Fifty-seven U.S. auto dealers will vie for the 2014 Time Dealer of the Year award.

Nominees were named today. Announcement of the winner and finalists will take place at the National Automobile Dealers Assn. convention in New Orleans on Jan. 25.

In its 45th year, the program recognizes successful dealers who are committed to long-term community service.

“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,” says Tim Russi, president-auto finance for Ally.

An Ally-NADA survey indicates nearly two-thirds of U.S. dealers increased their charitable efforts in 2013 compared with 2012. Ninety percent of them gave to community-service causes.

The survey says 63% of dealers organized staff volunteerism, with nearly 28% saying their employees provide hours of community service.

In its third year as sole sponsor, Ally will contribute $1,000 to each nominee’s charity of choice. Additional grants will go to causes chosen by the 2014 winner and finalists.

In previous years, nominee grants have supported local organizations including youth athletic leagues, educational programs, cultural activities and nonprofit initiatives.

The 2013 Time Dealer of the Year, Michael Alford of Marine Chevrolet in Jacksonville, NC, chose Girls on the Run, a local transformational running program for students, to receive a $10,000 Ally grant. Donations of $5,000 each were made on behalf of the three runners-up.

For a list and bios of 2014 nominees, go to