Gary Housley, of Chalmers Ford in Rio Rancho, is one of a select group of 49 dealer nominees from across the country who will be honored at the 107th annual National Automobile Dealers Association Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, Feb. 3, 2024, as a nominee for the Time Dealer of the Year award.
It is considered one of the automobile industry’s most prestigious honors and recognizes the nation’s most successful dealers who also demonstrate a commitment to community service. Housley was chosen to represent the New Mexico Automotive Dealers Association in the national competition — one of only 49 auto dealers nominated for the 55th annual award from more than 16,000 nationwide.
He began his career with Don Chalmers in 1987, when Chalmers purchased the dealership, in sales management. When Chalmers opened a Ford store in Rio Rancho, he asked Housley to relocate there to operate the new new location. Then, in 2012, Chalmers offered him a partnership, and Housley purchased the majority shares in Chalmers Ford after Chalmers’ death and is currently dealer principal.
“Don and I worked to instill a culture that built customers for life,” he said. “I enjoy every facet of leading a successful customer-focused dealership, and I am forever grateful for the opportunity to pursue my American dream.
“The highlight of my automobile career has been meeting and working with the incredible mentors who have been an invaluable part of my life and have shared their time, talent, faith and principles,” Housley added. “Their legacy lives on in me, and I am diligently working to pass that knowledge on to the next generation.”
He has since established an in-house wellness center at the dealership, which is available to employees and their families. It offers immunization services, prescription services, blood and drug screenings, and smoking cessation and weight-loss programs.
Housley is also an active member of the New Mexico Automotive Dealers Association, having served as chair, vice chair and treasurer. In the community, his employees deliver Meals on Wheels, volunteer with Casa Esperanza. The dealership also hosts an annual Christmas event at the University of New Mexico Children’s Hospital, where they provide gifts for the patients and goody bags for family members and nurses in addition to a catered lunch.
Housley also supports United Way of North Central New Mexico; Quality New Mexico; Make-A-Wish New Mexico; Tamaya Horse Rehab; American Cancer Society; Roadrunner Food Bank of New Mexico; and many others.
Dealers are nominated by the executives of state and metro dealer associations around the country. 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, donated by Ally. In its 13th year as exclusive sponsor, Ally also will recognize dealer nominees and their community efforts by
contributing $1,000 to each nominee’s 501(c)3 charity of choice.
Housley was nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year award by Ken Ortiz, executive director of the New Mexico Automotive Dealers Association.
“Our motto is, ‘We want to be a great dealer in a great community, not a good dealer in a mediocre community,’” Housley said.