The dealership, which was originally named Junction Tavern Auto Sales, opened as a Plymouth and Dodge garage in 1931 by Babcock’s great grandfather and grandfather. And it still stands at the same location – at the junction of highways US-322 and OH-44 in Chardon.
Babcock graduated from Chardon High School in 1969, and spent two years as a Merchant Marine, before earning a BA in history from the Ohio State University in 1975. He joined the family dealership with his father, Warren.
“I started out learning dealership operations from the ground up, moving from entry level to eventually owning this venerable company. The most satisfying aspect of my career has been the growth and stewardship of the family business. My son, Clifford, is deeply involved in the business and will carry on our legacy.”
With such a long and storied history in the Cleveland-area auto market, Babcock has been called on to lend his expertise to the Greater Cleveland Automobile Dealers’ Association, serving as chairman, first vice president, second vice president, secretary and treasurer, as well as presiding over the Cleveland Auto Show in 2014.
In the area of philanthropy, Babcock champions numerous charities and organizations in his community, offering donations for sports teams, local fire departments, school activities and events. He has been involved with the Boy Scouts of America for decades, from troop leadership to fundraising. Babcock also served as a board member for the Chardon Healing Fund, which was created to help students and parents who were traumatized by a 2012 school shooting at Chardon High School.
Other groups he supports include: WomenSafe (domestic violence shelter and resource center in Chardon); Geauga Humane Society’s Rescue Village (animal shelter and adoption center in Russell Township, Ohio); Chardon Area Fireworks Fund; University Hospitals Geauga Seidman Cancer Center Healing Garden (Chardon); Mary and Al Schneider Healing Garden at University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center (Cleveland); Geauga Park District; Geauga County Historical Society Century Village Museum (Burton, Ohio) and Geauga County Bluecoats (helps families of safety officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty), to name a few.
“For five generations, we have always felt that the community has been good to us and that we should give back to the community or help in any way we can."
Babcock was nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year award by Lou Vitantonio, president of the Greater Cleveland Automobile Dealers’ Association. He and his wife, Constance, have two children.