TAYLOR COUNTY—The nomination of J.R. Toothman, president of Toothman Ford in Grafton, West Virginia, for the 2021 TIME Dealer of the Year award was announced today by TIME.
Toothman is one of a select group of 40 dealer nominees from across the country who will be honored at the 104th annual National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Show being held virtually February 9-11, 2021. The announcement of this year’s annual award was made by Viktoria Degtar, Global Chief Revenue Officer, TIME,
and Doug Timmerman, president of Auto Finance for Ally Financial.
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. Toothman, 48, was chosen to represent the West Virginia Automobile Dealers Association in the national competition – one of only 41 auto dealers nominated for the 52nd annual award from more than 16,000 nationwide.
“Like many in the automotive field, I have experienced the highs and lows associated with this roller-coaster business,” nominee Toothman said. “Through it all, we have created sustained growth and tried to be a great community partner.”
A 1990 graduate of Grafton High School in Grafton, Toothman earned a B.B.A. in 1994 from the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. He also attended the NADA Academy in preparation for a career in the dealership founded by his parents, Jim and Becky Toothman, in 1967.
“Many amazing people helped shape my career,” he said. “The guidance I had from my parents has been invaluable.”
As current president and partner with his father, Toothman is proud of the great strides that Toothman Ford has made in recent years. “We’ve grown substantially in the last decade and have leased more land to keep up with our increasing inventory,” he said. “In addition, we have remodeled our dealership to ensure a welcoming, open and enjoyable
experience for our customers.”
He is also a partner in Toothman and Sowers Ford in White Hall, West Virginia. Despite his growing operations, he works hard to attract and retain quality employees. In fact, Toothman Ford was named one of Best Dealerships to Work For in the nation by Automotive News in 2018. “Our team is second to none,” Toothman said.
A longtime member of the Grafton community, Toothman supports organizations and initiatives that improve the health, welfare and the quality of life of his neighbors. He is a generous benefactor of West Virginia University (WVU) Medicine and has donated and raised money to benefit WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital and the WVU Cancer Institute.
Toothman has also participated in the Taylor County Backpack Program, which provides nutritious meals for children in need. He also supports literacy efforts, opioid prevention, youth sports camps, food drives and volunteers at the local food pantry, among many other philanthropic activities.
“We are so happy to be able to give back to our community and hope to do so for decades to come,” he said.
Dealers are nominated by the executives of state and metro dealer associations around the country. 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. Three finalists will receive $5,000 for their favorite charities and the winner will receive $10,000 to give to charity.
In its tenth year as exclusive sponsor, Ally will also recognize dealer nominees and their community efforts by contributing $1,000 to each nominee’s 501(c)3 charity of choice. Nominees will 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 celebrates the country’s top dealers who understand that their businesses thrive when they give back and help their communities grow,” Timmerman said. “In short, the award recognizes dealers who do it right in their businesses and in their communities.”
Toothman was nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year award by Jared Wyrick, president of the West Virginia Automobile Dealers Association. He has two children.
The annual NADA Show brings together more than 20,000 franchised dealers and their employees, industry leaders, manufacturers and exhibitors to learn about the latest auto industry tools, trends, products and technologies.