TIME Dealer of the Year Award
The TIME Dealer of the Year award, in partnership with Ally and NADA, honors new-car dealers in America who exhibit exceptional performance in their dealerships and perform distinguished community service. Dealers are nominated by members of the Automotive Trade Association Executives and the winner is acknowledged during the opening business session of the annual NADA Show. To learn more, visit timedealeroftheyear.com.
Gary Rome, president of Gary Rome Hyundai and Gary Rome Kia, in Holyoke, Mass., was named the 2023 TIME Dealer of the Year during an awards ceremony hosted at NADA Show 2023 in Dallas. Rome parlays his local celebrity and media connections to benefit numerous groups and organizations. He sells stuffed animal “Jack Rome” dog dolls at the dealership with the proceeds donated to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s Jimmy Fund. He is also actively involved in groups that better the city of Holyoke and his neighbors.
Robert “Bob” Giles, chairman and CEO of Giles Automotive in Lafayette, La., was named the 2022 TIME Dealer of the Year during an awards ceremony hosted at NADA Show 2022 in Las Vegas. Giles is a community leader who has initiated campaigns to help local organizations grow and expand. He partnered with KLFY-TV 10 to create the Acadiana Community Heroes campaign, which recognized deserving individuals or nonprofit organizations that have made a difference in his area.
Rick DeSilva, Jr., from Liberty Subaru in Emerson, N.J., was named the 2021 TIME Dealer of the Year. The second-generation dealer has worked hard to further the cause of education in the town where he grew up and currently resides. DeSilva’s charitable efforts, along with his commitment to do right by his customers, employees and community, earned him the prestigious award, which is presented by TIME and sponsored by Ally Financial.
Susan Moffitt of Audi Shreveport in Shreveport, La., in 2020 was named the winner of the 51st annual TIME Dealer of the Year. The TIME Dealer of the Year award is held in partnership with Ally and NADA to celebrate the many ways auto dealers excel not only in the industry but also in the ways they give back to their communities.
John Alfirevich, from Apple Chevrolet in Tinley Park, Ill., was named 2019 TIME Dealer of the Year. The Chicago-area dealer contributed to nearly 100 local charities in 2018 alone — and his commitment to do right by his customers, employees and community earned him the prestigious award.
Jack Salzman, owner of Lake Norman Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-RAM in Cornelius, N.C., was named 2018 TIME Dealer of the Year—a national award that recognizes new-car dealers who exhibit exceptional performance in their dealerships and perform distinguished community service.
The TIME Dealer of the Year Award has been called the most prestigious honor a new-car dealer can receive. On Jan. 27, 2017, Carl Swope, president of Swope Toyota in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, was named the TIME Dealer of the Year during the NADA Convention & Expo in New Orleans.
In 2016, Mary Catherine "Kitty" Van Bortel, president of Van Bortel Subaru in Victor, N.Y., was named TIME Dealer of the Year at the 2016 NADA Convention & Expo in Las Vegas. Read more.
History of the Award
How the dealer award became a really big deal.
BY PETER CRAIG
If the Saturday Evening Post hadn’t folded in 1969, there may never have been a TIME Dealer of the Year award. That’s because the Post had been sponsoring the quality dealer award since 1960. Upon that magazine’s demise, TIME stepped in to do the honors.
1977 TIME award winners line up on stage at the convention in New Orleans.
1970 The first TIME award winner: Ford dealer O. Willard Noller of Topeka, Kan. (right) with TIME’s George W. McClellan.
In the TIME award’s first year—1970—there were 50 “winners” (now called nominees), twice the 27 maximum that the Post had named in any given year. (The next year, the TIME figure would jump to 71.)
Out of the 50, a winner among winners—“Dealer of the Year” O. Willard Noller of Topeka, Kan.—was named; there were 10 runners-up. All honorees were chosen by a committee of University of Michigan Business School faculty members based on the qualities of being a good dealer as well as a good citizen. A similar selection process is in place today.
By 1972, TIME was referring to the winners as “representatives of the thousands of quality dealers across the country” and the Dealer of the Year had become the “National Representative” (before reverting to its original name in 1982). Each year, one dealer has received the top honor—except in 1977 and 1998, when two dealers were named.
1984 In the entrance hall to the 1984 NADA Convention, nominees’ faces appear on TIME cover mock-ups.
The first female Dealer of the Year was Sheilah Garcia of Albuquerque, N.M., in 1992. In addition, five NADA chairmen or presidents have received the TIME top dealer honor, either before or after their terms.