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R. Nicholas Dellen
Dellen Chevrolet Buick GMC
“It has been rewarding for me to work in an industry that I enjoy and make good money doing so, then turn around and use that money to help others”
“It has been rewarding for me to work in an industry that I enjoy and make good money doing so, then turn around and use that money to help others,” nominee Dellen said. “Our success as a dealership has allowed us to contribute to countless organizations in our community.”
A 1999 graduate of Cathedral High School in Indianapolis, Indiana, Dellen earned a degree in marketing from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 2003. He has always worked for his family’s dealerships, starting at the age of 14. “I began in the car business by scrubbing toilets at my father's Oldsmobile dealership in Indianapolis,” he said. “Every summer from then on, I would work in different departments—from washing cars, to delivering parts, to selling cars, then management of the sales department.”
In 2008, at age 27, Dellen would rely on all those skills and experiences when his father, Russ, passed away at age 56 and Dellen was responsible for two car dealerships and a Harley-Davidson store. “I was not only grieving for my father and mentor, but learning the Harley business and running General Motors and Chrysler dealerships while those manufacturers were filing for bankruptcy,” he said. “I learned a lot during that time, and I am proud to say that we did not lay off any employees during the economic downturn.”
Since then, Dellen has purchased all shares in the company from family members and is the sole owner of Dellen Automotive Family, which includes Dellen Chevrolet Buick GMC and Dellen Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, both in Greenfield. And he is planning to expand.
An active member of his state and local dealer associations, Dellen has tackled issues that affect the retail automotive industry. “We have successfully worked with and against companies such as Tesla to come to an agreement regarding their ability to sell in the state of Indiana and abide by the laws set forth in our state when it comes to a manufacturer selling directly to the consumer,” he said.
He also lends his time and leadership to the boards of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hancock County and St. Mary's Child Center in Indianapolis, an organization that provides early childhood initiatives to positively impact the futures of young children. “This charity has been very important to my family over the years,” he said. “Serving central Indiana in five locations, the center’s outreach programs help at-risk children at an early age, so that they can establish a strong foundation for lifetime success.”
Through the R.P. Dellen Charitable Foundation, which was set up by Dellen’s father, donations are made annually to many local charities, including St. Mary's Child Center; Progress House (addiction treatment facility in Indianapolis); Fairbanks (addiction treatment facility also in Indianapolis); and Shriners Hospitals for Children.
Dellen was nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year award by Marty Murphy, executive vice president of the Automobile Dealers Association of Indiana. He and his wife, Nicole, have two sons.