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Michael Basil

Michael Basil

Basil Toyota
Lockport, New York

“It is rewarding to have reached the point in my retail automotive career where I have the ability to help others.”

“It is rewarding to have reached the point in my retail automotive career where I have the ability to help others,” nominee Basil said. “Whether it’s over-tipping a waitress, assisting an employee or their family or just being able to make someone’s day a little better, I am now in a position personally and financially to be able to help. From the outside, it seems that my business is cars, but truthfully it’s all about people.”

A 1975 graduate of Canisius High School in Buffalo, New York, Basil earned a bachelor degree in management from Northwood University in Midland, Michigan, in 1980. He knew he wanted to follow the path of his father and sell cars. “I started working in the family dealership with my brothers at a very early age after school and weekends,” he said. “I held miscellaneous jobs in every department of the dealership. My father guided me and my brothers with the philosophy of hard work and honesty.”

Today, Basil, his father and five brothers continue in the automobile business, overseeing 11 dealerships in New York State with 800 employees. “Our ability to manage is greatly enhanced by the talents of our family,” he said. “Combining business and family can certainly be difficult, but I can honestly say that our ability to work and play together is something I deeply cherish.”

In business for more than 50 years, Basil’s family has a legacy of charitable giving. “Our involvement in everything from the local Little League to the Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo has filled our large family with pride and has allowed us to be a bigger part of our community,” he said.

Basil currently supports many local and national organizations, including Save Ontario Shores (citizen coalition to preserve Lake Ontario and its surrounding area); Edward M. Cotter Fireboat (restoration team); Down Syndrome Parents Group of Western New York; Outreach Center at St. John’s in Lockport; the Historic Palace Theatre in Lockport; John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital in Buffalo; Matt Urban Hope Center in Buffalo (helping families in need); 4-H; Toys for Tots; Vehicles for Veterans; Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers 5K Run & Walk New York City; and the American Lung Association, to name a few.

A recipient of local “business of the year” honors on multiple occasions, Basil is more satisfied by the impact he makes in the local community. “The most important and meaningful awards given to me are not physical or literal awards, but rather the reward of seeing the people I am able to help through various local charities,” he said. “While it’s wonderful to be recognized by my business peers, being recognized by those less fortune provide me with a greater sense of achievement.”

Basil was nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year award by Robert Vancavage, president of the New York State Automobile Dealers Association. His wife’s name is Faith.