Auto Briefs

Summerville-based Scout Boats last month delivered a luxury vessel to a triple amputee combat veteran.

Automotive News selected a Charleston-based director for the publication’s yearly “40 Under 40 list,” which also included an officer from Fort Mill.

Dan Zarrillo, 34, is variable operations director at Hendrick Lexus Charleston. According to Arlena Sawyers’ piece in the July 11 edition, “Zarrillo motivated his sales team to increase the store’s new-vehicle sales 57 percent to 1,131.” He previously was used-car manager, and pre-owned cars posted a 47 percent jump in sales to 1,008 in 2013.

Zarrillo gives credit to “the dealership’s culture of treating employees with respect, which in turn helped him to win their respect.” The manager said the dealership switched to market-based pricing, “advertising its best price for its used vehicles upfront.” Using third parties to back up prices, the dealership could “provide proof to doubting customers and cut down on price haggling,” Sawyers wrote.

According to the article, Zarrillo has set his sights on becoming a general manager at a dealership within Hendrick Automotive Group.

“We work together,” he said of Hendrick Lexus Charleston. “It’s not the sales department. It’s the sales and service department as a team.”

Also cited in the 40 Under 40 feature was Margot Miller, 35, corporate finance director and chief compliance officer with Mills Auto Group in Fort Mill.

Her achievement, according to Automotive News, was increasing the group’s finance and insurance income 31 percent.

On Sept. 11, 2004, a rocket attack in Iraq so severely injured Brian Kolfage that he lost three limbs. The senior U.S. airman left the hospital 11 months later, graduated from architecture school two years ago, and, this spring, bought himself a boat.

The triple amputee purchased a new Scout 350 LXF built in Summerville. A Florida dealership delivered the luxury center console to him June 29.

“When we met Brian, we were all truly inspired by his commitment, determination and perseverance,” Scout president and chief executive officer Steve Potts said. “We were honored to have him speak at our dealer meeting last fall, and we’re honored to have built the model of his dreams,” the CEO said.

The boat, purchased from Scout dealer Legendary Marine in Florida, is for Kolfage and his family. The 350 LXF was modified with additional grab rails and an aft-installed Garelick fishing seat with gunnel mounts, the boatmaker pointed out.

According to Scout, the serviceman was on his second deployment for Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004 and “miraculously survived” the rocket attack.

Kolfage had worked a night shift at Balad Air Base in Iraq, and he “awoke in the afternoon, left his tent and walked no more than 25 feet” when the base came under rocket attack. A 107-millimeter shell exploded about three feet from him, throwing him several feet in the air, Scout said. He landed against a wall of sandbags, still conscious.

“Despite suffering multiple amputations and the looming possibility of death, Kolfage still maintained incredible strength and courage throughout his recovery,” the company said.

Kolfage graduated from the University of Arizona’s School of Architecture, “where he rose to the top of his class, as well as learned to draw without his dominant right hand,” Scout noted.

He was recently awarded a prestigious military scholarship, the Pat Tillman Scholar Award.

In 2014, he was bestowed with “the most honorable award that a wounded warrior can receive,” the George C. Lang Award for Courage, according to Scout. The award went “not only for his fearlessness, but his selfless actions of taking care of other wounded veterans who were in need of mentoring,” the company said.

Kolfage and his wife continue to make trips to Walter Reed Army Medical Center — where he recuperated — to visit with newly wounded vets. “His insight and ability to connect with the veterans gives them new hope for their future,” Scout noted.

In remarks last month, Potts noted the boat’s delivery took place just before Independence Day. “As July 4th approaches, it warms all of our hearts here to remember all of our veterans who fight for our freedoms every day,” he said.

Summerville-based Scout, founded 25 years ago, builds center console and dual console sportfishing models, flats and bay boats ranging from 17 to 42 feet.

Visit www.scoutboats.com.