The nomination of Isaac Willis, dealer principal at Willis Chevrolet Buick in Smyrna, for the 2018 Time Dealer of the Year award was recently announced by Time.
Willis is one of a select group of 47 dealer nominees from across the country who will be honored at the National Automobile Dealers Association’s 2018 NADA Show in Las Vegas on March 23, 2018. The announcement of this year’s nominees was made by Meredith Long, senior vice president and general manager, news, luxury and style, Time; and Tim Russi, president of auto finance for Ally Financial.
“We salute this exceptional group of nominees for the 2018 Time Dealer of the Year award,” Russi said. “These dealers are local pillars of strength, leadership and giving; and Ally is proud to celebrate their stories and recognize them for their commitment to ‘do it right’ in their communities.”
In its seventh 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.
Willis, 43, was chosen to represent the Delaware Automobile & Truck Dealers’ Association in the national competition. 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.
A 1993 graduate of Smyrna High School in Smyrna, Willis earned a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice from the University of Delaware in Newark in 1997, where he was a member of the University of Delaware Emergency Care Unit, a student-run volunteer ambulance corps.
Willis worked part-time in his family’s dealership until he graduated from college in 1997 and became a full-time employee. He assumed the role of general manager in 2004 and currently serves as the company’s dealer principal.
Today, he is partners with his father, William H. Willis Jr., in the business founded by his grandfather, William H. Willis Sr., in 1951, making him a third-generation dealer at Willis Chevrolet Buick.
Willis is committed to his community and has been a member of the Smyrna volunteer fire company, Citizens’ Hose Company No. 1, for 27 years. He has also served on the company’s board of directors since 2000. He was named Firefighter of the Year in 1993 by the Citizens’ Hose Company No. 1.
Willis has also served on the finance committee for Asbury United Methodist Church in Smyrna, on the advisory board for the Green Beret Project, a youth outreach program and as chairman of the capital campaign for the Greater Smyrna Clayton Boys & Girls Club.
In addition, Willis’ dealership partners with local high schools to encourage and educate young drivers on driving safely, which includes pledges to not text and drive or drink and drive.
Willis was nominated for the Time Dealer of the Year award by Marlene Lynch-Petrylak, executive director of the Delaware Automobile & Truck Dealers’ Association. He and his wife, Christy, have two children.