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News & Updates

News Release: Northeast Ohio Auto Dealer Wins National Recognition
October 28, 2013

News Release: Northeast Ohio Auto Dealer Wins National Recognition


Contact: TIME Dealer of the Year Hotline
(212) 522-8200 

Lou Vitantonio
Greater Cleveland Automobile Dealers’ Association
(440) 746-1500


David Waikem Wins National Recognition for Community Service and Industry Accomplishments at NADA Convention

(Massillon, OH, October 28, 2013) – David Waikem, dealer principal at Waikem Honda in Massillon, Ohio, has been nominated for the 2014 TIME Dealer of the Year award.

Waikem is one of a select group of 57 dealer nominees from across the country who will be honored at the 97th annual National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Convention & Exposition in New Orleans, Louisiana, on January 25, 2014.

“The dealers nominated for this award are community heroes, as well as economic and civic leaders, who have time and again shown their dedication to making a difference,” said Tim Russi, president of Auto Finance for Ally Financial. “Ally is pleased to once again be supporting these dealers in their efforts to create vibrant, thriving communities.”

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. Waikem, 57, was chosen to represent the Greater Cleveland Automobile Dealers’ Association in the national competition – one of only 57 auto dealers from 17,000 nationwide – nominated for the 45th annual award. The award is sponsored by TIME in association with Ally Financial, and in cooperation with NADA. A panel of faculty members from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan will select one finalist from each of the four NADA regions and one national Dealer of the Year.

“The tagline on my email is: ‘Your Reputation is your Wealth,’” said nominee Waikem, who is part owner of a business founded by his father in 1957. “I truly believe this to be true. I was raised with strong family values, which I have tried to teach to my kids.”

A 1974 graduate of Central Catholic High in Canton, Ohio, Waikem earned an associate degree in automotive marketing in 1976 and a bachelor of business degree in 1978 at Northwood University in Midland, Michigan, where he was also president of Phi Sigma Beta fraternity.

After college, he returned to Massillon and joined the family enterprise, where he had started as a “lot kid” and worked at the parts counter and as service manager. He held various other positions before rising to dealer principal at Waikem Honda and president of the Waikem Auto Family, which also includes Ford, Hyundai, Nissan, Subaru, Mitsubishi and Kia dealerships. Two brothers, two nephews and his son are part of the company.

“My greatest thrill is knowing that my son is continuing with our family business, following in my own and in my father’s footsteps,” Waikem said of son, Craig, who was named one of “40 Under 40” by Automotive News in 2013.

Fostering a successful business is only part of Waikem’s mission. He said, “I believe we have to give back to our community and, not just financially, but with our own time.” He has demonstrated that by helping to build a non-profit day care facility for children with special needs from the ground up, which was founded in 2006. After a good friend had a child with Down Syndrome and couldn’t find a day care center anywhere in Ohio that would accept the child, Waikem sprang into action, taking on a project that stretched far beyond his experience. In just 18 months, the Golden Key Center for Exceptional Children in Canton was opened to the public. Today, there are more than 100 children attending the day care and he continues to serve on the board. “It’s my biggest source of pride and accomplishment,” Waikem noted.

Waikem has served as president of the Perry Township Rotary and is a board member for the Western Stark Free Clinic, Better Business Bureau, Stark County District Library Foundation (founding member and president), Affinity Medical Center Community Advisory Board, Friends of Stark Parks and the Massillon Chamber of Commerce.

Waikem was nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year award by Lou Vitantonio, president of the Greater Cleveland Automobile Dealers’ Association. He and his wife, Nancy, have two children.


TIME is a global multimedia brand that reaches more than 50 million people and includes the domestic and international magazine editions, tablet versions for iPad, Galaxy, Kindle,TIME for Kids, TIME.com and mobile. TIME.com draws 11 million unique visitors a month and has a social reach of more than 11 million, including 5 million Twitter followers and 2 million Google+ followers.

About Ally Financial Inc.
Ally Financial Inc. is a leading automotive financial services company powered by a top direct banking franchise. Ally's automotive services business offers a full suite of financing products and services, including new and used vehicle inventory and consumer financing, leasing, inventory insurance, commercial loans and vehicle remarketing services. Ally Bank, the company's direct banking subsidiary and member FDIC, offers an array of deposit products, including certificates of deposit, savings accounts, money market accounts, IRA deposit products and interest checking. Ally's Commercial Finance unit provides financing to middle-market companies across a broad range of industries.

With approximately $150.6 billion in assets as of June 30, 2013, Ally operates as a bank holding company. For more information, visit the Ally media site at http://media.ally.com or follow Ally on Twitter: @Ally.

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