TIME Dealer of the Year Nomination
TIME AND ALLY FINANCIAL HONOR PARKERSBURG DEALER
Virginia Bowden Wins National Recognition for Community Service
and Industry Accomplishments
(New York, NY, November 8, 2021) – The nomination of Virginia Bowden, dealer at McClinton Auto Group, a Chevrolet and Mitsubishi dealership in Parkersburg, West Virginia, for the 2022 TIME Dealer of the Year award was announced today by TIME.
Bowden is one of a select group of 47 dealer nominees from across the country who will be honored at the 105th annual National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Show in Las Vegas on March 11, 2022. The announcement of this year’s annual award was made by Viktoria Degtar, Global Chief Revenue Officer, TIME, and Doug Timmerman, president of Dealer Financial Services, 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. Bowden was chosen to represent the West Virginia Automobile Dealers Association in the national competition – one of only 47 auto dealers nominated for the 53rd annual award from more than 16,000 nationwide.
“I am so fortunate to have the opportunity to carry on my family’s legacy,” nominee Bowden said of the dealership originally founded by her great grandfather in 1915. “My father, J.S. McClinton III, is the first to say that he did not build it, but instead, he was fortunate to contribute to an already successful business and protect the company for future generations. I remind myself of this on a daily basis and plan to do the same for my children.”
A 2008 graduate of Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where she earned a B.A. in business economics, Bowden took the scenic route on her way to a career in the retail automotive industry.
“I lived in different cities, towns, states – and even in Italy – and tried a variety of jobs and careers throughout my 20s,” she said, noting that she worked as a surgical assistant, magazine sales assistant and interior design associate during that time.
“Thankfully, my father never pressured my brother or me to work at the dealership,” Bowden said. “He wanted us to spread our wings and explore life on our own. It was his desire that we would be interested, but it was imperative that we made that decision without his influence.”
When Bowden and her husband, Wyn, decided to switch careers and take over the family dealership in 2017, they hit the ground running. They were forced to wear many hats when they had some significant personnel changes and departures, but they later settled into their current positions of dealer and general manager.
“I learned so much from my experiences outside of the dealership and grew as an individual,” she said. “As a result, when I took over the business, I approached it as a consumer and focused on customer service. Wyn and I still have much to learn but we are determined to make a good thing better.”
With such deep roots in the community, Bowden is committed to supporting the organizations and causes that her employees and customers care about.
“It is important to me personally and as a company that we continue to give back to our community,” she said. “Partnering with other businesses and giving each other support is what it is all about. We are stronger together!”
Some of the initiatives her dealership supports include Downtown PKB (Downtown Parkersburg); United Way Alliance of the Mid-Ohio Valley; Chamber of Commerce of the Mid-Ohio Valley; City of Parkersburg Economic Development; Toys for Tots; Worthington Little League Baseball; We Have Your Six Military Veteran Group, to name a few. Her dealerships also hold an annual fundraising event to honor and thank local First Responders.
Bowden is also proud of her company’s support of the Children’s Home Society of West Virginia, a child welfare group that works to find safe and stable homes for children. During the annual McClinton Car Show, a celebration of vintage autos now in its ninth year, her team collects food and monetary donations for the organization. This is one of many contributions to this organization throughout the year.
“The automotive business is exhilarating and filled with smart, talented and innovative people,” she said. “We surround ourselves with individuals that want to be successful and make a difference in both their own lives and the lives of others, providing excellent customer service and giving back to the community.”
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 an additional $5,000 for their favorite charities and the winner will receive an additional $10,000 to give to charity, donated by Ally.
In its eleventh 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. Nominees will also be recognized on AllyDealerHeroes.com, which highlights
the philanthropic contributions and achievements of TIME Dealer of the Year nominees.
“In cities and towns across the country, auto dealers make a big economic impact—going
the extra mile to strengthen their communities,” said Doug Timmerman, president of
dealer financial services, Ally. “It’s an incredible achievement to be nominated for TIME
Dealer of the Year. The program not only recognizes leadership in business and customer
service, but also a commitment to giving back and doing it right.”
Bowden was nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year award by Jared Wyrick, president of the West Virginia Automobile Dealers Association. She and her husband, Wyn, have one daughter, three dogs, and a second child on the way.
TIME is a global media brand that reaches a combined audience of more than 100 million around the world. A trusted destination for reporting and insight, TIME’s mission is to tell the stories that matter most, to lead conversations that change the world and to deepen understanding of the ideas and events that define our time. With unparalleled access to the world’s most influential people, the immeasurable trust of consumers globally, an unrivaled power to convene, TIME is one of the world’s most recognizable media brands with renowned franchises that include the TIME100 Most Influential People, Person of the Year, Firsts, Best Inventions, World’s Greatest Places and premium events including the TIME100 Summit and Gala, TIME100 Health Summit, TIME100 Next and more.
About Ally Financial Inc.
Ally Financial Inc. (NYSE: ALLY) is a digital financial services company committed to its promise to “Do It Right” for its consumer, commercial and corporate customers. Ally is composed of an industry-leading independent auto finance and insurance operation, an award-winning digital direct bank (Ally Bank, Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender, which offers mortgage lending, point-of-sale personal lending, and a variety of deposit and other banking products), a corporate finance business for equity sponsors and middle-market companies, and securities brokerage and investment advisory services. A relentless ally for all things money, Ally helps people save well and earn well, so they can spend for what matters. For more information, please visit www.ally.com and follow @allyfinancial.
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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.