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Bill Lavery, Joey Huang nominated for 2017 TIME Dealer of the Year Award

Bill Lavery and Joey Huang Nominated for 2017 TIME Dealer of the Year Award

We are excited to announce that two of our dealers have been nominated for the 2017 TIME Dealer of the Year Award! The TIME Dealer of the Year program honors new-car dealers in America who exhibit exceptional performance in their dealerships and perform distinguished community service. Bill Lavery of Lavery Automotive Sales & Service in Alliance and Joey Huang of Great Lakes Honda in Akron are 2 of only 49 dealers from 16,000 nationwide who will be honored at the 100th annual NADA Convention & Expo in New Orleans, Louisiana on January 27, 2017.

Congratulations to both dealers on the well-deserved award!


 

Bill Lavery Time“I am very proud that I have been able to provide for my employees and their families, while striving to make the town a better place to live and work.”

A 1971 graduate of Alliance High School in Alliance, Lavery earned a B.S. in accounting at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, in 1975 and a J.D. from the University of Toledo in Toledo, Ohio, in 1978. He was also a member of his college golf team.

Lavery was born into retail automobile business. His late father founded Lavery Chevrolet in Alliance in 1965, following a 17-year career at General Motors. Lavery worked in several of the departments after graduating in 1978, eventually rising to general manager and then dealer. Today, his store includes Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC brands, and he owns the company with his brother and sister.

With a 50-year family business legacy in Alliance, Lavery is committed to giving back to the city and its people. “I have consistently given up my time and resources to make my community a better place to live,” he said. “I have been very fortunate and truly believe though we can’t do everything but we can all do something,” This year that philosophy drove him to work with other business owners and Faith Family Church in North Canton, Ohio, to give away four Chevrolet Malibus to single mothers in need this past Mother’s Day.

Lavery is also currently an officer for Alliance Area Development, an engine for economic growth in the region. In addition, he has advised the boards of Alliance Community Hospital, Stark County Auto Dealers, Ohio Auto Dealers, Cleveland Auto Dealers, and Stark State College Foundation where he has endowed a scholarship for automotive students.

For his dealership’s contributions, Lavery Automotive Sales & Service was named Large Business of the Year by the Alliance Area Chamber of Commerce Business Alliance in 2014. “This prestigious award recognizes dedicated service to our town and to our employees, which was a great honor” he said.

Other local and national organizations and events that Lavery supports include: Greater Alliance Carnation Festival Queen’s Pageant; Toys for Tots; Alliance Hot Stove Baseball League; United Way; American Cancer Society; American Red Cross; Pancreatic Cancer Action Network; Alliance Community Hospital, Chamber of Commerce, Northern Ohio PGA and many other local school systems and universities.

Lavery was nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year award by Zach Doran, president of the Ohio Automobile Dealers Association. His wife’s name is Sally.

 


Joey Huang“I was blessed to grow up in a diverse community like Ashtabula, Ohio, where I learned to get along with everyone, from the cowboy to the farmer to the doctor.”

Huang was on track to be a dentist before his passion for the car business took him in a different direction. A 1988 graduate of Western Reserve Academy in Hudson, Ohio, Huang studied biology at The Ohio State University in Columbus, graduating in 1992. He also earned a D.D.S. at The Ohio State University College of Dentistry in 1997, but it was a summer job selling autos that changed his career trajectory.

“My father is a well-respected OB/GYN in Ashtabula, who wanted all of his children to enter a medical profession,” Huang said, noting that his sister and brother are both successful doctors. “And back then, my father had a little problem with me going into the automotive business. But his attitude has changed over the years.”

During his junior year in dental school, Huang opened a small used-car lot next to his father's office in Ashtabula. He later partnered with John Rocco and founded Great Lakes Auto Network in 1996. Today, they own five dealerships in Ohio, representing brands Buick, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, GMC, Honda, Hyundai, Jeep and Ram.

Understanding the importance of education, Huang and his company spearheaded an initiative called Educar, which offers all schools in Ashtabula County the opportunity to raise needed funds through a raffle. The winner receives dollars toward the purchase of a car or cash. “Educar has raised more than $250,000 for local schools,” he said.

Huang is also the local chairman of Hyundai Hope on Wheels, a program that raises money for pediatric cancer research. “As a trained medial professional and a D.D.S., my most meaningful civic achievement has been my work with this group,” he said. “The more than $1 million we have raised for Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio, has had a profound impact on young lives in peril within our community.”

While Huang has earned recognition for his philanthropic efforts, he is most proud of receiving the inaugural Community Impact Award from Cox Automotive in 2015. “This national honor recognizes the impact that Great Lakes Auto Network has had on education in Ashtabula County,” he said.

He added, “I am also happy that I have changed my father's opinion of the auto industry, a profession I truly love. I have been blessed.”

Huang was nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year award by Damon Lester, president of the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers. He and his wife, Julie Post, have four children.

2017 Time Dealer Of The Year