Ally Financial recently named Greg Kaminsky of Toyota of El Cajon a 2014 Time Dealer of the Year finalist and presented a charitable grant to support his efforts in the El Cajon community.
Ally executives were on hand for the celebration at the dealership in El Cajon to present a grant in honor of Kaminsky to The Boys and Girls Clubs of East County.
“The Time Dealer of the Year program gives us an opportunity to help recognize and support the efforts that dealer heroes like Greg do in their local communities,” said Andrea Riley, Ally’s chief marketing officer for dealer financial services.
Kaminsky was chosen from a select group of 56 dealers from across the country recognized for community involvement as well as business performance. Ally provided a grant of $10,000 to the winner’s charity of choice, as well as $5,000 to community causes chosen by each of the three finalists, and $1,000 to organizations selected by each of the 56 dealer nominees.
Kaminsky, 41, was chosen to represent the New Car Dealers Association San Diego County in the national competition -- one of only 56 auto dealers from 17,000 nationwide -- nominated for the 45th 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 selects one finalist from each of the four NADA regions and one national Dealer of the Year.
“Many dealerships claim they have the best prices or best selection,” finalist Kaminsky has said. “To break through the clutter, we’ve chosen to do something different. LEED certification is one part of a larger strategy to brand our business.”
In 2009, Kaminsky’s family dealership decided to “go green” with its new building on the site of a former Home Depot. The store features low-water fixtures, bamboo flooring and uses reclaimed car-wash water, among other sustainable practices that earned certification at the silver level in the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).
Kaminsky has worked at the family’s dealership since it was founded. “I've worked every summer since 1990 and began fulltime work upon graduating in 1996,” he said. “During that time, I've sat in almost every seat within the store.” Today, he runs the business with his brother Gary.
The dealership has been active in supporting community organizations and charities, from hosting blood drives to sponsoring concerts. For every car sold, El Cajon Toyota plants a tree through fire relief projects, which rebuild forests after wildfires. Kaminsky also supports Rancho Santa Fe Foundation, which provides grants to a variety of worthy groups, and serves on the corporate board of directors for the YMCA.
“It is rewarding to see the results of our fundraising efforts to provide continued benefits to so many children,” he said.
Kaminsky was nominated for the Time Dealer of the Year award by Dean B. Mansfield, president of the New Car Dealers Association San Diego County.