TIME MAGAZINE AND GOODYEAR HONOR MOUNT HOLLY DEALER Charles Miller Wins National Recognition for Community Service and Industry Accomplishments at NADA Convention
Charles (Chip) Miller, President of Miller Ford Lincoln Subaru, a Ford, Lincoln and Subaru dealership in Mount Holly, New Jersey, was named one of four regional finalists for the 2011 TIME Dealer of the Year award today. Miller was one of a select group of dealers from across the country honored at the 94th annual National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Convention & Exposition in San Francisco on Saturday. The announcement of this year's national Dealer of the Year and finalists was made by Kim Kelleher, Publisher of TIME, and Johann Finkelmeier, Vice President and General Manager Original Equipment N.A. Consumer Tire, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, at the formal opening of the convention, expected to draw more than 15,000 individuals involved in the automobile industry. The TIME Dealer of the Year award is one of the automobile industry's most prestigious and highly coveted awards for new-car dealers. Recipients are among the nation's most successful auto dealers, but they must also demonstrate a long-standing commitment to effective community service. Miller, 65, was chosen to represent the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers in the national competition--one of only 52 automobile dealers, from 17,000 nationwide, nominated for the 42nd annual award. The award is sponsored by TIME in association with Goodyear, 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. "When I was old enough," says Miller, "I started to work in my father's dealership during summer vacations and I always assumed that my future career would be in the family automotive business." Miller graduated from Rancocas Valley Regional High in Mount Holly, NJ, in 1963, and from Rutgers College in New Brunswick, NJ, in 1967, with a Bachelor in Business Administration. Within days of graduating, Miller started full time at Miller Ford in June 1967. "I started working in the dealership after my freshman year in high school, in the clean-up department, and I progressed through the parts department and body shop and finished writing service," explains Miller. After graduating from college, he said, "I returned home to start working in my father's dealership, a career that I always wanted." In November 1967, Miller's father allowed him to expand the business by creating the Miller Auto Leasing Co. and by getting involved in the new trend toward automobile leasing. "At that time," says Miller, "I wore two hats, working in both the dealership and operating our leasing business." Miller eventually expanded the leasing business into a second division named Miller Truck Leasing Co., which specialized in the full maintenance leasing of heavy trucks, tractors and trailers. "We still operate both of these divisions today," he says. In 1975, Miller's father died suddenly, and he and his brother found themselves in charge of the businesses. "At the time, I was 29 years old and my brother, Fred, was 27." Today, Miller's two children both work in the business with him. In the area of community service, Miller has a long and distinguished record. Over the course of his career, he's dedicated time, talent and resources to many civic and charitable enterprises, including Mount Holly Rotary Club; Burlington County Council Boys Scouts of America fund raising committee; Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow; Mount Holly Sewerage Authority, including service as chairman from 1978-85; Good Intent Fire Co. since 1965; Memorial Hospital Foundation board member; coach of youth soccer, baseball and wrestling; and the Mount Holly Babe Ruth League, including service as vice president (1989) and president (1990). Miller also served on the Rancocas Valley Regional School Board from 1989 to 2004, including service as president from 2001-04, and he started the Mount Holly Rotary Summer Athletic Camp program. Through donations and sponsorships, Miller has supported a host of other causes and organizations, including: the American Cancer Society; Florida Fish for Life (colon cancer research) and prostate cancer research, both through the University of Pennsylvania; the Boy Scouts of America; Samaritan Hospice; Burlington County College; Episcopal Relief and Development; the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation, and more. "As a school board member and president," says Miller, "I was able to help teachers and students be more effective and have a better experience." Nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year award by James Appleton, President of the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers, Charles Miller and his wife, Lisa, have two children, Mark Miller and Melissa Troyanovich, and five grandchildren.