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JP Bishop

JP Bishop

Bob Bell Ford
Glen Burnie, Maryland

"The most rewarding — and difficult — part of my career has been transitioning Bob Bell Automotive from a family business to a business for the family."

“The most rewarding — and difficult — part of my career has been transitioning Bob Bell Automotive from a family business to a business for the family,” nominee Bishop said. “We’re resolving many internal challenges and a culture of integrity and performance are taking root.”

Bishop is a 1982 graduate of Thomas S. Wootton High School in Rockville, Maryland, and he earned a B.A. in economics from the University of Maryland in College Park in 1987, where he was a member of Sigma Chi fraternity. He also received a J.D. magna cum laude from the University of Baltimore School of Law, located in Baltimore, Maryland, in 2004.

He started at Bob Bell Automotive, a dealership group founded in 1979 by his father-in-law, Bob Bell, a TIME Dealer of the Year finalist in 2001, as an executive assistant in 1992. In 2005, he was named president of the company and in 2016, he also assumed the role of general manager of Bob Bell Ford in Glen Burnie.

Today, Mrs. Bell and her five daughters own the companies, including Bishop’s wife, MaryCatherine, who is known as Bird and who is an integral part of the team. The dealership group has four locations in Maryland, representing brands Ford, Chevrolet, Nissan, Hyundai and Kia.

“Bird and I are in the process of rebranding Bob Bell and we have invited young leaders to participate as brand champions in every department,” he said. “This makes them become a part of the process as opposed to just seeing it happen. We also mentor our young salespeople and technicians. New hires are partnered with veterans who can help them learn the business and teach them how to do things with integrity — the Bob Bell Way.”

Bishop is also committed to community outreach and his company has begun a relationship with The Red Devils, a charitable organization that assists Maryland families battling breast cancer. The group provides an array of treatment support services, including transportation vouchers, help with home expenses and medical services and treatment-related therapies.

For the past three years, the company has hosted a Pink Tag Sales Event, during which a portion of all sales is donated to The Red Devils. “The first year, Bob Bell donated more than $10,000,” Bishop said. “In our second year, we donated $17,225 and on November 11, 2017, our third year, Bob Bell Automotive donated a record $41,319 to the Red Devils.”

Bishop was nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year award by Peter Kitzmiller, president of the Maryland Automobile Dealers Association. He and his wife, MaryCatherine, have three children, Emily (25), Matthew (23) and Wesley (6).