The nomination of Adam Kraushaar, president of Lester Glenn Auto Group, a Buick, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, GMC, Hyundai, Jeep, Mazda, Ram and Subaru dealer in Toms River, New Jersey, for the 2015 TIME Dealer of the Year award was announced today by TIME.
Kraushaar is one of a select group of 55 dealer nominees from across the country who will be honored at the 98th annual National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Convention & Exposition in San Francisco, California, on January 23, 2015. The announcement of this year’s nominees was made by Jed Hartman, group publisher, worldwide, TIME, and Tim Russi, president of Auto Finance for Ally Financial.
“The dealers nominated for this award are dedicated business owners, auto lovers and, most importantly, champions for their local communities, with a willingness to give back on a grand scale,” said Russi. “Ally is proud to honor and support these dealers as they work today and tomorrow to build better places to live, work and do business.”
In its fourth 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. Kraushaar, 45, was chosen to represent the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers in the national competition – one of only 55 auto dealers from 17,000 nationwide – nominated for the 46th 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.
“The foundation of Lester Glenn’s success has been customer service – taking care of the customer, first and foremost,” said nominee Kraushaar. ” We take care of the customer and then everything evolves from that.”
A third-generation dealer, Kraushaar graduated from the Lawrence School in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, in 1988. He earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., in 1992, where he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. He set off for a career on Wall Street, working for several securities firms before heading back to New Jersey to take over the family automotive retail business in 2006.
“I worked in all areas of the family’s Buick dealership growing up,” he said of the store founded by his grandfather, Lester Glenn, in 1956. His father, Stanley, eventually took over the operation and helped it grow and expand. Today, Stanley is retired and Kraushaar oversees eight dealership locations in the New Jersey shore region from Toms River to Manahawkin to Ocean.
And when that region was devastated by Superstorm Sandy in 2012, Kraushaar and his team jumped into action. He told Automotive News one year after the storm that his store, which was without power, provided a dozen pickup trucks to local police whose vehicles were destroyed. And they used rental cars as temporary transportation for customers who needed to buy new cars.
His commitment to community service is evident in good times and bad. The dealership provides shuttle service to the local synagogue on High Holy Days and supports the Society of St. Vincent de Paul at the area Catholic church, which offers temporary financial relief and food to those in need. And he partners with local vocational schools to provide employment opportunities to students and donates to local community sports teams.
Kraushaar is a sponsor of the Jimmy Fund, which funds adult and pediatric cancer care at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts. He also partners with Hyundai Motor America’s Hyundai Hope on Wheels program, raising money for pediatric cancer research. “Year to date, we have contributed to more than $2.7 million in donated funds,” he said. A proud supporter of Susan G. Komen, Kraushaar holds employee events that allow his staff to get involved in raising funds for breast cancer research and building awareness.
Kraushaar was nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year award by James B. Appleton, president of the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers. He and his wife, Mara, have two children.