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Wadette Bradford Named Rising Star by Cox Automotive, NAMAD

Recognition highlights importance of diversity in the automotive industry.

Cox Communications is No. 18 on the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies list


Wadette H. Bradford

Cox Automotive, in partnership with the National Association of Minority Automotive Dealers (NAMAD), awarded its Rising Star Award to Wadette H. Bradford, Martin Kia general manager, in recognition of her strong leadership and commitment to the automotive industry and her community.

In nominating Bradford, Amber L. Martin, co-owner, Martin Automotive Group, said: "Wadette Bradford is an emerging leader as exemplified by her enthusiasm, dedication and passion to contribute excellence to the automotive industry. Her industry knowledge alone is well beyond her years, demonstrating her to be a notable next generation leader."

Bradford's work has been instrumental in growing and expanding brand recognition and profit margins for both new and well-established dealerships. As general manager of Martin Kia, Bradford has increased inventory turns, developed innovative digital marketing campaigns and increased service gross profit.

Nicole Ashe, senior vice president, talent, diversity and culture, Cox Automotive, said: "On behalf of Cox Automotive and in partnership with NAMAD, I am honored to recognize Wadette for her phenomenal achievements in automotive. Wadette is aspiring to be a franchise dealership owner-operator, and with her enthusiasm and passion for the automotive industry, I am confident that she will achieve that goal."

One of Bradford's most significant career achievements was accomplished under the tutelage of her first mentor, Ellenae Fairhurst. Bradford was encouraged to forge an enterprising partnership with Huntsville business leaders where she established a client relationship to secure a multimillion-dollar contract resulting in improved brand recognition and loyalty for Lexus of Huntsville. The contract execution also resulted in record pre-owned gross profit and unit sales.

"I am honored to be the first woman to receive this prestigious award," said Bradford. "My role model, Mrs. Ellenae Fairhurst, a Lexus dealer in Alabama, gave me the foundation for my success with my first management job for which I will be eternally grateful. Ms. Amber Martin's keen business acumen to recognize talent afforded me the opportunity to sharpen my skills as general manager with the Martin Management Group. As we continue to surge forward growing the business, claiming new market share, increasing our support of the community and our profitability, my hope is to inspire other women to join the automotive industry."

Martin Kia is one of six franchises comprising Martin Autoplex in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Its parent company, Martin Automotive Group, was founded by Cornelius A. Martin in 1985 with the purchase of a single point Oldsmobile Cadillac dealership. The family-owned company operates automotive dealerships across the nation.

Bradford is a member of the Kentucky Auto Dealers Association, the American International Automobile Dealers Association Rising Dealers Network and NAMAD NextGen. In addition, she participates in the Kentucky Auto Dealers Association Lobby Day in Frankfort, Kentucky, to ensure legislators are aware of the issues that affect consumers, dealers and their employees. Bradford also lobbies in Washington D. C. on Capitol Hill with the American International Automobile Dealers Association. She is active in the community where she is a member of the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals and United Way.

Bradford, a native of Tuskegee, Alabama, graduated from the National Automobile Dealers Association Academy in 2010 at the top of her class after receiving a bachelor's degree from Alabama A&M and a master's degree from University of Alabama in Huntsville.

Cox Automotive is donating $5,000 to one of its national diversity partners in Bradford's honor. She chose National Urban League, a non-profit organization with a mission of empowering African-Americans through economic self-reliance, parity, power and civil rights.

Ashe presented the award at the NAMAD annual meeting awards dinner in Miami on July 13. Bradford was chosen based on nomination criteria including being a NAMAD member under the age of 40 who shows proven leadership qualities in the automotive industry.

Cox Changes Logo, Tagline to Bring People Closer

"This will be a journey, but we want our products and employees to be advocates of real connections, not just connectivity."

Originally Published by Cox Communications.

Cox creates millions of moments of human connections every day and will focus more on what makes these connections so powerful and unique. To emphasize this shift, the company is launching new advertising, a new logo with a warmer look and feel, and a tagline of "bringing us closer."

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Cox Raises Commitment To Bridge Digital Divide With $20 Million Pledge

Cox's Connect2Compete customers report affordable internet access at home gets kids more interested in school work and makes parent involvement easier.

Originally Published by Cox Communications.

Cox Communications announced the overwhelmingly positive results of a survey of Connect2Compete program participants, a program designed for low-income families in need of internet access at home. The vast majority of parents agree low-cost internet service at home gives children a leg up for high school graduation (91 percent) and helps students get higher grades (89 percent). During a press conference in Washington D.C., Cox President Pat Esser also announced Cox is expanding its commitment to bridge the digital divide with a commitment of $20 million annually.

Connect2Compete Survey Results

The recent survey of more than 1,700 Connect2Compete participants revealed parents agree Connect2Compete:

  • Makes it easier to communicate with teachers and the school (95 percent)
  • Sets children up for success (94 percent)
  • Makes children more interested in school work (88 percent)
  • The convenience of having internet access at home is among the greatest benefits (97 percent)

According to the survey, most Connect2Compete customers are first-time internet users. Many first-time internet users lack the digital literacy skills necessary to make the most of their internet connection. To help bridge this gap, Cox Communications offers free digital literacy training and resources through the Cox Digital Academy. The digital literacy training is designed to empower low-income families to build educational, economic and social opportunities crucial to realize the full potential of a home internet connection.

Cox Expands Commitment to Bridge Digital Divide

Joined by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and Founder of EveryoneOn, Zach Leverenz, Esser revealed the company surpassed a significant program milestone and is expanding its commitment to bridge the digital divide during the press event. To date, more than 400,000 people have been connected to the internet via the Connect2Compete program and the company continues to invest in the program. Esser announced the company is pledging an additional 20 million dollars to support this initiative over the next year.

"With convenient, reliable internet access at home, students can readily focus on their school work, explore their passions and ultimately reach their full potential in life," said Pat Esser, president of Cox Communications. "We will continue devoting important resources – including discounted internet service – to bolster their success and close the digital divide."

Cox has offered a low-income internet program for nearly two decades, and has a strong history of exceeding its goals for providing access to technology to students and their families – in the classroom, in the community and in homes. Through public-private partnerships and a dedicated focus across the entire Cox organization, the company continues to lead the way in closing the digital divide in the communities it serves. By connecting schools, community centers like Boys & Girls

During the back-to-school season, empowering students with the right tools is top of mind for parents and teachers. Survey respondents reported the sign-up process for Connect2Compete is a positive experience, and most participants experienced no issues when signing up via telephone at 855-222-3252 or online at www.cox.com/lowcostinternet. Cox also regularly hosts or attends events where families can sign-up in person.

"My number one priority at the FCC is to bridge the digital divide—the gap between Americans who have access to the internet and advanced technologies and those who don't, "said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. "That's because the internet is increasingly critical in our daily lives. I've seen this for myself in my travels across the country and that's why the FCC has taken aggressive action to extend internet access. Every American deserves to have access to digital opportunity."

Cox: Retailers And Brands Measure Customer Engagement All Wrong

The problem isn't engagement itself, or even that marketing teams have sold their organizations on likes that didn't lead to sales – the problem is with how retailers and brands measure engagement.

Originally Published by Cox Communications.

By Nikki Baird

I came across a statistic a couple of weeks ago that intrigued me. According to a Journal of Marketing study, brands that invest in both social media and TV advertising sees a sales increase of 1% over a brand that invests in TV alone. And, the study notes, "A neutral or even negative social media post with high engagement will impact sales more than a positive post that draws no likes, comments, or shares. This is true even among customers who say their purchase decisions are not swayed by what they read on social media."

In other words, customers who are more engaged are more likely to spend. And engagement is so contagious, that consumers only have to see that others are getting engaged to actually be swayed, whether they realize it or not.

That says a lot about the power of engagement.

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Cox Business Acquires RapidScale

Strategic acquisition strengthens Cox Business' managed services and connected cloud offerings.

Originally Published by Cox Communications.

Cox Business, the commercial division of Cox Communications, announced its acquisition of RapidScale, a leading managed and hybrid managed cloud services provider that delivers secure and reliable cloud solutions to businesses of all sizes.

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Cox Communications Names Perley McBride as Chief Financial Officer

Perley Mc Bride has more than 20 years of experience in financial roles in the communications industry, including a decade at Frontier.

Originally Published by Cox Communications.

Cox Communications announced that Perley McBride will join the company as executive vice president and chief financial officer. Most recently, McBride was executive vice president and chief financial officer of Frontier Communications.

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YouTube Kids and NPR One Come to Cox Contour!

Cox continues to make it easy for customers to easily access everything in one place, adding YouTube Kids and NPR One alongside Netflix, YouTube, iHeartRadio, On Demand and live TV programming.

Originally Published by Cox Communications.

Cox Communications announced that YouTube Kids and NPR One are now available for Contour customers, providing seamless access to video and audio content choices right alongside TV programming, On Demand content, DVR recordings and more. Cox Contour customers can use their voice remote to launch and watch YouTube Kids videos and NPR One audio directly on their televisions, with no secondary device or need to switch inputs. These two apps are the latest additions to a series of apps accessible via the Contour platform, including Netflix, YouTube and iHeartRadio.

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Cox Launches New Spanish Language Content in Expanded Digital Academy

Free Resources Boost Digital Literacy Skills for Better Education, Jobs, Housing Opportunities and More.

Originally Published by Cox Communications.

At the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) National Convention, Cox Communications announced the expansion of the Cox Digital Academy to include free Spanish-language resources designed to broaden opportunities for the Hispanic population through technology. Cox Digital Academy, part of Cox's commitment to narrow the digital divide, offers valuable online resource for parents, students and educators seeking to improve their digital skills. Cox is also supporting the convention by educating families about the discounted home internet service available through its Connect2Compete program.

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