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The Johnson Dealerships Inc.
”I am proud to carry on the legacy of my grandfather and father and pass along the love of this industry to my two children.”
“My family is celebrating 100 years in the automobile business this year,” nominee Johnson said. “I am proud to carry on the legacy of my grandfather and father and pass along the love of this industry to my two children.”
A 1962 graduate of Pittsfield High School in Pittsfield, Johnson earned an associate degree in business from the Newbury School of Business (now Newbury College) in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1964. He also served in the United States Army Reserve.
Johnson entered the family enterprise in 1960, learning all aspects of the business that his grandfather originally founded in 1916 with a partner to sell and service cars and trucks. That company eventually became the Berkshire Auto Company and later A.C. Johnson Jr. Inc. in 1964 when his father sold his interest in the original company and bought a Lincoln-Mercury dealership. “I worked in all areas of the dealership and in 1967, after my father's unexpected passing, I became dealer principal at age 21,” Johnson said.
Today, he is chairman of Johnson Dealerships Inc. and runs the company with son, Christopher, and daughter, Tary. “My children are the fourth generation to take the helm of a Pittsfield car business,” Johnson said. “And we are distinguished as the oldest family-owned dealership in Western Massachusetts.”
A longtime supporter of the Berkshire United Way, Johnson has donated a car for the group’s annual sweepstakes for the past 16 years. “They raise $2 million-plus per year to help more than 20 agencies in the Berkshires,” he said. “We have given away 16 cars and are in the 17th year of the campaign.” Johnson received the Ruth P. and Nicholas Boraski Leaders in Philanthropy Award from the Berkshire United Way in 2016 for his efforts.
Other local organizations that Johnson supports include Hancock Shaker Village, a living history museum in Pittsfield; Berkshire County Kids' Place & Violence Prevention Center in Pittsfield; and the famed Tanglewood summer music festival in Lenox, Massachusetts.
Johnson was nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year award by Robert O'Koniewski, executive vice president of the Massachusetts State Automobile Dealers Association. He and his wife, Mary, have two children.