Tim Urness Wins National Recognition for Community Service and Industry Accomplishments
(New York, NY, November 8, 2021) – The nomination of Tim Urness, co-owner of C.H. Urness Motor Company, a Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram dealership in The Dalles, Oregon, for the 2022 TIME Dealer of the Year award was announced today by TIME.
Urness 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. Urness was chosen to represent the Oregon Auto 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 proud to be one of many in my community that lead by example and, more importantly, get involved, as we can give money, but time is more precious,” nominee Urness said. “I have been rewarded tenfold by the people I have met and the friendships I have made.”
Urness attended Oregon State University in Corvallis and the University of Utah in Salt Lake City – and was a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity at both institutions – before returning to his family’s dealership, which was originally founded by his grandfather in 1946.
“I started my automotive career in sales at our used-car center,” he said. “As technology advanced, I moved into new cars and handled the changing landscape of the industry, primarily as it related to computers, as none of the family members were inclined to do so.”
Today, Urness represents the third generation to lead the family enterprise and owns the dealership with his brother, uncle and cousin. “And the fourth generation is just starting in the business,” he said.
Urness credits the dealership’s longevity and success to the support of his family, longtime employees and loyal customer base. “Several of our employees have been here as long as I have and deserve the accolades,” he said. “We have also been blessed to have multi-generational clients and lifetime friends who support us through 75 years in our little community.”
With a pragmatic understanding of the retail automotive sector, Urness has offered his time and considerable expertise to the Oregon Auto Dealers Association, where he currently serves on the board of directors and was named president from 2016 to 2018 and vice president from 2014 to 2016. He has also led his local auto alliance, The Dalles New Car Dealers Association.
Urness is most proud of working to defeat Measure 97 in Oregon in 2016 by advocating on both the state and federal level. “It was rewarding to be part of the team to defeat this measure which proposed a state gross sales tax on business,” he said. “I was fortunate to lobby in Washington, D.C., and believe we had a significant impact on this legislation that would affect our industry. It was great to see the NADA and our state organization do the work our dealer bodies sent us to do.”
On a local level, Urness is on the board of the Columbia Gorge Regional Airport in nearby Dallesport, Washington, which has undergone infrastructure and safety upgrades and provides a gateway to the region.
“As part of a great team at the airport, we have acquired the stationing of several firefighting aircraft, which have been a game changer in fighting fires,” he said. “We have also increased our fueling capacity and support for our military air assets, as well as provided resources for our local community college to develop a course for aeronautic careers at the airport in the near future.”
Urness has also organized Dallesport Drags, which allows local car racers to compete at the airport in a safe, controlled environment while raising funds for local organizations. The race was part of the three-day Cruise the Gorge car show and event.
“During our decades-long involvement in our community, we have supported county fairs, livestock auctions, baseball clubs, cultural events, rodeos, the local hospital and community college and 4-H,” he said.
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.”
Urness was nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year award by Greg Remensperger, executive vice president of the Oregon Auto Dealers Association. He and his wife, Robin, have two children.