Rick DeSilva, owner of Liberty Subaru in Emerson, NJ, was announced as the 2021 Time Dealer of the Year. DeSilva was awarded the honor by Time and Ally Financial at the 104th National Automotive Dealers Association Show. Like the rest of the NADA show this year, the ceremony was held virtually and honored five finalists including DeSilva.
DeSilva was honored for his ongoing charitable work, particularly amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Among his many community service efforts, DeSilva was praised for his role as vice president of the Mahwah Board of Education in the planning of safely bringing students and faculty back to school during the pandemic. DeSilva is a 1993 graduate of Mahwah High School and works diligently to advocate for the school.
Doug Timmerman, President of Auto Finance at Ally, and Viktoria Degtar, Global Chief Revenue Officer of Time, announced DeSilva as the winner from a field of 40 nominees.
“America’s auto dealers have led the way, in their communities and the broader auto industry, during an incredibly challenging year,” said Timmerman. “The Time Dealer of the Year nominees stand out for their ingenuity in business and unwavering commitment to giving back in their local communities.”
Four other dealers were recognized as Time Dealer of the Year finalists including:
- Christine Alcandro-Karnolt, Marty’s GMC Buick, Kington, MA
- Timothy Crenwelge, Crenwelge Motors, Kerrville, TX
- Michael Molstead, Mike Molstead Motors Inc., Charles City, IA
- Christina Dawkings, Co’s BMW Center, Loveland, CO
Ally, the exclusive sponsor of the award, will give $10,000 to the charity of DeSilva’s choice. The company will also donate $5,000 to each nonprofit organization selected by the four finalists and $1,000 to the charities of choice for the 40 nominees.
DeSilva is a graduate of Clemson University where he earned his B.S. in marketing. After college, he entered a management training program with Toyota Motor Sales, USA. During his time in the program, he primarily focused on customer service, sales, and fixed operations. After his time with Toyota, DeSilva joined his family’s automotive business in 2003, opening Liberty Hyundai in Mahwah with his father and brother. He became an active member of the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers, serving on the association’s board of trustees since 2008 and as chairman in 2017.
DeSilva is also a recipient of the Subaru Love Promise Customer & Community Commitment Award. Along with improving education, DeSilva also supports local pet shelters by hosting adoption events. He is also involved in Adopt-a-Soldier Platoon, the Special Olympics New Jersey Torch Run, Jersey Cares Coat Drive, the Valerie Fund, Ramapo College Foundation, New York-New Jersey Trail Conference, Bergen Highlands Ramsey Rotary Gift of Life, among other organizations.