DETROIT — Ally Financial is honoring the 57 dealers selected as nominees for the 2013 TIME Dealer of the Year award. These nominees are among the nation’s most successful auto dealers who also demonstrate a long-standing commitment to community service.

In its 44th year, the TIME Dealer of the Year award is recognized as one of the automobile industry’s most prestigious and highly coveted honors.

“Auto dealers play such an important role in the strength of local communities across the United States,” said Tim Russi, executive vice president of North American Auto Operations for Ally Financial. “They are involved in many philanthropic endeavors, contributing their time and money to improving the lives of people in need. Ally is proud to support and honor these extraordinary dealers and the important roles they play in making their communities better places to live and work.”

A recent survey of U.S. dealers by Ally Financial found that more than 65 percent increased their charitable giving in 2012 compared to 2011, and nearly 64 percent donate more than $10,000 on an annual basis, with the majority — more than 94 percent — going to local causes.

In its second year as exclusive sponsor, Ally Financial will recognize dealer nominees and their community efforts by contributing $1,000 to each nominee’s charity of choice.  An additional grant will also be made on behalf of the winner, which will be announced in February.

Last year’s winner Mike Shaw, dealer principal of Mike Shaw Chevrolet Saab in Denver, Colo., chose the Boy Scouts of America Denver Area Council as the recipient of his 2012 winner’s grant. The funding provided for 67 boys to go to Scout camp via their Assistance Individuals program, which ensures that no young person will be denied an opportunity to go to Scout camp or be a Scout.

To further celebrate the valuable contributions of dealers across the U.S., Ally has launched a website,, to highlight the philanthropic contributions and achievements of auto dealers. All of the 57 nominees will be represented on the site, along with stories of their charitable outreach in local communities. The site also features a social media dashboard displaying a tally of dealer contributions, as well as the results of a newly launched hashtag campaign — #AllyDealerHeroes — which encourages dealers and consumers to tell their own stories of community involvement.

The nominees and winner will be honored at the 96th annual National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Convention & Exposition in Orlando, Fla., on Feb. 9, 2013.