December 2, 2020
IRVINE, Calif. (Dec. 2, 2020) – Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) today unveiled the initial winners of its ‘Mazda Heroes: Honoring The Human Spirit’ program (Mazda Heroes). The remainder of the winners are set to be announced throughout the month of December and honored with a special ceremony in their local community.
The initiative was created by Mazda to shine a light on individuals across the country who have tirelessly dedicated themselves to their communities throughout 2020 and acknowledge the impact their efforts have made on those around them. After receiving powerfully inspiring nominations from across the nation between Oct. 5 – 25, MNAO selected 50 winners based on their demonstrated selfless acts, creative thinking, and contributions to community. Considering the brand’s deeply held value of omotenashi — the Japanese culture of putting other’s needs first — each hero will be honored with a special part of Mazda’s history, a Mazda MX-5 Miata 100th Anniversary Special Edition.
“This year has been full of challenges and we wanted to lean into our brand’s heritage of finding innovative ways to brighten people’s lives,” MNAO President Jeff Guyton said. “We were inspired to create the Mazda Heroes program to honor all those who are working tirelessly to uplift their own communities. We hope through Mazda’s acknowledgment of their efforts, they’ll feel empowered to continue to give back to those around them.”
During the submission phase in October, Mazda heard countless stories of people putting others first and the positive impact of their work in local communities. The selected Mazda Heroes recipients selflessly leveraged personal skills and resources to care for those in need. These “heroes” ranged from young adults creating free grocery delivery services for those at high-risk of contracting the virus, to community members partnering with local restaurants to provide free meals to healthcare workers, to musicians creating curbside concerts for the senior community that who had to remain indoors.
This first round of Mazda Heroes celebrates the humble, creative, and impactful efforts made by winners Triana Davis, Jason Erdreich and Christie Purviance.
Triana Davis, Teacher – Byram, Miss.
Remote learning has been a challenge for families across the nation, but for some, lack of home computers and internet access have made it especially challenging. At the height of the pandemic, Triana created and personally delivered custom curriculum to her students facing this situation to keep them engaged. Desiring to encourage her students when they missed out on the traditions of graduation, Triana also created special commemorative t-shirts, goodie bags, and custom-engraved medals. Nominated by her wife.
Watch Davis’ story here.
Jason Erdreich, Teacher – Randoph, N.J.
As a middle school shop teacher, Jason leveraged his technical skills to do more than teach online during the pandemic. Instead, he gathered a team of people with 3-D printers to help make over 12,000 pieces of PPE and other cost-effective equipment needed for shifting to back-to-school teaching environments. While students were remote learning, Jason designed STEM classes for the online format and offered them at little or no charge — in addition to reworking his own typical classes. Nominated by his wife.
Watch Erdreich’s story here.
Christie Purviance, ICU Nurse – The Woodlands, Texas
As an ICU nurse it is not uncommon to work long, gruesome shifts — but Christie approaches these 15-hour days with deeply-rooted and unmatched compassion. Even when faced with devastating COVID recovery statistics, Christie held to her conviction of treating her patients like family. During the pandemic she has gone above and beyond to comfort patients in their darkest and sometimes final hours. She brings in photos of their families and helps them video chat with one another, leaves sticky-notes of encouragement, and comforts their loved ones. Nominated by her sister.
Watch Purviance’s story here.
Additional Mazda Heroes stories will be shared over the coming weeks. To learn more and see the stories, visit www.MazdaUSA.com/mazda-heroes.
Mazda North American Operations is headquartered in Irvine, California, and oversees the sales, marketing, parts, and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States and Mexico through approximately 620 dealers. For more information on Mazda vehicles, including photography and B-roll, please visit the online Mazda media center at InsideMazda.MazdaUSA.com/Newsroom.
Emily Taylor, Mazda North American Operations, 949-727-6182
Drew Cary, Mazda North American Operations, 949-727-6525