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Tim Maguire

Tim Maguire

Maguire Automotive
Ithaca, New York

“It has been most rewarding to watch our employees grow and advance in their careers and in life.”

“It has been most rewarding to watch our employees grow and advance in their careers and in life,” nominee Maguire said. “I love to see people come into our organization and get passionate about what they do.”

Maguire is a 1965 graduate of Ovid Central School in Ovid, New York. He received an A.A.S. in automotive technology at the State University of New York (SUNY) Morrisville (now Morrisville State College) in Morrisville in 1967. He then studied at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, earning a B.S. in automotive engineering in 1969 and an M.S. in industrial technology in 1971.

“I grew up in a small, rural upstate town in New York,” Maguire said. “I was always fascinated with anything mechanical, especially automobiles.” He paid $25 for his first car, a red 1949 Dodge with no brakes, when he was 14 years old. He added, “After I drove the car through our barn doors, my father and I fixed the brakes and the barn doors. I ended up selling it for $100, so I guess that was the beginning of my automotive career.”

Maguire’s aspirations were to be a mechanic and own his own gas station. But after receiving his B.S. degree, he took a job with Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, Michigan, where he worked from 1969 until 1977, taking a short break while getting his master’s degree and eventually transferring to the southern United States.

In 1977, he opened his first dealership in upstate New York, about 20 miles from his hometown. Today, the Maguire Family of Dealerships encompasses 10 New York stores in Ithaca, Syracuse, Watkins Glen and Trumansburg, and his son, Philip, is president. In addition, multiple stores in his dealership family have been named Best Dealerships to Work For by Automotive News each year since the program’s inception in 2012. “My goal has been to be more than a successful dealer,” Maguire said. “I hope that our organization can have a positive influence not only on our employee partners but the entire community in which we live and work.”

One initiative that he created to give back is the Community Oil Change program. For every oil change completed at a Maguire dealership, 10 percent of the proceeds go to benefit a community charity or group. “We have a committee that handles requests for donations and sponsorships,” he said. “They are also the catalyst for employee participation in local events and ongoing fundraising activities.”

Some of the groups that have benefitted from the program include: Cancer Resource Center of the Finger Lakes (Ithaca); Ithaca Children’s Garden; Unity House of Cayuga County (Auburn, New York); Hangar Theatre (Ithaca); Make A Wish; American Red Cross; and the Alzheimer’s Association. “We have been able to give thousands of dollars to worthy charities,” Maguire said. “It is rewarding to see the success of our efforts pay off for our community.”

Maguire is proud to have been the recipient of the Community Service Award from the Alcohol & Drug Council of Tompkins County in 2009. “We all know someone who has been addicted to drugs or alcohol,” he said. “If we can change someone's life by helping them, the impact reaches beyond the individual to their family and to the community.”

Maguire was nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year award by Robert E. Vancavage, president of the New York State Automobile Dealers Association. He and his wife, Fran, have four children and eight grandchildren.