2019 Time Dealer of the Year Gives to Nearly 100 Causes

John Alfirevich began his dealership work at age 12.

Steve Finlay, Contributing Editor

January 26, 2019

2 Min Read
dealer of year
“I believe dealers play an enormous role in their communities,” says award winner John Alfirevich, third from left.

SAN FRANCISCO – John Alfirevich, who as a boy began working at a car dealership he would later co-own with his father, is the 2019 TIME Dealer of the Year.

The dealer principal of metro Chicago’s Apple Chevrolet in Tinley Park, IL, contributes to an array of causes. Nearly 100 organizations have benefitted in 2018 alone. That giving and his commitment to customers, employees and community were cited in giving him the dealer-of-the-year award.

It was presented at the National Automobile Dealers Assn. convention and expo here. Alfirevich was picked from a field of 51 dealer nominees nationwide.

Doug Timmerman, president of Auto Finance for Ally, and Susanna Schrobsdorff, executive editor and chief partnerships officer of Time, announced the winner at a ceremony honoring all the nominees.

Timmerman lauded the group, saying they exemplify how to “do it right every day in their dealerships.”

Regional finalists for the award presented by Time and sponsored by Ally:

  • John Kendall Garff of Ken Garff Honda Downtown in Salt Lake City.

  • Frank Hug Jr. of Hug Chevrolet Buick GMC in Charleston, AR.

  • Ryan LaFontaine of LaFontaine Cadillac Buick GMC in Highland, MI.

  • Eric Nielsen of Nielsen Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram LLC in East Hanover, NJ.

Ally will give $10,000 to the charity of Alfirevich’s choice. In addition, $5,000 will be donated to the four finalists’ chosen charities. Ally also gave $1,000 to the charities of choice for all nominees.

Alfirevich began his dealership career at age 12 at Bob Motl Chevrolet, which would later become Apple Chevrolet.

“My father, Joseph, was general manager of the dealership at the time and called me in to perform oil changes and other quick maintenance because of a local mechanic strike that lasted the entire summer,” he says. “Since that day, I have worked in every department and started my full-time career at the dealership in 1986.”

Beneficiaries of his charitable giving include the American Legion Auxiliary, Better Business Bureau Educational Foundation, Colon Cancer Coalition, Gigi’s Playhouse Down Syndrome Achievement Centers, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, The Salvation Army, Special Olympics, USO of Illinois, schools, churches and sports teams.

“I believe dealers play an enormous role in their communities,” he says.

About the Author(s)

Steve Finlay

Contributing Editor, WardsAuto

Steven Finlay is a former longtime editor for WardsAuto. He writes about a range of topics including automotive dealers and issues that impact their business.

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