Droubay is one of a select group of 49 dealer nominees from across the country who will be honored at the 100th annual National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Convention & Exposition in New Orleans, Louisiana, on January 27, 2017. The announcement of this year’s nominees was made by Meredith Long, SVP : GM, News & Luxury, TIME, and Tim Russi, president of Auto Finance for Ally Financial.
“We are excited about the extraordinary group of nominees that are in the running for the 2017 TIME Dealer of the Year award,” said Russi. “These dealers have been recognized for the ways that they ‘do it right’ in their communities, and we look forward to sharing their stories over the next few months and celebrating their accomplishments at the NADA convention in January.”
In its sixth year as exclusive sponsor, Ally 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.
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. Droubay, 61, was chosen to represent the New Car Dealers of Utah in the national competition – one of only 49 auto dealers from 16,000 nationwide – nominated for the 48th 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 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.
“Our business has been the means of blessing our family and our community,” nominee Droubay said. “Putting others ahead of oneself brings a feeling of peace that cannot be duplicated in any other way. As the needs of individuals or groups in our town have been identified, we have been able to help.”
A 1973 graduate of Delta High School in Delta, Droubay studied animal husbandry at Southern Utah University in Cedar City and Utah State University in Logan, earning a degree in dairy science in 1978. He managed a large dairy herd at Hughes Dairy in St. George, Utah, and opened his own business, Droubay Dairy, also in St. George, in 1980.
With the dairy industry struggling in the 1980s, Droubay sold his business in 1984 and joined his father-in-law at his Chevrolet store in Delta. “I would tell friends that I left dairy retail for the car business because I wanted to do something honest for a living,” he said. “Sadly, they would always laugh due to the reputation of our industry. However, to me, it was and still is the truth! We have always held integrity and honesty in the highest of regard when dealing with our customers and with our employees.”
In 1991, Droubay and his wife purchased the store and today, his daughter and son-in-law are also business partners. “We couldn’t be more pleased to have them succeed us in the business.” he said.
Droubay’s business and family are deeply connected to Delta, and he is an integral part of the community’s fabric. He has served as city councilman and on the planning and zoning commission, as well as on the Millard County Economic Development board. Each year, his dealership is the starting point for the Huntsman 140 bicycle race, which ends at the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City, Utah. “This year, nearly 800 cyclists participated and more than $508,000 was raised for the cancer center,” he said.
In addition, Droubay supports the Delta Tree Festival, which auctions decorated trees for charity. “I played a founding role in creating the event and now more than $20,000 annually is raised to benefit Utah Food Bank and our local Toys for Tots,” he said. His showroom is also a collection point for the Toys for Tots program.
To contribute to breast cancer research and awareness, Droubay’s employees join forces each year and make a quilt that is donated for a sweepstakes fundraiser. “The proceeds go to a nominated member of our extended community who is currently fighting cancer to help with expenses that insurance doesn’t cover,” he explained. And he donates to the local 4-H and FFA livestock shows, as well as school events. “We have kept an open-door policy for community donations as young and old alike come to my office seeking some help,” Droubay said.
His most important civic achievement is helping to create an updated land-use plan while serving on Delta’s city council and planning and zoning commission. “This initiative has helped us to grow as a city and do it in a way that is controlled and beneficial to property values and to our country-living lifestyle,” he said.
Droubay was nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year award by Craig A. Bickmore, executive director of the New Car Dealers of Utah. He and his wife, Jill, have three children and 11 grandchildren.