Central Pa. car dealership CEO, philanthropist and ‘committed family man’ dead at 68


Michael Brenner, president and CEO of the Brenner Household of Dealerships, a household enterprise that has been in operation for practically 100 years, died Monday of issues associated to COVID-19. He was 68.

“There are individuals who have labored with him for 20, 25, 30 years, that clearly are extraordinarily affected right here,” Richard Canazaro, normal supervisor of the Brenner Family of Dealerships, mentioned Tuesday. “There’s many individuals who owe their livelihoods to Michael Brenner. And he was extraordinarily community-focused. I don’t consider there are plenty of of us on this neighborhood that know his philanthropic causes as a result of he stored them quiet.”

The Brenner firm, which has been in operation for practically 100 years, operates a number of car dealerships, together with promoting used automobiles in addition to dealerships focusing on gross sales for these with low credit score scores. It included Brenner Preowned of Mechanicsburg and 5 Brenner Automobile Credit score places all through central Pennsylvania.

That was greater than a enterprise mannequin, Canazaro mentioned. To Michael Brenner, it was a part of his philosophy.

“It wasn’t actually, for him, about promoting automobiles,” Canazaro mentioned. “It was about supporting a neighborhood. It was about serving to people who’re on powerful occasions afford a automotive and restore their credit score.”

Brenner served as a board member for quite a few regional organizations, together with the United Approach of the Capitol Area, The Legacy Financial institution of Harrisburg, the Harrisburg Public Faculty Basis, CREDC Mortgage Committee, and The Endowment Fund of the United Jewish Group of Better Harrisburg, amongst many others. He was additionally energetic in supporting neighborhood fundraising efforts by way of firm sponsorships or philanthropic donations, which Canazaro mentioned Brenner by no means tried to leverage for publicity.

“We simply had the Breast Most cancers Coalition in right here, which [Brenner had] donated $7,500,” Canazaro mentioned, noting that the assembly occurred inside 24 hours of Brenner’s demise. Within the wake of the unhappy information, Canazaro mentioned that dialogue with the members of the coalition “wasn’t concerning the $7,500. It was about Michael’s inside generosity.”

Stuart Sacks, an lawyer with Smigel, Anderson & Sacks and a private pal of Brenner’s, mentioned: “If you discuss his enterprise work, he was a really cautious and forceful businessman who pursued his enterprise objectives vigorously. When he took a place or believed in one thing, he was true to that and adopted by way of with it. And that’s the way in which I knew him in finishing up his negotiations and enterprise plans.”

Sacks added that “as a person, I discovered [Brenner] to be a really humble individual. He by no means appeared to train any superior angle with anyone. He liked speaking to folks and being of their circle. And he was a really dedicated household man.”

Brenner is survived by his two sons, Robert and Sam; his daughter, Jesse; his associate Dr. Varsha Shukla Carry, and his sister, Barbra Brenner. For his full obituary, click here.


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