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  • Minnesota Motor Co. Nominated for Dealer of the Year by TIME

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    October 22, 2019


    Steven Brimhall Wins National Recognition for Community Service and Industry Accomplishments at NADA Show
    (New York, NY, October 21, 2019) – The nomination of Steven Brimhall, dealer operator at the Minnesota Motor Company, a Buick and Chevrolet dealership in Fergus Falls, Minnesota, for the 2020 TIME Dealer of the Year award was announced today by TIME. 
    Brimhall is one of a select group of 49 dealer nominees from across the country who will be honored at the 103rd annual National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Show in Las Vegas on February 15, 2020. The announcement of this year’s annual award was made by Susanna Schrobsdorff, chief partnerships officer, TIME, and Doug Timmerman, president of Auto Finance for Ally Financial.
    The TIME Dealer of the Year award is one of the automobile industry’s most prestigious and highly coveted honors. Recipients are among the nation’s most successful auto dealers who also demonstrate a long-standing commitment to community service. Brimhall, 68, was chosen to represent the Minnesota Automobile Dealers Association in the national competition – one of only 49 auto dealers nominated for the 51st annual award from more than 16,000 nationwide.
    “The most rewarding part of my career is the long-term relationships I’ve formed with customers and employees during my 47-plus years in the auto business,” nominee Brimhall said. “We highly value the employee experience at our dealership, which has inspired productivity and loyalty. I believe that our employees are our greatest asset.”
    Brimhall hails from a long line of auto dealers. His grandfather, Marsden G. Brimhall, became part owner of the Minnesota Motor Company in 1922 and started selling Chevrolets. His father and uncle, Richard and Bradford, took over in 1959, and today, Brimhall and his cousin Thomas own the dealership. Brimhall’s two sons, Matthew and Benjamin, are the next generation to enter the family enterprise.
    “I began washing and detailing vehicles in high school, fell in love with the business and returned to the dealership after college as a car salesman,” he said, having earned an associate of arts degree from Fergus Falls Community College (now Minnesota State Community and Technical College) in 1972. “My strong people skills, competitive nature and my ability to form lasting customer relationships have made me successful.”
    With such a rich legacy in the retail automotive industry in Minnesota, Brimhall was tapped to provide leadership and insights to the Minnesota Automobile Dealers Association (MADA) where he has served on the group’s charitable foundation board since 2014, as well as holding the offices of chair, vice chair, treasurer and secretary for the organization.
    “It has been a great learning experience working alongside our lobbyists, legislators, MADA staff and other dealers from Minnesota, which has also resulted in lifelong friendships,” he said.
    Brimhall believes that business owners have a responsibility to give back to the community through involvement and monetary donations. “A strong community helps our business be strong,” he said. “When our employees donate their time and efforts to the community, it builds relationships and boosts vitality.”
    He is proud of his work for the Fergus Area College Foundation, which supports the Fergus Falls campus of Minnesota State Community and Technical College (M State). “I chaired a capital campaign to which I donated and raised $750,000, which was matched by a state grant of $1.2 million,” Brimhall said. “Because of this funding, 53 new technical classes are being added to M State, which will help put much-needed technicians into the workforce.”
    Other organizations he supports include Fergus Falls Area Chamber of Commerce; Business Development of Fergus Falls; Otter Tail Lakes Property Owners Association (promotes and protects area lakes); and Ducks Unlimited, to name a few. His company has also made generous donations to the Lake Region Healthcare's Cancer Care & Research Center (Fergus Falls); Fergus Falls Community Arena (hockey and skating venue); Fergus Falls Otters Football (new turf field) and the Fergus Falls Area Family YMCA.
    Dealers are nominated by the executives of state and metro dealer associations around the country. The award is sponsored by TIME in association with Ally Financial, and in cooperation with NADA. A panel of faculty members from the Tauber Institute for Global Operations at the University of Michigan will select one finalist from each of the four NADA regions and one national Dealer of the Year. Three finalists will receive an additional $5,000 for their favorite charities and the winner will receive an additional $10,000 to give to charity.
    In its ninth year as exclusive sponsor, Ally will recognize dealer nominees and their community efforts by contributing $1,000 to each nominee’s 501(c)3 charity of choice. Nominees will also be recognized on AllyDealerHeroes.com.
    “The award applauds the incredible effort each of these dealers put into their businesses and their communities,” said Doug Timmerman, President of Auto Finance at Ally. “They are influential business leaders and admired ambassadors for worthy causes. It’s an honor for Ally to recognize their generosity and impact in cities and towns across America.”
    About TIME USA LLC
    TIME is a global multimedia brand that reaches a combined audience of more than 100 million around the world. A trusted destination for reporting and insight on the people, places and issues that matter, TIME captures the events that shape our lives. TIME’s major franchises include the TIME 100 Most Influential People, Person of the Year, Firsts, Best Inventions, Genius Companies, World’s Greatest Places, and more. With 45 million digital visitors each month and 40 million social followers, TIME is one of the most trusted and recognized sources of news and information in the world. 
    About Ally Financial Inc.
    Ally Financial Inc. (NYSE: ALLY) is a leading digital financial-services company with $181.5 billion in assets as of September 30, 2019. As a customer-centric company with passionate customer service and innovative financial solutions, we are relentlessly focused on "Doing It Right" and being a trusted financial-services provider to our consumer, commercial, and corporate customers. We are one of the largest full-service automotive-finance operations in the country and offer a wide range of financial services and insurance products to automotive dealerships and consumers. Our award-winning online bank (Ally Bank, Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender) offers mortgage-lending services and a variety of deposit and other banking products, including savings, money-market, and checking accounts, certificates of deposit (CDs), and individual retirement accounts (IRAs). Additionally, we offer securities-brokerage and investment-advisory services through Ally Invest. Our robust corporate finance business offers capital for equity sponsors and middle-market companies.
    For more information and disclosures about Ally, visit https://www.ally.com/#disclosures.
    About the NADA Show
    The annual NADA Show brings together more than 20,000 franchised dealers and their employees, industry leaders, manufacturers and exhibitors to learn about the latest auto industry tools, trends, products and technologies.
    Scott Lambert, President, MN Auto Dealers Association
    (651) 291-2400
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