John H. Tapper 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. Tapper was chosen to represent the Michigan 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.
“We have assembled a talented team of hardworking individuals who enjoy working together and providing outstanding customer service,” nominee Tapper said.
A 1969 graduate of Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, where he earned a B.S. in Automotive Engineering, Tapper served in the Michigan Army National Guard/Army Reserve from 1969 to 1980. He is a lifetime member of the American Legion Post 69 in Paw Paw.
Tapper started working in auto sales at the dealership originally founded by his father, John H. Tapper Sr., in 1961. He was named dealer in 1973 and has since added a Ford store, also in Paw Paw, to his portfolio.
An active member of the Michigan Automobile Dealers Association, Tapper has served on the board of directors since 2004 and is a staunch advocate for his fellow car dealers.
He is president of the board of directors for the Lakeview Foundation of Southwest Michigan, an organization that provides higher education scholarships to college-bound students who are pursuing healthcare degrees.
“The Lakeview Foundation provides more than $100,000 annually in college scholarships to students,” Tapper said.
The Tappers often open their dealerships for a wide range of community activities from fundraisers to pet adoptions to holiday events for children.
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.”
Tapper was nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year award by Terry Burns, executive vice president of the Michigan Automobile Dealers Association. He and his wife Linda have two children and four grandchildren.