Danny Jones is one of a select group of 49 dealer nominees from across the country who will be honored at the 107th annual National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, on February 3, 2024.
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. Jones was chosen to represent the Maryland Automobile Dealers Association in the national competition – one of only 49 auto dealers nominated for the 55th annual award from more than 16,000 nationwide.
“At Jones Junction, we believe that our employees are the foundation of our enduring success,” nominee Jones said. “And their dedication to hard work and integrity ensures that we not only sell cars, but we also create lifelong partnerships with our customers.”
The Jones family has been in the auto service or sales business since 1917 when Jones’ grandfather, Columbus McVey (C.M.) Jones, opened a Ford repair center in Fig, North Carolina. C.M. eventually moved his family to Maryland and founded the Jones Motor Company in Conowingo in 1938.
In 1950, C.M. sold the dealership to his son Vernon, an accomplished mechanic and salesperson, and his wife, Catherine, who handled the bookkeeping and pumped gas. Vernon and Catherine, Jones’ parents, built the business and moved it to Bel Air in 1965, expanding even further.
Jones, who graduated from Bel Air High School in 1969, and his brother, Larry, have been involved with the family dealership since their high school days. After acquiring multiple franchises – they opened the first Toyota dealership in Maryland – and growing significantly, the auto group moved to its current location in 1973.
“My father’s vision was to see cars all over the hill,” Jones said of their 45-acre property. Today, Jones, his brother, Larry, and a partner, Bryan Kilby, share ownership of this historic dealership group. They are proud to carry on the Jones family legacy and continue a tradition of caring for employees, customers, and the community.
“In a business landscape where employee satisfaction is often overlooked, our company places it front and center, creating a positive environment and setting the stage for a truly special workplace experience,” Jones said.
To that end, the company hosts numerous employee appreciation events, as well as team-building dinners and outings. Throughout the year, management surprises employees with free meals and frozen treats from various local food trucks and vendors. During the holiday season, employees receive a free turkey in November and bonuses in December.
Jones Junction also instituted the Jones for a Cause initiative, which provides both volunteer and financial support to local charities, as a way to give back to communities that have supported the company for more than a century.
“From feeding the hungry to supporting healthcare initiatives and education, Jones Junction’s philanthropic reach is truly impressive,” Jones said.
Some of the organizations his dealership supports include University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health Foundation; Hartford County Public Schools; Project Homeless Connect Hartford County; The Humane Society of Harford County; Empty Stocking Fund; United Way of Central Maryland; Habitat for Humanity; Special Olympics Maryland; Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford & Cecil Counties; and House of Hope Animal Rescue; to name a few.
This strong connection to community is clearly evident by the numerous “best of” awards Jones Junction receives, most recently Best Auto Dealer in Baltimore magazine’s 2023 Best of Baltimore Readers’ Poll.
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 13th 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.
“At TIME, we are proud to uphold the decades-long tradition of honoring automotive dealers who make a positive impact and show dedication to their communities through our TIME Dealer of the Year award,” said TIME CEO Jessica Sibley. “We are excited to keep this tradition of applauding these community contributions together with our partners at Ally.”
Doug Timmerman, president of dealer financial services, Ally, said, “Auto dealers nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year award have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to not only the industry but to their respective communities through volunteerism, sponsorships, and supporting charitable causes, no matter the market climate. Whether their clients are purchasing a first car or upgrading for a growing family, these selected dealers have successfully extended their relationships beyond the showroom and have been steadfast in driving their communities forward.”
Jones was nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year award by Peter Kitzmiller, president of the Maryland Automobile Dealers Association. His wife’s name is Gail.