Local dealership earns Five Star rating

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 15, 2000

Integrity Jeep in Ironton recently was awarded the prestigious Five Star rating by DaimlerChrysler.

Tuesday, February 15, 2000

Integrity Jeep in Ironton recently was awarded the prestigious Five Star rating by DaimlerChrysler. This is the highest recognition the parent company awards its dealerships for excellence in customer service.

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"This is more than just recognition by DaimlerChrysler," said Dan Bruce, Integrity Jeep dealership owner. "DaimlerChrysler has very high criteria dealerships must meet to receive the rating."

The Five Star rating is not based on sales volume, which would give an unfair advantage to big-city dealerships, Bruce explained. Instead, it is based on customer satisfaction.

"DaimlerChrysler believes customer satisfaction is the most important part of our business because the customer truly is the most important person," he added.

Integrity Jeep had a perfect 100 percent in terms of customer satisfaction during nine of the past 12 months.

Other areas on which the rating is based are training, facility and process requirements. Five Star certification also requires the dealership to contact customers after doing business with them to ensure each is completely satisfied. The follow-up also ensures the dealership continuously evaluates and improves the way it does business.

Service technicians and mechanics also participate in continuing training as part of the Five Star program, with each receiving master technician awards.

To honor Integrity Jeep’s achievement, DaimlerChrysler provided the dealership with a special luncheon on Friday, Feb. 11. In addition to honoring the staff for its collective achievement, special guests included key customers.


Applications are being accepted for the Leadership Tri-State Class of 2000. More than 350 area residents have graduated from the multi-session course during the past 10 years.

This year’s program includes eight sessions along with new content. The orientation session is scheduled for mid-April. The monthly sessions will continue through November.

Leadership Tri-State is a non-profit community educational program under the umbrella of the Foundation for the Tri-State Community. It was created in 1989 to develop the talents of the area’s future leaders.

Participants are selected from Southern Ohio, Eastern Kentucky and West Virginia.

If accepted, each participant or his or her sponsor must pay $350 in tuition. The fee covers program costs as well as meal and lodging expenses for all eight sessions. Partial tuition assistance is available in some circumstances.

The program requires participants to commit to attend all eight sessions. If more than one session is missed, the participant will not be approved for graduation.

To receive an application or to nominate a candidate, call 377-4550.

Deadline for receipt of applications is March 3.


Dave’s Bakery in Flatwoods, Ky., has been named a business of the week by the Ashland Alliance, the chamber of commerce and regional development partnership serving Ashland and Boyd and Greenup counties.

Dave’s Bakery is owned by David Kersey.


Firstar Corp., the parent company of Firstar Bank, recently raised its prime lending rate to 8/75 percent from 8/5 percent.

The last change in Firstar’s prime lending rate was Nov. 16, 1999, when it was raised from 8.25 to 8.5 percent.


First Federal Financial Bancorp, the parent company of First Federal Savings Bank in Ironton, has announced earnings of $74,237, or 14 cents per share, for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 1999, as compared to $32,047, or 6 cents per share, for the same quarter a year ago.

The company paid a regular quarterly dividend of 7 cents per share for the 1999 and 1998 quarters.

Net interest income increased $54,682, or 13.6 percent, from $402,823 for the 1998 quarter to $457,505 for the 1999 quarter. Interest income increased $51,964, or 4.8 percent, while interest expense decreased $2,718, or .4 percent. The increase in interest income resulted primarily from an increase in the average volume of the loan portfolio during the 1999 quarter as compared to the 1998 quarter, and from increased yields earned on the variable rate loan portfolio, such loans having been subject to increased repricing in recent months. These increases were partially offset by a decline in interest earned on mortgage-backed and related securities during the 1999 quarter as compared to the 1998 quarter, due to a decreased volume of such securities.

At Dec. 31, 1999, the company had $65.8 million of total assets, $56.5 million of total liabilities and $9.3 million of total stockholders’ equity. The bank is the company’s only subsidiary, which conducts business from its main office in Ironton and one full-service branch in Proctorville.


The following positions are posted with the OBES Ironton One-Stop Employment and Training Center, 120 N. Third St.: Loan originator, account executive, credit clerk, roofers, fast-food worker, alterations, heating and air-conditioning installer/repairer, census enumerator, inventory clerk, bookkeeper, advertising representative, production, sanitation, warehouse, machinist, management trainees, manufacturing engineer, physical therapist, registered nurse, insurance sales, nurse’s aides, security officer, telemarketing, truck drivers, welder, fitness coordinator, direct-care provider, licensed practical nurse, printer-press operator, laundry presser, carpet cleaner, substitute teacher, math or science teacher, transportation agents, kitchen manager, accounting assistant, first-line supervisor, waiter/waitress and cashiers.

Jennifer Allen is publisher of The Ironton Tribune.