Special Olympics Illinois Names New Board Member

Special Olympics Illinois pic

Special Olympics Illinois
Image: soill.org

An automobile sales executive, Ben Ripstein has served as president of Midwest Motors, Inc., since 2009. A committed community volunteer, Ben Ripstein is an active supporter of Special Olympics Illinois.

Special Olympics Illinois recently announced the appointment of MAKE Corporation CEO Karen Wilson to its board of directors. She will also serve on the organization’s development committee. She has previous experience with Special Olympics Illinois, serving as co-chair and then chair of the Inspire Greatness Gala in 2014 and 2015, respectively.

MAKE Corporation maintains offices in Dallas and Chicago. Beginning as a partner in 2002, Wilson would go on to purchase the company a decade later and has overseen its successful growth as a leading provider in the professional services and staffing industry.

Her other board experience includes an appointment to the board of directors for TechServe Alliance for the past eight years, in addition to her role with VMS Professionals as its board president.


Special Olympics Illinois – The Young Athletes Program

Special Olympics Illinois pic

Special Olympics Illinois
Image: soill.org

An automobile sales executive by profession, Ben Ripstein upholds a dedication to sharing his resources with the community. Ben Ripstein stands out as an active supporter of Special Olympics Illinois, which sponsors the Young Athletes program.

Special Olympics Illinois offers the Young Athletes program to children aged 2 years to 7 years. Participation is open to children with intellectual disabilities as well as to their peers, so that all children can have the opportunity to strengthen their bodies and develop motor skills. Participants also work on developing cognitive and social skills, while learning about the Special Olympics organization and the benefits that it provides to athletes.

Young Athletes leaders begin by teaching foundational coordination and motor tracking skills. Athletes develop gross motor control in walking, running, jumping, and balancing, as well as the ability to throw, catch, kick, and otherwise manipulate sports equipment. Once the athletes have refined these skills, they learn to apply them in the context of races and other developmentally appropriate sports games.

Children who graduate from the Young Athletes program then have the opportunity to transition into standard Special Olympics activities. These activities allow the athletes to further develop their abilities as well as their confidence and sense of belonging in the world of sports.

Supporting Special Olympics in Illinois with the October Pumpkin Pedal

October Pumpkin Pedal pic

October Pumpkin Pedal
Image: soill.org

Turning his passion into a career, Ben Ripstein established Midwest Motors, Inc., in 2009, and he continues to expand his inventory of luxury pre-owned vehicles. In addition to managing the day-to-day operations of business headquarters in Lake Zurich, Ben Ripstein regularly finds time to support community causes such as the Special Olympics’ Illinois chapter.

As part of the global Special Olympics organization, the Illinois chapter is dedicated to providing individuals with intellectual disabilities a supportive community of peers. Now involving more than 21,000 athletes throughout the state, Special Olympics Illinois relies on the continued philanthropy of more than 40,000 volunteers and supporters to provide sports and training programs. To proactively promote a culture of tolerance and physical fitness, Special Olympics Illinois is inviting participants throughout the Chicagoland area to join the Pumpkin Pedal at Leroy Oakes County Forest Preserve on October 5, 2014. The event features 10-, 20-, and 28-mile routes on the Great Western Trail, as well as 45- and 65-mile road rides for serious bikers.

The $30 registration fee includes rest stops and emergency mechanical support, and participants will be treated to a post-ride meal with vegetarian options available. The proceeds will fund year-round training programs for Illinois athletes with intellectual disabilities. For registration information, visit soill.org.

Qualities of an Auto Sales Professional

As the president and owner of Midwest Motors in Lake Zurich, Illinois, Ben Ripstein sells late-model luxury cars in a custom-designed indoor warehouse location. Ben Ripstein adheres to a stringent standard of customer service, which involves personally escorting customers through the warehouse and following up with them after a sale.

Buying a car is no small matter, and the successful car salesman needs to know when to press for a sale and when to step back and let the customer think. Flexibility and listening skills play a key role in developing this awareness; a good car salesperson pays more attention to the customer than to him- or herself. To do so, the salesperson must first start the conversation. Experts suggest using an open-ended, nonthreatening “welcome” and a personal introduction versus a yes-or-no question.

Once the conversation has started, a give-and-take technique will likely help the salesperson to understand the customer. Asking questions and offering small bits of information tend to keep a conversation going more naturally than overloading a potential customer with excess information or making offers to test drive too soon or desperately. Successful car sales professionals instead elect to be available to answer questions, present relevant knowledge at the right time, and help customers feel that the dealership cares about their shopping experience.