Time and Ally Financial Honor Andrew Toyota Scion
Andrew Schlesinger Wins National Recognition for Community Service and Industry Accomplishments at NADA Convention
(New York, NY, November 16, 2015) – The nomination of Andrew Schlesinger, dealer principal and president of Andrew Toyota Scion in Glendale, Wisconsin, for the 2016 TIME Dealer of the Year award was announced today by TIME. Schlesinger is one of a select group of 50 dealer nominees from across the country who will be honored at the 99th annual National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Convention & Exposition in Las Vegas, Nevada, on April 1, 2016. The announcement of this year’s nominees was made by Meredith Long, publisher, TIME, and Tim Russi, president of Auto Finance for Ally Financial.
“The TIME Dealer of the Year award nominees are business leaders and pillars of their communities, who have each given generously to support important charitable causes,” said Russi. “Ally is proud to honor these dealers and to recognize their commitment to making a difference.”
In its fifth year as exclusive sponsor, Ally will recognize dealer nominees and their community efforts by contributing $1,000 to each nominee’s 501(c)3 charity of choice. Nominees will also be recognized on AllyDealerHeroes.com, which highlights the philanthropic contributions and achievements of TIME Dealer of the Year nominees.
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 also demonstrate a long-standing commitment to community service. Schlesinger, 56, was chosen to represent the Wisconsin Automobile & Truck Dealers Association in the national competition – one of only 50 auto dealers from 16,000 nationwide – nominated for the 47th annual award. The award is sponsored by TIME in association with Ally Financial, and in cooperation with NADA. A panel of faculty members from the Tauber Institute for Global Operations at the University of Michigan will select one finalist from each of the four NADA regions and one national Dealer of the Year.
“As I reflect on 32 years of service in the retail automotive industry, my continuing motivation is service to others. I feel a great sense of responsibility to my employees as a custodian of their livelihood, gratitude to my guests for their loyalty and extremely fortunate to be able to give back to the community that has supported me and my family for more than 50 years,” nominee Schlesinger said.
A 1978 graduate of Nicolet High School in Glendale, Wisconsin, Schlesinger earned a B.S. in communications and marketing from Arizona State University in Tempe in 1982 and attended the NADA Dealer Candidate Academy in McLean, Virginia, in 1987.
“My father, Melvin Schlesinger, was an outstanding dealer in Milwaukee for 22 years,” he said, and Schlesinger worked part time in various departments at the Chevrolet store, originally named Schlesinger Chevrolet, since 1977. He became general manager in 1984 and then dealer principal in 1993 when his automotive group, which also included a Toyota store, moved to its Glendale location. The dealerships were renamed Andrew Chevrolet and Andrew Toyota Scion in 1993.
“Relating to people on a personal level is essential in any successful endeavor,” Schlesinger said. “Every job I ever held was people-related, and I learned the key to success is respect and empathy for others. My father instilled in me the importance of execution – always do what you say you will do.”
And Schlesinger certainly does a lot for his surrounding community. Since 2012, he has influenced almost 70 dealers in the Automobile Dealers Association of Mega Milwaukee (ADAMM) to donate at least one dollar for every oil change performed between mid-November and February to Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin. “The ‘Change Your Oil, Change Lives’ initiative has minimal impact to dealers, yet has made tremendous strides in the fight against hunger,” he said. “Collectively, we have been able to facilitate the purchase of more than 800,000 meals.” Schlesinger was recognized by the group for his efforts and has served on the organization’s board.
Schlesinger is also involved with Backpack Buddies, a Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin program that provides backpacks full of school supplies for students in select Milwaukee schools. “We fund and distribute the backpacks and earmark a donation from every vehicle we sell for the initiative,” he said. “The backpacks are distributed to economically challenged students in our community, and our purchasing guests receive a certificate acknowledging their contribution to this deserving cause.”
Other organizations that Schlesinger sponsors or lends his time to include: Make-A-Wish (sponsors car show annually); BloodCenter of Wisconsin (blood drives); Cassandra’s Cure for Cancer Foundation (charity golf tournament); ADAMM Technicians of Tomorrow (sponsor); Beckum-Stapleton Little League (sponsor) and more.
Schlesinger was nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year award by William Sepic, president of the Wisconsin Automobile & Truck Dealers Association. He and his wife, Jill, have two children.
TIME is a global multimedia brand that reaches an audience of more than 100 million and includes the domestic and international magazine editions, TIME for Kids, TIME.com and mobile. TIME.com draws 50 million unique visitors a month and has a social reach of more than 27 million. (Omniture)
About Ally Financial Inc.
Ally Financial Inc. (NYSE: ALLY) is a leading automotive financial services company powered by a top direct banking franchise. Ally’s automotive services business offers a full spectrum of financial products and services, including new and used vehicle inventory and consumer financing, leasing, vehicle service contracts, commercial loans and vehicle remarketing services, as well as a variety of insurance offerings, including inventory insurance, insurance consultative services for dealers and other ancillary products. Ally Bank, the company’s direct banking subsidiary and member FDIC, offers an array of deposit products, including certificates of deposit, savings accounts, money market accounts, IRA deposit products and interest checking. Ally’s Corporate Finance unit provides financing to middle-market companies across a broad range of industries.
With approximately $156.1 billion in assets as of Sept. 30, 2015, Ally operates as a financial holding company. For more information, visit the Ally media site at http://media.ally.com or follow Ally on Twitter: @Ally.