DALLAS – Gary Roma, who is credited with treating the right people, giving generously and embracing new technology, is the 2023 Time Dealer of the Year in partnership with Ally Financial.
Rome (image, bottom left)The owner of the namesake Hyundai dealership in Holyoke, MA, won the annual honor at the 106th National Automobile Dealers Assn annual convention.
The judges said they chose him because of his credo of treating employees and customers like family, embracing new technology and financially supporting various causes.
National dealers are nominated for various positive initiatives.
The state-of-the-art Hyundai store in Rome is powered by solar fields. He has also increased his investment in infrastructure and electric vehicle inventory.
He is one of the first US dealers to sell Hyundai battery-electric vehicles. He increased his EV sales by 38% in 2022 over the previous year.
The runner-up finalists were:
- Mark Brickey, Sand Mountain Toyota, Albertville, AL.
- Bruce Daniels, Honda Marysville, Marysville, OH.
- Tim Hutcherson, Downey Nissan, Downey, CA.
Ally Auto President Doug Timmerman and Time CEO Jessica Sibley announced Roma as the winner at a convention ceremony honoring all 48 nominees.
“As the auto industry continues to evolve, it is imperative that auto dealers continue to embrace new technologies that will move the industry forward,” says Timmerman.
“Year after year, we see this car dealership go above and beyond for our customers, community and employees,” he added.
Sibley says, “We are proud to continue this legacy of honoring this work of service with our partners at Ally.”
Allies will give $10,000 to Rome’s chosen charity and $5,000 to each of the three finalists’ chosen non-profit organizations. Allies will also give $1,000 to a charity of choice for each of the 48 nominees.
Roma is a second generation dealer who owns a Kia store in Connecticut in addition to his Hyundai dealership.
He supports several charities, including the Jimmy Fund Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Hyundai Hope on Wheels and breast cancer research organizations.
He is cited for organizing milestone events for his employees and the community, such as raffles and themed lunches.
He also hosts an annual program that rewards deserving Holyoke High School seniors with new cars.
A panel of faculty at the University of Michigan selects award winners and regional finalists. Local and state dealer groups vote for national nominees.