When Hurricane Katrina tore through New Orleans in 2005 and left three of Troy Duhon's car dealerships completely under water, it changed the way he did business.
Not just by prompting him to expand and diversify beyond New Orleans but also by motivating him to bring charity work into every location.
Duhon now has 22 dealerships as the owner of Premier Automotive Group and is the co-founder of Giving Hope NOLA, which runs the Food Pantry of New Orleans from one of the group's older buildings. It gives boxed food to local families and serves hundreds of hot meals a day, many of them to the elderly.
All of Premier's dealerships from California to Indiana offer every employee one paid day a year -- they're called "hope days" -- to participate in the nonprofit organization of their choice, said Ben Comer, executive director of the Giving Hope foundation, who met Duhon at church.
The group's dealerships give $25 to Giving Hope for every car sold. "Hope coordinators" at each dealership also help employees find the charities that best fit their goals to help others.