Don Hamrick 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 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. Hamrick was chosen to represent the Nevada Franchised Auto Dealers Association in the national competition – one of only 49 auto dealers nominated for the 55th annual award from more than 16,000 nationwide.
“In a 45-plus year career, I’ve been blessed to enjoy many highlights,” Hamrick said. “My most rewarding moments relate to helping others advance in their careers, particularly those who never imagined that a career in our industry would enable them to support their families and prosper.
A 1976 graduate of Moultrie High School in Moultrie, Georgia, Hamrick was born in Casablanca, Morocco, and came to the United States with his Moroccan mother after his American father passed away.
“We were living in England when my dad died, just six days after my seventh birthday,” he said. “My mother made the difficult decision to move me and my two brothers to a small town in Georgia, where we received our education and thrived.”
In 1978, Hamrick started his career as a sales representative for Sahara Datsun in Las Vegas. Two years later, at age 22, he was named new-car manager at the store and was lured away in 1986 to become general manager of a Chrysler/Plymouth dealership in the city, where he worked until 1998.
“At age 39, I was offered the opportunity to buy into my first dealership, so I became an 18 percent owner of Integrity Dodge,” he said. “When the dealership was sold to Sonic Automotive with a non-compete agreement two years later, I moved into the hotel development business while waiting for the non-compete to expire.”
Hamrick returned to the car business in 2003 and ran two other dealerships before joining Chapman Automotive Group in 2005, where he continues to oversee the company’s Las Vegas store as general manager and managing partner.
“I have been the beneficiary of a great deal of good fortune in my life,” he said. “My early managers and owners saw potential in me giving opportunities not normally offered to people my age or with my level of experience.”
Hamrick is an active member of the Nevada Franchised Auto Dealers Association and served as board president from 2019 to 2021 and vice president from 2017 to 2019. He guided the association through the darkest days of the pandemic, working diligently with state officials to craft guidelines for safely conducting business.
He brings that same passion to his philanthropic endeavors. Chapman Las Vegas Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram supports its parent company’s Chapman Cares program, which benefits numerous charitable organizations throughout the region.
One such recipient is Make-A-Wish Southern Nevada, an organization that grants wishes for critically ill children. Hamrick’s dealership teamed up with other local groups to make a 3-year-old child’s dream of a winter wonderland come true, complete with snow and a visit from Santa Claus.
His dealership also sponsors the Candy Bar at The Wishing Place in Make-A-Wish Southern Nevada’s headquarters, where children and their families gather to ponder their life-changing wishes and can enjoy sweet treats.
As chair of the board for Nevada Public Radio, Hamrick offers his leadership and supports the group and its charity partners, including Three Square, which provides meals to food-insecure children and adults in southern Nevada.
Other groups he champions include Downtown Las Vegas Soccer Club; Bishop Gorman High School; Clark County School District Educator of the Year program; Elite Youth Aerobic Gymnastic team; as well providing funds for scholarships to private high schools and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
In support of veterans and military families, Hamrick is proud to contribute to Operation Homefront and the Freedom Alliance. “These organizations partner with local dealers to secure transportation for veterans,” he said. “Over the last three years, we have donated four vehicles that have changed the lives of recipients.”
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.”
Hamrick was nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year award by Andrew MacKay, executive director of the Nevada Franchised Auto Dealers Association. He and his wife Jeanne have three children.