(New York) The nomination of Scott Deter, dealer principal of Deter Motor Co., a Chevrolet, Chrysler, Buick, GMC and Jeep dealership in Atlantic, Iowa, for the 2012 TIME Dealer of the Year award was announced this week by TIME. Deter is one of a select group of dealers from across the country who will be honored at the 95th annual National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Convention & Exposition in Las Vegas on February 4, 2012. The announcement of this year’s nominees was made by Kim Kelleher, worldwide publisher of TIME, and Tim Russi, executive vice president, North American Operations, for Ally Financial.
“Auto dealers have a tremendous impact on the viability of communities across the U.S.,” said Russi. “Ally is proud to support these extraordinary dealers who are truly making their communities better places to live and work.” As part of its support for the program, Ally will make more than $60,000 in charitable contributions to local community causes on behalf of the dealers. The 2012 national TIME Dealer of the Year winner will receive a $10,000 contribution for a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization of his or her choice. The other 50 nominees will each receive $1,000 to give to a qualified nonprofit organization. To celebrate the valuable contributions of dealers across the U.S., Ally has also launched a digital hub (ally.com/bizhero) featuring engaging content celebrating auto dealers and their philanthropic achievements.
The TIME Dealer of the Year award is one of the automobile industry’s most prestigious and highly coveted honors. Recipients are among the nation’s most successful auto dealers who must also demonstrate a long-standing commitment to community service. Deter, 57, was chosen to represent the Iowa Automobile Dealers Association in the national competition – one of only 50 auto dealers, from 17,000 nationwide, nominated for the 43rd annual award. The award is sponsored by TIME Magazine in association with Ally, and in cooperation with NADA. A panel of faculty members from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan selects one finalist from each of the four NADA regions and one national Dealer of the Year.
“Like many second-generation dealers, I began my automotive career in the family dealership,” says nominee Deter. “At age 13, I started dusting used cars on the lot. During high school and through college, I worked as a janitor, lube man, mechanic, parts clerk, body man, detailing and anything else that needed done, learning about all elements of the business.”
And that experience and entrepreneurial spirit kept him from pursuing a career in the corporate world, a lesson he learned after earning a B.A. from Tulane in 1976 and an M.B.A. from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in 1981. “During an interview at General Motors, an executive told me I was too blunt and too candid to succeed there,” he says. “He suggested it would be much more beneficial for GM and for me if I returned to the Iowa dealership.”
Founded in 1964 as Deter Chevrolet Buick by Deter’s father, Donald, the dealership continues to thrive and be a positive force in the community. Deter is proud to provide stable, well-paying jobs to the local economy and give his employees great flexibility, so they can take time off to attend children’s activities or deal with family illnesses. He also empowers his team to make their own decisions, creating an atmosphere of trust and self-reliance. “We have had minimal turnover and have been able to watch our staff and their families grow through the years,” he adds.
Deter Motor Co. has contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to a variety of projects and organizations, including the Technology Center at Iowa Western Community College, Atlantic’s YMCA, Cass County Community Center, Atlantic Little League and Girls Softball Team, Ann Wickman Child Development Center, as well as donating cars for fundraising event prizes. “The community has been very good to Deter Motor Co. and the Deter family and we, in turn, have always believed in giving back,” says Deter.
He is proud to have founded the Atlantic-area Athena Foundation Chapter in 2001 and continues as sole financial supporter of the organization that recognizes outstanding women leaders and mentors and promotes leadership opportunities for women. Deter also sponsors the annual AtlanticFest Car Show and is a member of Atlantic Rotary, on the Mid-America council board of trustees for the Boy Scouts of America and has served on various committees and task forces for the local school district and other community groups.
Nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year Award by Bruce Anderson, president of the Iowa Automobile Dealers Association, Deter and his wife, LuAnn, have a daughter.
TIME is a global multimedia brand that includes TIME magazine, the world’s largest weekly newsmagazine, with a domestic audience of 19 million and a global audience of 24 million; four worldwide editions of TIME magazine; TIME for Kids; and TIME.com, which draws over 10 million unique visitors a month and has over 2.9 million Twitter followers.
November 17, 2011