Michael Hale Wins National Recognition for Community Service and Industry Accomplishments at NADA Convention
(Orlando, FL, February 13, 2010) - Michael R. Hale, Dealer Principal of Mike Hale Acura, an Acura dealership in Murray, Utah, was honored today for his nomination for the 2010 TIME Magazine Dealer of the Year award.
Hale was one of a select group of dealers from across the country honored at the 93rd annual National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Convention & Exposition in Orlando today. The announcement of this year's Dealer of the Year and finalists was made by Mark Ford, President and Group Publisher of TIME Magazine, and Johann Finkelmeier, Vice President & General Manager - Original Equipment N.A. Consumer Tire, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, at the formal opening of the convention, which is attended by more than 25,000 individuals involved in the automobile industry.
The TIME Magazine Dealer of the Year award is one of the automobile industry's most prestigious and highly coveted awards for new-car dealers. Recipients are among the nation's most successful auto dealers, but they must also demonstrate a long-standing commitment to effective community service.
Hale, 57, was chosen to represent the New Car Dealers of Utah in the national competition--one of only 45 automobile dealers, from 17,000 nationwide, nominated for the 41st annual award. The award is sponsored by TIME Magazine in association with Goodyear, and in cooperation with NADA. A panel of faculty members from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan selects one finalist from each of the four NADA regions and one national Dealer of the Year.
While studying to be a dentist at the University of Utah in the 1970s, Hale worked part-time in the automobile business. During that time, he developed a love for the dealership environment and decided to pursue a career in auto sales.
Hale had graduated from East High School in Salt Lake City, UT, in 1970, and then majored in Community Health at the University of Utah, but his change of heart during senior year at college led him to fulltime employment as a salesman with Schettler Williams Datsun Volvo in Salt Lake City from 1976-'77. He spent the next four years at Salt Lake City's Ken Garff Imports moving through a series of positions: advisor, assistant manager for parts, salesman, lease/business manager and sales manager.
As the Sales Manager of Ken Garff Rolls Royce/Mercedes, I was approached by Mercedes Benz to buy into a troubled dealership in Tri-Cities, Washington. We turned the dealership around; my partner bought me out and I moved back to Salt Lake to the Garff organization where my goal was to find a new franchise." After a couple of years in partnership with Garff, a new opportunity came Hale's way. "[In 1986] we were awarded a Hyundai dealership in Salt Lake. We were also awarded the Acura franchise [in Murray]; Acura Utah was one of the very first Acura dealerships to open in North America, number 54," explains Hale. "I was in a 50/50 ownership with the Garff organization, and I bought out my partner in 1988 and eventually renamed the dealership Mike Hale Acura."
Today, Hale enjoys an outstanding reputation for his charitable and community service efforts. He is well known for his work with the Make-A-Wish foundation in Salt Lake City and for the U.S. Ski Team and National Ability Center in Park City. "For years, we have worked with the U.S. Ski Team, providing vehicles as well as cash sponsorship," says Hale, "and through the U.S. Ski Team we became affiliated with the National Ability Center, an awesome organization that works with individuals of all ages with disabilities to ensure that they are able to access sports of all types, like skiing and snowboarding." Hale has been a sponsor and board member since 1994. "It is very rewarding to be a small part of something that is so important in others' lives," he says.
Hale has also been active in the Chamber of Commerce in both Murray and Park City, home to his other dealership, and he's also a Summit County Friend of 4H. And for the last 10 years, he's worked with the Murray City Police Department to sponsor drug education in local schools.
Nominated for the TIME Magazine Dealer of the Year award by Craig Bickmore, Executive Director of the New Car Dealers of Utah, Michael R. Hale also represents Chevrolet at Mike Hale Chevrolet in Park City, UT.
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