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Salzman wins national TIME Dealer of the Year

Robin and Jack Salzman with a token of appreciation from Big Day at the Lake

March 23. Jack Salzman, owner of Lake Norman Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram in Cornelius, has been named the 2018 TIME Dealer of the Year at the National Automobile Dealers Association Show in Las Vegas.

The announcement was made by Jacie Brandes, senior vice president of sales and marketing for TIME, and Doug Timmerman, president of Ally Insurance, at the formal opening of the convention. More than 20,000 people in the auto industry attend the annual event.

“Ally continues to be inspired by dealers around the country that give so generously to important charitable causes in their communities,” Russi said.

Salzman and his wife Robin are long-time supporters of such organizations as the Dove House Children’s Advocacy Center in Statesville, Pat’s Place Child Advocacy Center in Charlotte, The Shelter of Gaston County, Make-A-Wish and Big Brothers Big Sisters through Cornelius-based Big Day at the Lake.

The TIME Dealer of the Year award is one of the automobile industry’s most prestigious honors. Recipients are among the nation’s most successful auto dealers who also demonstrate a long-standing commitment to community service.

Salzman, 55, was chosen to represent the North Carolina Automobile Dealers Association in the national competition; only 47 dealers from more than 16,500 nationwide were nominated.

The award is sponsored by TIME in association with Ally Financial under the auspices of the NADA. A panel of faculty members from the Tauber Institute for Global Operations at the University of Michigan selects one finalist from each of the four NADA regions and one national Dealer of the Year.

“The most rewarding part of my retail automotive career has been hiring great people and investing in their future,” Salzman said. “We pride ourselves on searching out quality employees and providing them with the tools and support they need to grow from entry-level jobs up to top management positions within the company.”

A 1980 graduate of Riverview High School in Riverview, Florida, Salzman was the top-rated swimmer in the country for the 200-meter backstroke and competed in the United States Olympic Trials for the summer games in Moscow. He won three silver medals for Team USA in the Maccabiah Games in Israel.

Salzman accepted a full swimming scholarship to Auburn University, where he received a degree in business administration in 1985. He then went on to earn a law degree from the Shepard Broad College of Law at Nova University in Fort Lauderdale.

Rather than working with a law firm, Salzman decided he wanted to own his own business after law school and started a cellular phone agency. While partnering with a local car dealership on a successful promotion, the dealer hired him as a sales manager and he has been in the retail automotive industry ever since. Today, he is owner of  Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram dealerships in Cornelius and Gastonia.

He received the Champions of Diversity award from the Lake Norman Chamber in 2012.

“We have always sought out great employees regardless of gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, etc.,” he said. “As a result of this philosophy, we have been rewarded with extremely low turnover and incredibly caring employees, whom we are able to continually promote to new positions that further their careers.”

The Salzmans focus their philanthropic time and attention on three areas: animals in need, children in need and women in need.

In its seventh year as exclusive sponsor, Ally has donated $1,000 to the charity of choice for each of the 47 dealer nominees and will provide $10,000 to the nonprofit selected by the 2018 TIME Dealer of the Year winner. In addition, the three finalists, as well as the state Automotive Trade Association Executive (ATAE) who nominated the 2018 winner, will each receive a $5,000 grant for the nonprofit organizations of their choice.

All nominees are featured on AllyDealerHeroes.com, which highlights the philanthropic contributions and achievements of auto dealers across the United States.