accounting from Loyola College (Maryland).
Melissa McKenna has managed all operations related to VFC’s Richmond, VA location for the past 10 years. She brings a wide range of experience to VFC, having managed and owned numerous small businesses over the last 30 years (including wood and gas stove stores, a bicycle store and a screen printing machine manufacturer). Melissa is also skilled auto mechanic and has rebuilt engines, replaced transmissions and made repairs on a wide variety of vehicles, including her very own school bus. She is a licensed VA car dealer.
Marneisha brings over a decade of accounting experience to her role as financial manager at Vehicles for Change. Marneisha began her career as a staff auditor at Arthur Anderson LLP, before serving as an assistant manager of contractual compliance at HMSHOST Corporation. Prior to joining VFC, Marneisha worked as audit manager of SB & Company LLC. She holds a B.S. in Accounting from Hampton University and is a mentor for youth in Baltimore City.
Jen Harrington joined Vehicles for Change as marketing director in 2012. Prior to joining VFC, Jen worked in publishing at Wolters Kluwer Health and in legal marketing at Chapman and Cutler LLP, a financial-services law firm based in Chicago. She holds an M.A. in Writing from DePaul University, and is currently active in various charitable organizations.
Brian Jamison is a veteran of the retail car business for over 25 years. As General Manager for Pohanka Saturn of Bowie (MD), Brian and his team earned the #1 Saturn Dealer in the MD, DC, VA Region for 11 consecutive years, and stayed in the top 5 percent nationwide for Customer Satisfaction. Brian also founded Automotive Innovations, manufacturing and marketing accessory items for Hondas and co-founded the Dealership division of Payoff and Inquiry Systems. He is a graduate of the NADA Dealership Academy.
Phil Holmes was coerced from his retirement from Goodwill of the Chesapeake to build the Academy of Automotive Careers. Phil has had an extensive career in the nonprofit world, much of it as the Executive Director of several organizations serving less fortunate individuals, including children and those with disabilities. Prior to his retirement, Phil served as the Vice President of Public Policy and Development. Phil serves as the Chairman of the Board of the Baltimore City Drug Courts Foundation and on the board of the Baltimore City Community College Foundation. He now brings his extensive experience in workforce development to the Academy of Automotive Careers.