TIME and Ally honor Salt Lake City dealer
Salt Lake City— The nomination of Chris Hemmersmeier, president and CEO of Jerry Seiner Chevrolet Inc. in Salt Lake City, Utah, for the 2021 TIME Dealer of the Year award was announced today by TIME.
Hemmersmeier is one of a select group of 41 dealer nominees from across the country who will be honored at the 104th annual National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Show being held virtually February 9-11, 2021. The announcement of this year’s annual award was made by Viktoria Degtar, Global Chief Revenue 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.
Hemmersmeier, 54, was chosen to represent the New Car Dealers of Utah in the national competition – one of only 41 auto dealers nominated for the 52nd annual award from more than 16,000 nationwide.
“The most rewarding part of my retail automotive career continues to be the impact our business makes in the lives of our team members,” nominee Hemmersmeier said. “By running our businesses well, employees can achieve a level of professional satisfaction and income that is available in very few industries. I love seeing bright, hardworking people of all educational backgrounds join our team and achieve successes they never thought possible.”
A 1984 graduate of St. Louis University High in St. Louis, Missouri, Hemmersmeier earned a B.S. at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, in 1988. It was after college, while he was waiting to enter law school, that his career path would dramatically shift.
“I started selling cars for my father-in-law’s Buick GMC dealership in North Salt Lake, Utah, in 1991 and never left,” he said about his first job at Jerry Seiner Dealerships. Hemmersmeier learned the business by working in several different departments and attending the NADA Academy before being named general manager of Jerry Seiner Chevrolet in 1997. By 2012, he acquired a majority ownership in the dealership group, which today encompasses eight new-car stores in Utah and Arizona, representing brands Buick, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, GMC, Jeep, Kia, Mazda and Ram.
As an active member of the New Car Dealers of Utah, Hemmersmeier has served the association in various leadership capacities, including president and vice president, and he currently chairs the legislative committee and is working on the upcoming Utah International Auto Expo.
On the civic and community fronts, Hemmersmeier is devoted to causes that further educational initiatives. “The most impactful part of my journey has been the education I was fortunate to receive,” he said. “My parents sacrificed a lot to be able to send me to a really good high school, where I was surrounded by other students and teachers who challenged me to grow. That journey continued at college, where I was exposed to an even wider variety of learning opportunities.”
To that end, he has served on the boards of the Madeleine Choir School in Salt Lake City (board member since 2015); the College of Fine Arts at the University of Utah (current advisory board member); and Judge Memorial Catholic High School (past board member), all in Salt Lake City. During his service at these schools, his primary focus was on increasing financial positions and providing scholarships to families with financial hardships in his community.
“I believe most of our social problems can be improved through education, and I have spent a lot of my time and financial resources working with educational institutions,” Hemmersmeier said. He has also raised funds for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer and served on the Salt Lake County Board of Health.
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 $5,000 for their favorite charities and the winner will receive $10,000 to give to charity.
In its tenth year as exclusive sponsor, Ally will also recognize dealer nominees and their community efforts by contributing $1,000 to each nominee’s 501(c)3 charity of choice. Nominees will be recognized on AllyDealerHeroes.com, which highlights the philanthropic contributions and achievements of TIME Dealer of the Year nominees.
“The TIME Dealer of the Year award celebrates the country’s top dealers who understand that their businesses thrive when they give back and help their communities grow,” Timmerman said. “In short, the award recognizes dealers who do it right in their businesses and in their communities.”
Hemmersmeier was nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year award by Craig A. Bickmore, executive director of the New Car Dealers of Utah. He and his wife, Sandy, have three children.