Bruce Titus is one of a select group of dealers from across the country who will be honored at the 95th annual National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Convention & Exposition in Las Vegas on February 4, 2012. The announcement of this year's nominees was made by Kim Kelleher, worldwide publisher of TIME, and Tim Russi, executive vice president, North American Operations, for Ally Financial.
"Auto dealers have a tremendous impact on the vitality and strength of communities across the U.S.," said Russi. "Ally is proud to support these extraordinary dealers who are truly making their communities better places to live and work." As part of its support for the program, Ally will make charitable contributions to local community causes on behalf of all 50 nominated dealers across the United States. In addition, the 2012 national TIME Dealer of the Year winner will receive a $10,000 contribution for a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization of his or her choice. To celebrate the valuable contributions of dealers across the U.S., Ally has also launched a digital hub (allybizhero.com) featuring engaging content celebrating auto dealers and their philanthropic achievements.
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 must also demonstrate a long-standing commitment to community service. Titus, 54, was chosen to represent the Washington State Auto Dealers Association in the national competition ? one of only 50 auto dealers, from 17,000 nationwide, nominated for the 43rd annual award. The award is sponsored by TIME Magazine in association with Ally, and in cooperation with NADA. A panel of facultymembers 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.
"I was given an unparalleled foundation from my family and have taken everything they taught me and attribute my success to hard work and dedication to this great industry," says nominee Titus. "The auto business allows for great opportunities if you have a passion for what you do."
A 1975 graduate of Bellarmine Preparatory School in Tacoma, Washington, and Washington State University, where he earned a degree in finance in 1979, Bruce Titus entered the family business upon graduation and worked his way through each department, learning the business from the inside out. "My grandfather started in the business in 1912 and owned his first Ford dealership in 1918," says Titus.
He has followed that same path, opening his first store in 1995 and today, owning eight franchises in four different Washington State locations. Titus opened Eastside Subaru in Kirkland in 2009, purchasing the dealership from a group that had financial difficulties during the 2008 downturn and transforming it into a profitable enterprise. "Our reputation is second to none," he says. "As a local person who grew up in this community, being ethical is critical. We have received many distinguished service awards."
In the area of the community service, Titus has a profound network of organizations he supports. "Working for the family gave me great perspective on what our role in the community should be," he says. "Giving back and supporting all types of organizations can be very rewarding." Titus contributes his business acumen to the University of Washington Business Advisory Board, Bellarmine Prep High School Capital Campaign, Gig Harbor Chamber of Commerce, Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce and the Mary Bridge Children's Hospital. He also supports the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Tacoma Art Museum, the Humane Society in several cities, FISH food bank, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Big Sisters Big Brothers, as well as many other national charities and universities and cultural institutions throughout the state.
His most gratifying contribution is to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, for which he was given a Distinguished Service Award, having raised more than $1 million and chairing the largest fundraiser in Pierce County for 20 years. "What started out as a donation 20 years ago has become part of my life today," Titus says. "This award was special because I have been able to help so many people plagued with this terrible disease."
He concludes, "When we are able to support our families and make an impact on their lives, we come to count on each other, work as one and make an impact. Iwas given a chance to become successful bymy family and I am grateful to be able to pass this along to all of my employees."
Nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year Award by Vicki Fabre, executive vice- president of the Washington State Auto Dealers Association, Titus and his wife, Linda, have four children.