Judith Schumacher-Tilton Nominated as a TIME Dealer of the Year; First Female Auto Dealer in New Jersey to Ever be Nominated For Prestigious Award

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Judith Schumacher-Tilton, President of Tilton Automotive Group and Dealer Principal of Schumacher Chevrolet in Little Falls and Gearhart Chevrolet in Denville, both in northern New Jersey, has been nominated by her peers for consideration as the 43rd annual TIME Dealer of the Year Award. One dealer per state is nominated for this prestigious national honor; Schumacher-Tilton is the first-ever female car dealer to be nominated in New Jersey. Nominations were made through New Jersey Car, the statewide organization to which virtually all franchise automobile dealers belong to.

Judy Schumacher-Tilton, Gearhart Chevrolet, Schumacher Chevrolet, Female owned auto dealership, female auto dealer judith schumacher-tilton

Judith Schumacher-Tilton

This nomination is such an honor for me

Judith Schumacher-Tilton, President of Tilton Automotive Group and owner of Schumacher Chevrolet in Little Falls and Gearhart Chevrolet in Denville, both in northern New Jersey, has been nominated by her peers for consideration as the 43rd annual TIME Dealer of the Year Award.

Four finalists will ultimately be chosen—one from each region of the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA); the winner will be announced at NADA’s national convention on February 4, 2012 in Las Vegas and will be featured on the cover of TIME Magazine. The award recognizes outstanding new-car dealers across America and their commitment to improving their communities. The award is given in partnership with Ally Financial (formerly GMAC) and in cooperation with NADA.

“This nomination is such an honor for me,” said Schumacher-Tilton. “Having come into the automobile business quite suddenly 13 years ago and being acknowledged like this by my peers today is a great moment.” She took over the reins at the dealerships in 1998 following the death of her father Harold and brother Ken.

Today, Schumacher Chevrolet is among the top 25 Chevrolet dealerships in the Northeast for sales penetration and ranks consistently in the top four throughout the state. The Chevrolet dealership is also the recipient of the 2010 Chevrolet Mark of Excellence Award, presented for Sales Volume and Customer Satisfaction and has held that title for three years running. Gearhart Chevrolet, the site of the first delivery of the Chevy Volt in the entire United States; an historic event, is also the largest volume Chevrolet dealership in Morris County, N.J.    

“I have the most amazing staff,” noted Schumacher-Tilton. “We’re dedicated to selling and servicing cars and delivering a superior customer service experience. Everyone is dedicated to the long-term success of the dealerships—that’s what makes it work and it is very satisfying.”

Sales and Service: the Road to the Prestigious Award
According to its website, the TIME Dealer of the Year Award has been called the most prestigious honor a new-car dealer can receive. In addition to exhibiting exceptional performance in their dealerships and meeting a set of strict criteria, TIME Dealer of the Year nominees perform heroic community service and are strong advocates for improving the world around them.

Schumacher-Tilton and her son, Stephen Tilton, Jr., who is CFO of both dealerships, founded the Give the Kids Hope Foundation, Inc. several years ago; the non-profit foundation is dedicated to providing recreational and educational opportunities to underprivileged children throughout New Jersey. It currently supports Camp Hope, located in Passaic County, New Jersey, and its summer camp and community outreach programs, including the David Harris Sneaker Shack donation site that provides shoes to needy children. The funds raised through the foundation help send children to camp there, pay for facility upgrades, and are financing construction of a media arts center on the camp premises.

This past summer, Give the Kids Hope Foundation sponsored a grant in cooperation with Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. that enabled 40 underprivileged students in Essex County, N.J. to attend a summer camp program at the county’s Turtleback Zoo.

In addition to the foundation, Schumacher-Tilton in involved in many civic and trade organizations. She volunteers on the Domestic Violence Response Team for the Passaic County (N.J.) Women’s Shelter, and serves on several boards of non-profit organizations and foundations in northern New Jersey. She is the Vice Chairman of the General Motors Women’s Retail Network and has been recognized several times over the past five years for her contributions to the automotive industry as well as for her community service.

The judging panel for the TIME Dealer of the Year award is composed of faculty from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, who judge on a strict set of criteria based on sales and market share, customer satisfaction, and outstanding personnel performance in addition to the nominees’ community service and contributions to others. In appreciation for that community service, TIME and Ally have established an annual scholarship at school in the name of TIME, Ally, NADA and the Dealer of the Year nominees.

Additional Contact Information:
Judith Schumacher-Tilton, Dealer Principal, can be contacted at: Schumacher Chevrolet, 8 Main Street, Little Falls, NJ 07424, (973) 256-1065, http://www.SchumacherChevy.com or Gearhart Chevrolet, 281 Route 46 East, Denville, NJ 07834, (973)-627-0900, E-mail: judychevy(at)aol(dot)com, http://www.GearhartChevy.net


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