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Stadium GM Superstore
“The most rewarding aspect of my career has been building this business.”
“The most rewarding aspect of my career has been building this business,” nominee Navarro said. “I had to beg and borrow and did a lot of it on a shoestring, but now I am able to build a legacy through giving back — and that's very satisfying.”
A 1959 graduate of East High School in Youngstown, Ohio, Navarro served in the United States Marine Corps from 1961 to 1967, including active duty and reserve duty. He opened Belmar Motors after returning from active duty and in 1982, a Lincoln Mercury store across the street from Youngstown State University's football stadium became available.
“I sold everything I had to come up with the $100,000 needed to purchase a 25 percent interest in the store, with Ford Motor Company owning the other 75 percent,” he said. He named it Stadium Lincoln Mercury and eventually purchased Ford’s interest and sold the business in 1988 to acquire his current dealership.
“It's also very rewarding that I have been able, over the years, to provide jobs and help people who work in my organization achieve success in their career paths,” Navarro said.
In addition, Navarro has greatly helped students at Youngstown State University reach their potential by donating $1 million to the school to establish new scholarships and increase campus jobs. He also created a $100,000 scholarship fund to benefit Hispanic students attending the university and has contributed $100,000 toward the construction of Youngstown State's Veterans Resource Center.
A member of Rotary International, Navarro served on the local boards of the American Red Cross and the Hospice of the Valley. He is actively involved with the Organization Civic y Cultural Hispana Americana (OCCHA) in Youngstown and helped build a new facility for the group through a $100,000 gift.
For his philanthropic activities, Navarro is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2016 Cincinnatus Award from Youngstown State University, which honors individuals who have carried the spirit of their military service into the community. The university also bestowed their 2014 Friends of the University award on Navarro and his wife for their generous contributions.
“I am simply happy that I have been blessed in life,” he said. “I was able to build a successful business, and now I am able to give back to the community,” he said.
Navarro was nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year award by Lou Vitantonio, president of the Greater Cleveland Automobile Dealers’ Association. His wife’s name is Elba.