TIME Magazine and Ally Financial Honor Lansing Car Dealer
(New York, NY, October 22, 2012) – The nomination of Ralph Shaheen, president of Shaheen Chevrolet, Inc. in Lansing, Michigan, for the 2013 TIME Dealer of the Year award was announced today by TIME.
Shaheen is one of a select group of 57 dealer nominees from across the country who will be honored at the 96th annual National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Convention & Exposition in Orlando, Florida, on February 9, 2013. The announcement of this year’s nominees was made by Todd Larsen, executive vice president and group president, Time Inc. News and Sports, and Tim Russi, executive vice president, North American Auto Operations, for Ally Financial.
“Auto dealers play such an important role in the strength of local communities across the United States,” said Russi. “They are involved in many philanthropic endeavors, contributing their time and money to improving the lives of people in need. Ally is proud to support and honor these extraordinary dealers and the important roles they play in making their communities better places to live and work,” added Russi.
In its second year as exclusive sponsor, Ally will recognize dealer nominees and their community efforts by contributing $1,000 to each nominee’s charity of choice. Nominees will also be recognized on the recently launched website, AllyDealerHeroes.com, which highlights the philanthropic contributions and achievements of auto dealers across the U.S.
The TIME Dealer of the Year award is one of the automobile industry’s most prestigious and highly coveted honors. Recipients are among the nation’s most successful auto dealers who also demonstrate a long-standing commitment to community service.
Shaheen, 62, was chosen to represent the Michigan Automobile Dealers Association in the national competition – one of only 57 auto dealers from 17,000 nationwide – nominated for the 44th annual award. The award is sponsored by TIME in association with Ally Financial, and in cooperation with NADA. A panel of faculty members from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan will select one finalist from each of the four NADA regions and one national Dealer of the Year.
“Being a leader and a team player among the associates of Shaheen Chevrolet is the most rewarding part of my job,” nominee Shaheen said. “I worked my way up the ladder, and in the process, learned a lot about all dealership operations. I will gladly help anywhere there is need for an extra mind or body, and all my associates know they can ask me to pitch in wherever needed.”
Shaheen graduated from St. John Vianney High School in Flint, Michigan, in 1968 and earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Michigan State University, East Lansing, in 1972, where he was a member Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. After college, he embarked on his automotive career fulltime at his father’s auto dealership.
“I grew up working in the parts and service department of my father’s Ford store, until he sold it in 1965,” Shaheen said. He then honed his selling skills at the family’s Chrysler/Plymouth location in Flint before moving to the Chevrolet store. “I became sales manager in 1972, and took over the dealer’s responsibilities in 1974 when my father suddenly passed away,” he said. He was named dealer principal in 1975.
Shaheen is very active in his state automotive association, having served as president, first vice president and second vice president, as well as on the board of directors. His most meaningful award is related to the car industry: the prestigious Jack Smith Leadership Award, given by General Motors, which he received in 2003. “This award recognizes me as a top performer among my peers and acknowledges my continued dedication to sales excellence, customer satisfaction and community involvement,” he said. “I feel this award acknowledges not only me, but the entire dealership.”
In the area of community service, Shaheen has been a member of the Rotary Club of Lansing since 1983 and serves on the board of directors of McLaren Hospital of Greater Lansing. He was also the United Way group chair for business in 2011.
Shaheen’s most rewarding civic achievement is serving on the board of McLaren Hospital of Greater Lansing, as it is the smaller of the two hospitals in the area and faces more challenges. “The hospital must work harder to keep up with technology, fundraising, staffing and facilities,” he said. “It is a way I can give back to a community that has been so good to our family.”
Shaheen was nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year Award by Terry Burns, executive vice president of the Michigan Automobile Dealers Association. He and his wife, Denise, have a daughter.
SOURCE: Press Release