Wahlstrom Ford owner Rob Wahlstrom is one of this year’s Nebraska nominees for the TIME Dealer of the Year award, sponsored by the media company and Ally Financial, which will contribute $1,000 to each nominee’s 501(c)3 charity of choice.
. Wahlstrom will be honored at the 106th annual National Automobile Dealers Association Show in Dallas on Jan 27.
Only 48 of the nation’s more than 16,000 auto dealers are nominated each year for the TIME Dealer of the Year award, one of the automobile industry’s most prestigious and highly coveted honors.
The award recognizes the nation’s most successful auto dealers who also demonstrate a long-standing commitment to community service. Wahlstrom was nominated by Nebraska New Car & Truck Dealers Association President and General Counsel Loy Todd.
Rob late father, Lee, purchased the Chadron Ford franchise in 1961 and opened its current complex on the east edge of Chadron in late 1979. Rob didn’t plan to go into the business and spent 15 years as a teacher and coach before his father asked him to run it in 1988.
Rob Wahlstrom says that since he grew up in Chadron, he has a strong connection to the community and its people, adding his philosophy has always been to “treat customers with honesty, integrity and respect, which leads to repeat business, a necessity for a small local dealership.”
He has been and remains active in many community organizations. He been on the Chadron Public Schools Foundation board since 1994 and is currently its president. He’s also on the board of directors for the Chadron Public Library, the Closer to Home meal program, and a trustee for Chadron United Methodist Church.
Wahlstrom Ford has participated in Toys for Tots the past 14 years and has hosted several Ford Drive 4 UR School and Drive 4 UR Community test drive events that raise money for local schools and organizations.
In 2012, Rob Wahlstrom and attorney Marty Connealy brought to Chadron the Honor Flight program, which has sent more than 70 veterans and a companion to Washington DC to visit the many memorials and monuments.