Ally says auto dealers “play a vital role in the economic fabric of the country.”
But this year’s TIME Dealer of the Year Award celebrates dealers’ “ingenuity and leadership in the face of incredible challenges,” because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ally Auto Finance president Doug Timmerman said in a news release.
Ally and TIME on Friday nominated 40 auto dealers for the annual TIME Dealer of the Year Award, which they described as “the most prestigious award in the automotive dealer industry.”
The companies recognized the nominees for 2021 based on leadership in navigating their businesses and supporting their local communities during “unprecedented times.”
One of those dealers is Chuck Bierbach of Elko Motor Company in Elko, Nev., whose dealership donated to nonprofit organizations over the last seven years, including the Boys & Girls Clubs of Elko; Get Pink Elko County Breast Cancer Awareness; Horizon Hospice in Elko; Elko County 4-H; and local sports activities, rodeos and school programs.
Dealers nominated for the award were chosen from nearly 17,000 franchised dealers across the country.
The dealers, who Ally says have shown “strong business acumen and steadfast commitment to their communities,” will be recognized during NADA Show, which runs online Feb. 9-11.
Ally says auto dealers employ more than 2.4 million Americans with jobs in sales, service and management and contribute billions of dollars to their state and local economies. Auto dealers also support local community groups, charities and hospital boards, Ally said, sourcing “Auto Retailing: State by State, 2020,” from the National Automobile Dealership Association.
Ally also said this year’s award nominees have strengthened their dealership operations over the years while sponsoring local causes such as helping babies exposed to drugs before birth, supporting cancer patients, developing leadership programs for young people to learn about business, and recognizing local school teachers.
“The TIME Dealer of the Year award has been celebrating industry leaders for more than 50 years, but this year is special,” Timmerman said in a news release.
Timmerman added, “This year’s nominees have had to navigate extraordinary circumstances while maintaining their businesses and doing everything they can to support and lift up their local communities. Our country has endured tremendous hardship due to the effects of COVID-19, and this year’s nominees stepped up in ways we’ve never seen before, playing a critical role in bolstering their communities throughout the pandemic. This year’s award celebrates their ingenuity and leadership in the face of incredible challenges.”
Ally will serve its 10th year as the exclusive sponsor and will contribute $1,000 to a 501(c)3 charity of each dealer nominee’s choice.
Award finalists will receive an additional $5,000 for their favorite charities, and the winner will receive an additional $10,000 to give to charity.
Executives from state and metro dealer associations throughout the country nominated the dealers, and each nominee represents their respective association in the national competition.
Ally, in cooperation with NADA, sponsored the TIME awards.
A panel of faculty members from the Tauber Institute for Global Operations at the University of Michigan will select one finalist from each of the four NADA regions and the national Dealer of the Year.
Following is the complete list of the dealers in the running for the award. More information is available about each of the 40 nominees.
TIME Dealer of the Year Nominees
— Christine Alicandro Karnolt, Marty’s GMC Buick, Kingston, Mass.
— Daniel Banister, Banister Nissan of Chesapeake, Chesapeake, Va.
— John Barker, Two Rivers Ford, Mt. Juliet, Tenn.
— Larry Battison, Battison Honda, Oklahoma City, Okla.
— Chuck Bierbach, Elko Motor Company, Elko, Nev.
— Mark Boniol, Mark Dodge, Lake Charles, La.
— Sam Burns, Burns Chevrolet Gaffney, Gaffney, S.C.
— Jack Caldwell, Caldwell Toyota, Conway, Ark.
— Scott Cargill, White’s Frontier Motors, Gillette, Wyo.
— Jonathan Chariff, South Motors Automotive Group, Palmetto Bay, Fla.
— David Conant, Norm Reeves Honda Superstore, Cerritos, Calif.
— Dominic Conicelli, Conicelli Autoplex, Conshohocken, Pa.
— Timothy Crenwelge, Crenwelge Motors, Kerrville, Texas
— Jamie Darvish, DARCARS Automotive Group, Silver Spring, Md.
— Don Davidson, Sears Imported Autos, Minnetonka, Minn.
— Christina Dawkins, Co’s BMW Center, Loveland, Colo.
— Rick DeSilva, Jr., Liberty Subaru, Emerson, N.J.
— Jim Fisher, Jim Fisher Volvo Cars Portland, Portland, Ore.
— Omnia Fowler, Modern Automotive Group, Boone, N.C.
— Kathleen Gaddie, Ryan Family Dealerships, Minot, N.D.
— Steve Gates, Toyota South, Richmond, Ky.
— Chris Hemmersmeier, Jerry Seiner Chrevrolet, Salt Lake City, Utah
— Todd Hill, Tri-State Ford Lincoln, Maryville, Mo.
— Michael Keppel, Acura of Maui, Kahului, Hawaii
— Michael Kopp, North Country Ford, Lancaster, N.H.
— Harry Larson, Larson Motors, Inc., Nebraska City, Neb.
— Marvin McCord, McCord’s Vancouver Toyota, Vancouver, Wash.
— Mike Molstead, Mike Molstead Motors, Inc., Charles City, Iowa
— J. Thad Naquin, Tom Naquin Chevrolet Nissan Cadillac, Elkhart, Ind.
— Lane Nichols, Gene’s Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, Fairbanks, Alaska
— Don Patnoe, Liberty Chrysler Jeep Fiat, Rapid City, S.D.
— Jose Pozos, Wichita Falls Ford, Wichita Falls, Texas
— Patrick Preston, Preston Superstore, Burton, Ohio
— Tim Redding, Sr., Swainsboro Ford Lincoln, Swainsboro, Ga.
— Jim Stanger, Helena Motors, Helena, Mont.
— Mike Sullivan, Lexus Santa Monica, Santa Monica, Calif.
— Juliana Curran Terian, Rallye Motors, Roslyn, N.Y.
— J. R. Toothman, Toothman Ford, Grafton, W. Va.
— Michael Van Veckhoven, New South Ford, Meridian, Miss.
— Jeff Williams, Williams AutoWorld, Lansing, Mich.