The TIME Dealer of the Year Award is known to be one of the greatest honors among auto dealers. The award recognizes dealers with a long-standing commitment to charitable work, and doing what’s right for the communities they do business in.

This year, we’re pleased to announce that Carl Swope, President of Swope Toyota in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, was named the 2017 TIME Dealer of the Year.

Carl is the gold standard of Fort Knox, Kentucky!

Throughout his career, Swope has remained committed to making his local community a better place. In the early 1990’s, he helped to establish the local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity and the statewide Kentucky Habitat. Over the years, his activities have ranged from supporting local families in the Fort Knox area to raising funds to renovate the historic downtown.

He currently serves on advisory councils for numerous local organizations. And, he’s inspired a new standard of civic responsibility among his own team of associates as well.

“I have realized how powerful a force our dealerships can be if I encourage and support all of our leadership and associates to get involved,” Swope said about his efforts in the community. “Together, we are making Elizabethtown and the central Kentucky region a better place.”

His associates have followed his lead and renovate offices and classrooms for local nonprofits and schools through a United Way-sponsored effort called Project United. They also fill backpacks with nutritious food for children in need and prepare care packages for deployed soldiers.

You can learn more about Carl Swope’s story, and the story of each dealer hero recognized as a nominee on AllyDealerHeroes.com.

Let’s give the nominees a round of applause.

Congratulations are also in order for all 49 of the dealer nominees from across the country as well as the three finalists.

Bryan Gault of Wind Gap Chevrolet Buick in Wind Gap, Pennsylvania
Keith Kocourek of Kocourek Chevrolet in Wausau, Wisconsin
Tyler Corder of Findlay Honda Henderson in Henderson, Nevada
Tyler CorderBryan GaultKeith Kocourek

In our sixth year as exclusive sponsor, Ally will contribute $10,000 to Carl’s nonprofit organization of choice and $1,000 to the preferred charity of each and every one of the dealer nominees. The three finalists, as well as the state Automotive Trade Association Executive (ATAE) who nominated Carl, will each receive a $5,000 donation for their chosen nonprofit organization.

The award is presented by TIME in association with Ally, and in cooperation with the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA).