“The retail automotive industry has given me the ability to positively transform the cultural fabric of the communities we serve. It has afforded me the opportunity to give individuals a path to the American dream, particularly those that need a chance, or a second chance.”
(New York, NY, October 18, 2022) – The nomination of Bruce Daniels, dealer principal at Honda Marysville in Marysville, Ohio, for the 2023 TIME Dealer of the Year award was announced today by TIME.
Daniels is one of a select group of 48 dealer nominees from across the country who will be honored at the 106th annual National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Show in Dallas, Texas, on January 27, 2023.
The TIME Dealer of the Year award is one of the automobile industry’s most prestigious and highly coveted honors. The award recognizes the nation’s most successful auto dealers who also demonstrate a long-standing commitment to community service. Daniels was chosen to represent the Ohio Automobile Dealers Association in the national competition – one of only 48 auto dealers nominated for the 54th annual award from more than 16,000 nationwide.
“The retail automotive industry has given me the ability to positively transform the cultural fabric of the communities we serve,” nominee Daniels said. “It has afforded me the opportunity to give individuals a path to the American dream, particularly those that need a chance, or a second chance.”
Daniels’ automotive career began in the 1980s, when he secured a job delivering parts for Dev-Con Honda, a dealership in Cincinnati, Ohio. He eventually rose through the ranks in parts, service, sales and eventually was named general manager of Performance Honda and Toyota in Fairfield, Ohio. By 2005, Daniels was selected by American Honda for his first dealership, Honda Marysville.
“We built this store in an agricultural community and dove in on grassroots efforts to support the community,” he said. “We set expectations of what elite customer service looked like and everyone pitched in to meet those goals by helping the service team, personally waiting on customers and even making sure our car wash washed properly.”
Daniels oversaw jobs big and small, and the business significantly grew. He also invested in his team through training and support. “Honda Marysville started with 12 associates and today, we employ more than 200 and have positioned the store to be the eleventh largest volume Honda dealership in the country,” Daniels said.
In addition to the Honda store, he now oversees five additional locations in Ohio under the Performance Columbus Family of Dealerships, representing brands Cadillac, Chrysler, Dodge, GMC, Jeep, Ram and Toyota. Combined, the dealership family now employs over 700 associates.
“I attribute the bulk of our success to dedicated associates, loyal customers and the individuals that inspired and mentored me along the journey,” Daniels said. “Starting as a parts driver to now operating multiple dealerships, I found my pathway to achieving the American dream through our industry. I try to guide others and give them the opportunity to do the same.”
A trustee of the Ohio Automobile Dealers Association and a member of the American International Automobile Dealers Association, as well as dealer councils for carmakers, Daniels advocates on behalf of dealers in his state and nationwide.
“I have worked closely engaging legislators to demonstrate the impact retail auto dealers make within the community,” he said. “My service across associations has led to insights into the effects of regulatory and legislative changes, as well as innovative approaches to resolve industry-wide issues.”
To support his community directly, Daniels created a pioneering nonprofit organization, IMPACT60 (i60), which was born from the idea that devoting 60 minutes a week to volunteerism can transform a community. The group provides resources to help eliminate food insecurity, provide housing and workforce opportunities to the homeless, and support mental wellness, cancer research and assistance, addiction and recovery services, and cultural initiatives.
“The nonprofit has contributed to over 170 different organizations throughout Central Ohio that support these causes, including those where our associates regularly volunteer their own time,” he said. “Between personal, dealership and IMPACT60 contributions, more than $2.5 million was donated to Central Ohio community organizations since the beginning of 2021.”
Other groups that Daniels supports include Gladden Community House; Impact Station (founding member; emergency assistance and services to end homelessness); Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation; Vista Village (supportive housing for formerly homeless individuals); Avalon Theatre (cultural arts center); Pink Ribbon Girls (direct services for breast and gynecological cancer patients); YMCA of Central Ohio (Van Buren Center emergency shelter); and Pelotonia (three-day event to raise money for cancer research benefitting The James at The Ohio State University), to name a few.
Daniels said, “Success in our company has led to success in the community, allowing us to revitalize people's lives through charitable work, renovation of blighted properties, and empowering people to live their best life.”
Dealers are nominated by the executives of state and metro dealer associations around the country. 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 one national Dealer of the Year. Three finalists will receive $5,000 for their favorite charities and the winner will receive $10,000 to give to charity, donated by Ally.
In its 12th year as exclusive sponsor, Ally also will recognize dealer nominees and their community efforts by contributing $1,000 to each nominee’s 501(c)3 charity of choice. Nominees will be recognized on AllyDealerHeroes.com, which highlights the philanthropic contributions and achievements of TIME Dealer of the Year nominees.
“For over 50 years, TIME has been committed to recognizing the impact of automotive dealers on their communities with the TIME Dealer of the Year award," said Edward Felsenthal, editor in chief and CEO, TIME. "We are proud to continue the legacy of honoring these works of service with our partners at Ally.”
Doug Timmerman, president of dealer financial services, Ally, said, “Auto dealers across the country who are nominated for this award each year are committed to not only doing it right and leading in a rapidly changing automotive industry but to strengthening their communities through giving back. The TIME Dealer of the Year program celebrates dealers who are the role models of the retail auto industry for their continuous efforts to lift up and support their employees, customers and communities.”
Daniels was nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year award by Zach Doran, president of the Ohio Automobile Dealers Association. He and his wife, Shelby, have six children.