Tim Russi with 2012 TIME Dealer of the Year award winner, Mike Shaw, his wife, Nancy Shaw and TIME Worldwide Publisher, Kim Kelleher.

Tim Russi with 2012 TIME Dealer of the Year award winner, Mike Shaw, his wife, Nancy Shaw and TIME Worldwide Publisher, Kim Kelleher.

LAS VEGAS — Mike Shaw, dealer principal of Denver-based Mike Shaw Chevrolet Saab, was named the 2012 national TIME Dealer of the Year at the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Convention & Exposition in Las Vegas on Feb. 4.

Shaw beat out of a select group of 49 other dealers from across the country. The announcement of this year’s national Dealer of the Year and finalists was made by Kim Kelleher, worldwide publisher of TIME, and Tim Russi, Ally Financial’s executive vice president for North American auto operations..

“Auto dealers have a tremendous impact on the vitality and strength of communities across the U.S.,” Russi said. “Ally is proud to support these extraordinary dealers who are truly making their communities better places to live and work.”

As part of its support for the program, Ally will make charitable contributions to local community causes on behalf of all 50 nominated dealers across the United States. In addition, the 2012 national TIME Dealer of the Year winner will receive a $10,000 contribution for a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization of his or her choice. To celebrate the valuable contributions of dealers across the U.S., Ally has also launched a website featuring content celebrating auto dealers and their philanthropic achievements.

TIME Dealer of the Year award recipients are among the nation’s most successful auto dealers who must also demonstrate a long-standing commitment to community service, according to Ally Financial. Shaw was chosen to represent the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association in the national competition, one of only 50 auto dealers from 17,000 nationwide nominated for the 43rd annual award.

The award is sponsored by TIME Magazine in association with Ally, 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.

“My mantra in business is that quality comes first, customers are always the focus and integrity is never compromised,” Shaw said.

 A 1964 graduate of Welasco High School in Welasco, Texas, Shaw earned a degree in business management at Texas A&M University, where he was a distinguished military student and graduate. He later served as an officer in the U.S. Army and spent one year in Vietnam before returning home to refocus his career in the automotive industry, where he worked before leaving for service. “I fell in love with the car business and knew instantly that was where I belonged,” he said.

After managing and owning a string of dealerships, he launched the “Mike Shaw” branded stores in 1994 with Mike Shaw Chevrolet Saab in Denver. He currently has six other dealerships in Colorado, Louisiana and Texas. “My actions and ethics as a dealer have helped me become one of the largest minority-owned car dealers in the nation,” Shaw said. His two sons also work for the business.

In the area of community service, Shaw incorporates his business expertise to advance his philanthropic causes. “Family, ethical behavior and education are values that have guided me to success,” he said. “I am in the business of selling, and I bring those same skills to the community organizations I serve.” In one instance, he helped the Boy Scouts turn their popcorn fundraiser from a $200,000 program into a $3 million event. “I set it up as if it was one of my dealerships and the Scouts were salesmen,” Shaw said.

For the past 17 years, he’s been involved with numerous projects and organizations, including Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Urban League of Denver, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Colorado Aids Walk, Food Bank of the Rockies, the American Cancer Society’s golf tournament, Crime Stoppers, Executive Women International and Seniors Inc., among others.

He has also served as an adviser and on the boards of the National Western Stock Show, St. Joseph Hospital Foundation, Denver Zoological Foundation, Texas State Aquarium, Kempe Foundation and many others, as well as spearheading numerous fundraising events.

“I am a person who deeply cares about kids and their education, especially kids who come from low-income backgrounds,” Shaw said. “I am convinced the key to success is education, and thus, my commitment to kids and education is a driving force. I also believe that what you give, you get back tenfold.”