DETROIT — Ally Financial today announced that it will renew its exclusive sponsorship of the TIME Dealer of the Year program through 2021. TIME Dealer of the Year is an annual program that aims to recognize and honor dealers around the country who make outstanding charitable contributions to their communities.

Ally and TIME also officially opened the nomination period for the 2016 TIME Dealer of the Year program, encouraging nominations at the annual Automotive Trade Association Executives (ATAE) Summer Conference in Dearborn, Mich. on July 17.

“We continue to be impressed and inspired by the tremendous efforts of the TIME Dealer of the Year nominees,” said Tim Russi, president of auto finance at Ally. “In recognition of these dealers’ dedication to their communities, Ally is proud to have committed more than $315,000 in charitable grants over the past four years to further amplify their local efforts.”

The 2016 TIME Dealer of the Year winner and finalists will be selected by a panel composed of faculty from the Tauber Institute for Global Operations at the University of Michigan. The panel will choose the finalists from each of the four National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) regions, and from those four finalists, the judges will then select the national winner.

ATAEs, who represent state and metro area dealer associations throughout the country, can begin the process of selecting and nominating extraordinary dealers within their regions for the upcoming 2016 TIME Dealer of the Year award by visiting  

Ally further recognizes each TIME Dealer of the Year nominee with a $1,000 grant to the qualified nonprofit organization of their choosing, and provides additional grants for the finalists and winner.

The ATAE who nominates the 2016 TIME Dealer of the Year winner will also receive a $5,000 donation to the charity of their choice.

“The TIME Dealer of the Year award is one of the automobile industry’s most prestigious accolades and we are honored to continue to be a part of it,” said Andrea Riley, chief marketing officer at Ally. “Automotive dealers play an integral role in their communities and we’re proud to recognize their efforts on a national stage.”   

Earlier this year, Andy Crews of AutoFair Honda in Manchester, New Hampshire was named the 2015 TIME Dealer of the Year. Crews was nominated by the New Hampshire Automobile Dealers Association for his unique “Make the Grade” program, which helps motivate high school seniors to get better grades for a chance to win a car, and his contributions to numerous local charitable organizations in New Hampshire.

Nominees for the 2016 award will be announced in October and the winner will be named at the NADA Convention and Expo in Las Vegas, being held March 31- April 3, 2016.