Jay L’Archevesque of Elmwood Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram in East Providence has been nominated for the 2013 TIME Dealer of the Year award, TIME announced today.
The award recognizes philanthropic contributions and achievements of auto dealers across the U.S.
“I believe the highest civic achievement for a businessman is to serve the community at large in a fair and equitable manner, where profit is not a bad word,” L’Archevesque said. “Fair taxes paid help communities with schools, roads, budgets, etc.”
L’Archevesque was nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year Award by Jack Perkins, executive vice president of the Rhode Island Automobile Dealers Association.
L’Archevesque is one of 57 dealer nominees from across the country who will be honored at the 96th annual National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Convention & Exposition in Orlando, Florida, on Feb. 9, 2013.
The announcement of this year’s nominees was made by Todd Larsen, executive vice president and group president, Time Inc. News and Sports, and Tim Russi, executive vice president, North American Auto Operations, for Ally Financial.
“Auto dealers play such an important role in the strength of local communities across the United States,” said Russi. “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."
In its second year as exclusive sponsor, Ally will recognize dealer nominees and their community efforts by contributing $1,000 to each nominee’s charity of choice. Nominees will also be recognized on the recently launched website, AllyDealerHeroes.com, which highlights the philanthropic contributions and achievements of auto dealers across the U.S.
The TIME Dealer of the Year award is one of the automobile industry’s most prestigious honors. Recipients are among the nation’s most successful auto dealers who also demonstrate a long-standing commitment to community service.
L’Archevesque, 45, was chosen to represent the Rhode Island Automobile Dealers Association in the national competition – one of only 57 auto dealers from 17,000 nationwide – nominated for the 44th annual award. The award is sponsored by TIME in association with Ally Financial, and in cooperation with NADA.
A panel of faculty members from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan will select one finalist from each of the four NADA regions and one national Dealer of the Year.
L'Archevesque is a 1986 graduate of B.M.C. Durfee High School in Fall River, and he attended Gordon State College in Barnesville, Georgia. He wasn’t sure if he wanted go into the same industry as his dad, who was a career automobile entrepreneur.
“I witnessed the dedication and long hours needed to succeed,” he said. “I was unsure whether to follow in his footsteps. As fate would have it, after my college years, the trap sprung and I was hooked. WD-40 ran in my veins.”
After working for two years at McInerney Ford in Orlando, Florida, L’Archevesque returned to the northeast to his father’s dealership. When he had the opportunity to buy it, he did so with some trepidation.
“The best years of the automobile business seemed to have passed,” he said. “Trusting my abilities and the supporting staff of employees, I risked it all. The result is visible and palpable and the future looks rosy.”
In the area of community service, Elmwood Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram contributes to scholarship drives and other philanthropic causes in the region. It sponsors golf hole-in-ones for A Wish Come True, a group that grants wishes to children suffering from life-threatening illnesses, and the Groden Center Tournament for Autism, as well as golf fundraisers for the Arc of Blackstone Valley, which helps people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. L’Archevesque also contributes to the Rhode Island Shriners to aid underprivileged children.
“Donations to charity could not happen without a solidly performing business. And we do this on a regular basis,” he said. “Rhode Island unemployment is the highest in the country, yet we can proudly state that we’re reversing the national trend. We kept all employees and never lowered their standard of living, even during the toughest of times, when automakers were declaring bankruptcy.”
L'Archevesque and his wife, Susan, have three children.