That devotion begins with his father, Bill Reineke Sr., who founded the family’s first dealership, Daniel Reineke Buick Oldsmobile in Fostoria, Ohio, in 1960. When Reineke was 12 years old, he started working at one of the family’s stores, a Ford dealership, where he mowed the grass, cleared snow, filled tanks and washed cars.
“Building his business from the ground up, our father taught us the importance of hard work, commitment and caring for family – which for us, extends well beyond the Reineke family to all employees of our dealerships,” he said. “I saw the sense of community my father created within his business, and from those very first days, I knew I wanted to be a part of it.”
To that end, Reineke earned an associate degree in automotive marketing from Northwood University in Midland, Michigan, in 1986, and graduated from the NADA Academy in 1987. He then moved into sales at Reineke Ford Lincoln of Tiffin and advanced through all departments.
His goal was to eventually partner with his two brothers, expand the business and broaden market share. Today, he owns the auto group with brothers Tom and Bill, and the Reineke Family Dealerships encompasses eight new-car stores and two RV dealerships, employing 400 people across northwest Ohio.
“Our father held himself and those around him to the highest standards, but he did it with a love and warmth that fostered a true sense of family within the dealership,” Reineke said. “Representing his legacy to the very best of my ability is what drives me each day.”
He feels a great sense a responsibility to his employees, who rely on his business for jobs, and his customers and their families, who rely on his dealership for their essential transportation needs. Reineke is also a voice for his industry, serving on the board of the Ohio Automobile Dealers Association since 2014 and as the group’s chair in 2021.
“I’ve focused my work at the association with an eye toward the future,” he said. “I am investing my time and expertise to interact with and advance dealers, to work on legislative developments, to support dealers through difficult challenges and to anticipate threats to the state’s auto dealer franchise system.”
In the civic arena, Reineke currently serves the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership (TSEP); the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce; East Green Foundation; and Tiffin University (board of trustees), to name a few.
The Reineke Family Dealerships also contribute to numerous organizations and nonprofits, including Tiffin Youth Football; East Green Concert Series; Vanguard- Sentinel Career & Technology Centers Drug-Free Clubs of America; Trunk or Treat community events; Veterans Car Show; Marathon Center for the Performing Arts; and many others.
“Over the last three years, Reineke Family Dealerships have invested more than $593,000 in local charities and activities that help enrich the lives of the people in our community,” Reineke said. “Our business truly is only as successful as the individuals we serve.”
Reineke was nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year award by Zach Doran, president of the Ohio Automobile Dealers Association. He and his wife, Nikki, have two children.