Mid Hudson Subaru Community Involvement


Business Person of the Year

WAPPINGERS FALLS Peter Maher's office at Mid Hudson Subaru is not tucked away in the back of the dealership. You'll find the owner's office just to the left of the front door. The surface of his modest desk is obscured by layers of paper and reports so thick, they ought to be excavated, not stacked. An admin sits not outside, but rather in the same, snug space.

However, Maher's office does offer one expansive benefit: the tall windows give him a clear view of Route 9, one of the arteries of what has been at the center of both his business and charitable works. "For us, it's all about local," said Maher, the 2016 Poughkeepsie Journal Business Person of the Year. "It's all about taking care of local organizations and local people." Maher owns two dealerships in Dutchess County. He opened the Subaru franchise in 2007. He took over Rhinebeck Ford on Route 9G in 2015. They are the result of a lifelong dream rooted, he says, in a desire to establish clear ethics in a business not always known for them.

"I saw a lot of stuff in the car business that was not straightforward or honest," he said. "I've never subscribed to that." Maher credits his father, a country lawyer based in Carmel named Richard Maher, for passing those values on to him and his six siblings. In the 1970s, Peter Maher's parents divorced. His father sued and won custody of all seven children. 

"He pretty much single-handedly raised seven kids," Maher said. Six of them had left the family home in Yorktown Heights when Maher's father turned to Peter, then in his 20s, and said he was selling the house. That meant Peter could no longer continue living in the basement. And so a career in car dealerships began, first in service departments, then in sales and management. In 2002, Maher took the leap to ownership, buying a share of a Hyundai dealership in Mount Kisco co-owned by the Healey Brothers automotive group. It was a big step. But being an owner, he said, actually brought less pressure. 

"If I lost my own money, I lost my own money," he said. "If I lose somebody else's money, that is devastating to me." The Mid Hudson Subaru franchise represents his first sole-proprietorship. "He is a good community guy," Healey Brothers co-owner Dwight Healey said. "He employs a lot of people, and that speaks volumes. He is a terrific guy." 

His focus on local service emerged in 2013, when he lobbied Subaru of America's corporate leadership to allow dealers to direct the proceeds from the company's annual "Share the Love" charity fundraiser to local nonprofits. At the end of each year, the company donates $250 for every new Subaru bought or leased. Customers can choose the charity. In past years, Subaru had directed the money to national charities. Last year, Mid Hudson Subaru raised $43,000 for Grace Smith House, which serves survivors of domestic violence. Last summer, Maher, his wife Wendy and his teenage son Jesse, showed up for Grace Smith House's four-day, anti-bullying workshop for middle school students, Connect for Respect. The family brought a popcorn machine and a freezer full of ice cream and Popsicles. "They stayed all day and supported our students and our staff," said Grace Smith House Executive Director Michele Pollock Rich. "That is really amazing. He is giving not just of his business side, but also of his time." 

When Arlington High School's marching band needed to raise money, Mid Hudson Subaru provided a car at a reduced cost that the band could raffle off. 

The dealership is also known for its long-running coat drive. Thousands of coats are collected, packaged and distributed to nonprofit partners every year. One day, a woman living in an efficiency motel in Highland called the dealership, asking if she could receive a coat. Wayne Byington, a salesman and manager at Mid Hudson Subaru who lives in Highland, said he would drop it off. On the way, he picked up his teenage son. When they arrived at the motel, Byington gave the coat and $50 to his son, who presented the items to the woman. Byington said that when he looks back on that moment, he credits his boss's local-first focus. "That lady lives in my own town," he said. "If I can help anybody, I'd like to help somebody who lives in my own town." 

John Ferro: 845-437-4816, jferro@poughkeepsiejournal.com, Twitter: @PoJoEnviro

Grace Smith House

For three years in a row, Mid Hudson Subaru chose Grace Smith House for their local charity in Subaru's annual Share the Love event. Grace Smith House serves the survivors of domestic violence.

$250 at Grace Smith House can provide

SAFETY: a night at an emergency shelter for a family of four
HEALING: a month of therapy for a child who has experienced a trauma
EDUCATION: a workshop for 90 youths about teen dating violence and healthy relationships 
A NEW BEGINNING: necessary food and supplies for a local family getting back on their feet in a new apartment

Over the past three years, Mid Hudson Subaru has raised over $110,000 for Grace Smith House through the Share the Love program.

The mission of Grace Smith House, Inc. is to enable individuals and families to live free from domestic violence through:

    * Providing shelter and apartments, advocacy,
       counseling and education 

    * Raising the consciousness of the community regarding the
       extent, type and seriousness of domestic violence

    * Initiating and taking positions on public policies in order to
       provide options which empower victims of domestic violence

The Subaru Share the Love Event happens at the end of every year, between mid-November and early January. For every new Subaru vehicle sold or leased, Subaru will donate $250 to the customer's choice of four national charities and one local charity.

Visit Grace Smith House

Annual Coat Drive

Every year Mid Hudson Subaru partners with Q92 and Fidelis Care to collect, sort and distribute gently used coats and jackets to families in need in the Hudson Valley. For 10 years Mid Hudson Subaru has helped coat the community with love. This event originally lasted a few weeks and took up one 6 foot table, it now involves a 40 foot storage unit, 8 tables, multiple volunteers and lasts almost 2 months! Over 10,000 coasts and jackets have been distributed to local families right in time for winter. 

"What amazes me, year after year, is the generosity of our customers," says Peter Maher, owner Mid Hudson Subaru. "Customers have made this a family activity, cleaning out closets, dropping off the jackets together. We even had grandmother that brought her grandchildren to Burlington to have them pick out coats for needy children. It is incredibly humbling to see how the community continues to support this event." 

Coats and jackets are collected from early November through the end of the year. About 1,000 coats and jackets were distributed in 2015.

In 2016, we had another incredible coat drive! We collected over 1,000 coats on the day of our kick-off and bags of coats continue to pour in taking the count to over 2,000 coats. We truly appreciate the donations received by the community and the wonderful volunteers that came to help sort and bag the coats.

This is a wonderful interview done by Donna Reyer at Hudson Valley News Network during the 2014 kick off.

Athena Award Honoree

The ATHENA Leadership Award® was inspired by the goddess of Greek mythology known for her strength, courage, wisdom and enlightenment?qualities embodied in the ATHENA Leadership Model®. The Award is unique in both scope---local, national and international---and the ATHENA mission upon which it is based. The ATHENA Leadership Award® is presented to a woman ---or man--- who is honored for professional excellence, community service and for actively assisting women in their attainment of professional excellence and leadership skills.

The Chamber Foundation, Inc. is proud to announce the 11 honorees eligible for the 2013 ATHENA Award.  All honorees will be recognized at a private cocktail reception on November 7 before the award is officially presented at the ATHENA Awards Brunch on December 8.  The recipient will later represent the Hudson Valley at a regional ATHENA conference.

The 2013 ATHENA honorees, all chosen by a diverse selection committee because of their demonstrated strengths in career excellence and leadership, community volunteer involvement and willingness to serve as a mentor, especially to women in the business community, include:  

    Ellen L. Baker - McCabe & Mack LLP, Attorneys-At-Law
    Natalie Borquist - Family Services
    Linda G. Campbell - Dutchess ARC
    Lisa M. Cathie - Ulster Savings Bank
    Steven J. Chickery - Hudson Valley Office Furniture  ** chosen to represent the Honorees
    Peter Maher - Mid Hudson Subaru
    Michelle Martin - RiverStone Wealth Management
    Gertrude O'Sullivan - Foundation for Community Health
    Kelly Outwater - Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union
    Angelline Smalls - An'tyrice Salon & Spa
    Sue Sywetz Sullivan - St. Luke's Cornwall Hospital

Bestowed annually, the ATHENA Award is given to a member of the community who best embodies the ATHENA Leadership Model. The Model is unique in that it focuses on personal traits of strong, successful leaders. It captures the spirit and collaborative leadership style often exemplified in women leaders, while also recognizing the importance of qualities such as courageous acts and fierce advocacy in the pursuit of excellence. Cecilia Dinio Durkin, the founder, owner and president of Women's Work, was the Hudson Valley's 2012 recipient.

Since the program's inception in 1982, nearly 6,000 exemplary leaders in over 500 communities have received the prestigious ATHENA Award in the United States, Bermuda, Canada, China, Greece, India, Russia, Unite Arab Emirates and United Kingdom. By honoring exceptional leaders, the ATHENA Leadership Award® Program seeks to inspire others to achieve excellence in their professional and personal lives.

The ATHENA Leadership Award® is presented annually by chambers of commerce, women's organizations and universities. The award is established through local host organizations in partnership with ATHENA International's national underwriters, local businesses and individual sponsors. 

Nominations are solicited and an ATHENA sculpture is awarded to an individual in the community who meets specific criteria listed below. 

The ATHENA Leadership Award® Criteria

ATHENA Leadership Award® Recipients are individuals who: 

  • Have achieved the highest level of professional excellence.
  • Contribute time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in the community.
  • Actively assist others, particularly women, in realizing their full leadership potential.

The Pet Express

We are delighted to partner with The Pet Express to be a drop location for donated supplies.
We can only take non monetary donations. Please visit ThePetExpress.net  for information on monetary donations. We are also not equipped to take any animals, again visit The Pet Express for information on animal adoptions.
The Pet Express is an online site that focuses on pet/animal related events in Dutchess County and the surrounding Historic Hudson Valley areas.

Along with other Animal Advocates, they organize and participate in fundraising for local no-kill/non-profit animal shelters including wild life rehabilitation and release shelters. From raising funds to collecting items such as wet and dry dog/cat food, blankets, towels, and animal safe toys as well as collecting monetary donations for these organizations.

Items can be dropped off during business hours only. PLEASE do not leave any donations when we are not open.

Subaru Corporate Responsibility

At Mid Hudson Subaru we have always had a Social Responsibility strategy and we are happy to announce that Subaru of America has unveiled their own Corporate Social Responsibility Program.

Mid Hudson Subaru and SOA conduct business in a way that is ethical, moral, and has a positive impact on employees, customers, communities and the environment.

For us the pillars of good citizenship are:
Corporate Governance - to ensure a high standard of respect, ethics and integrity in all dealings
Compliance - to ensure that business dealings not only meet but exceed the expectations of the law
Employees - to create a work environment that is safe, healthy, diverse, inclusive and promotes development
Consumers - to enhance the ownership experience
Community Investment and Involvement - to build strong communities and improve the quality of life
Environment - to support sustainable and green initiatives

Environmental Policy

Conservation is a state of harmony between men and land. Aldo Leopold

Subaru of America, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. of Japan. Headquartered in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, the company markets and distributes all-wheel drive Subaru vehicles, parts and accessories.

Their beliefs are: "We believe in making our world a better place. It's why we build fuel-efficient vehicles in eco-friendly plants. It's why we forge partnerships that empower our people and our customers to engage with and improve the world around us."

SOA understands its responsibility to the global environment, society at large, our customers, our distribution network and our employees. As we conduct our business operations into the future, we commit to establish and maintain an effective environmental management system that extends further than just meeting the stated environmental laws and regulations, and that encompasses the integration of sound environmental practices in all of our business decisions.

We commit to:

  • Comply with all environmental laws and regulations and other requirements related to our business activities.
  • Implement effective pollution prevention systems that protect our air, land and water.
  • Conserve natural resources, by reducing, reusing and recycling materials.
  • Continuous improvement of our Environmental Management System (EMS).
  • Create employee awareness and commitment to SOA's Environmental Philosophy and Policy.
  • Work with SOA's business partners to improve their operational impact on the environment.

Subaru of America, Inc. reaffirms our commitment to being a world-class leader in environmental performance.

The Subaru Clean Plant

Here's something to think about: next time you take out your trash at home for collection, you're sending more trash to landfills than the entire Subaru manufacturing plant in Lafayette, Indiana (SIA) does in a year. The Subaru plant was the first auto assembly plant to achieve zero landfill status - nothing from its manufacturing efforts goes into a landfill. It's all reused and recycled. Each year, SIA actively recycles 99.3% of excess/leftover steel, plastic, wood, paper, glass, and other materials. The remaining 0.7% is shipped to the city of Indianapolis and incinerated to help generate steam. In 2006, SIA recycled 11,411 tons of scrap steel, 1,537 tons of cardboard and paper, and 963 tons of wood. That's equal to conserving 31,040 mature trees, 31,572 cubic yards of landfill space, 711,631 gallons of oil, and 10,759,000 gallons of water.

But SIA is no stranger to being a trailblazer when it comes to being environmentally responsible.

  • In 1994, SIA was also the first auto assembly plant in the U.S. to be smoke free.
  • In 1998, SIA was the first auto assembly plant in the U.S. to be ISO 14001 Certified.
  • In 2002, SIA became the first auto assembly plant in the U.S. with an on-site solvent recovery system that produces dry still bottoms.
  • In 2003, SIA became the first U.S. automotive assembly plant to be designated a wildlife habitat. Deer, coyotes, beavers, blue herons, geese, and other animals live there in peaceful coexistence with the Subaru plant. It's our commitment to leave as small a footprint as possible, delivering real-world benefits that everyone can enjoy.
  • In 2004, SIA became the first U.S. manufacturing facility to reach zero landfill status.
  • In 2006, SIA was awarded the U.S. EPA's Gold Achievement Award as a top achiever in the agency's WasteWise program to reduce waste and improve recycling.
Video: Learn more about the Subaru plant.

Green Supplier

To build a green machine, you have to start green. See how we've set and achieved environmental stewardship goals for manufacturing at our Subaru of Indiana plant.

Wildlife Habitat

In 2003, Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc. became the first automotive assembly plant to be designated as a Backyard Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. SIA's 800+ acres serves as a home for various wildlife including: white-tail deer, rabbits, Canadian Geese, Mallard Ducks, squirrels, beavers, coyote, snapping turtles, frogs, red-tail hawks, blue heron, and the Bald Eagle. Check out these pictures of our neighbors.

Partial Zero Emissions Vehicles

Subaru offers the most fuel efficient All-Wheel Drive vehicle lineup in America. Since 2003, Subaru has offered Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (PZEV) certified Legacy, Outback, and Forester models for sale anywhere in the U.S. Subaru PZEV vehicles meet California?s Super-Ultra-Low-Emission Vehicle exhaust emission standard. Gasoline vehicles meeting PZEV emissions standards can have even lower emissions than hybrid or alternative fuel vehicles.

Zero Landfill

In 2004, Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc. became the first automotive assembly plant to be 'Zero-Landfill'. SIA achieved this outstanding accomplishment in May of 2004 and has remained zero landfill. SIA sends nothing from its manufacturing process to the landfill. In other words, a typical household puts more trash in the ground than SIA's entire manufacturing facility.

Subaru of Indiana Automotive

Subaru recognizes that clean vehicles are just one component of a clean environment. In 2004, the Subaru of Indiana (SIA) plant was the first auto assembly plant in the U.S. to achieve zero landfill status - nothing from its manufacturing efforts goes into a landfill. Everything is reused and recycled. Since that time, the Subaru plant has produced zero landfill waste and 100 percent of the by-products from production are reclaimed. In fact, when you carry out your trash at home on the next collection day, you will be sending more trash to the landfill than the entire Subaru manufacturing plant does in a year. SIA is based in Lafayette, Indiana and produces the Subaru Legacy, Outback, and Impreza models. Click Here to See What Makes Us Eco Friendly

Mid-Hudson Subaru

1715 Route 9
Directions Wappingers Falls, NY 12590

  • Call or Text Sales: 845-296-1152


  • Monday 09:00am - 08:00pm
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  • Thursday 09:00am - 08:00pm
  • Friday 09:00am - 06:00pm
  • Saturday 09:00am - 05:00pm
  • Sunday 11:00am - 03:00pm
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