John E. “Jay” Burchell Jr. won national recognition for Community Service and Industry Accomplishments at NADA Convention last month.
The nomination of Burchell, president and executive manager of Heritage Chevrolet in Chester, for the 2017 TIME Dealer of the Year award was announced by Time Magazine.
Exposition in New Orleans on Jan. 27, 2017. The announcement of this year’s nominees was made by Meredith Long, ssenior vice president for brand marketing and communications at General Motors, News & Luxury, Time Magazine, 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. Burchell, 64, was chosen to represent the Virginia Automobile Dealers Association 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 success and our future, even in this digital world of today, is to make long-lasting relationships and take care of our customers for life,” nominee Burchell said. “I always say, ‘We’re Making Friends … and Selling Chevys!’”
A 1970 graduate of King George High School in King George, Va., Burchell earned a B.S. in business administration management from Madison College (now James Madison University) in Harrisonburg, Va., where he graduated in 1974. He also minored in psychology and accounting and was a member of Delta Sigma Pi, the professional business fraternity.
Burchell was originally looking for a position in advertising and marketing, but due to the tough job market in 1974, he decided to sell cars until he could find something else. “By November of that year, I knew the auto business would be my preferred line of work and my career,” he said.
His first job at Jim Price Chevrolet in Charlottesville prepared him for the future. “I was very fortunate because my dealer then, Mr. Jim Price, understood my desire to learn and he made a commitment to allow me to move through all of the sales, finance and service functions,” Burchell said. Price also sponsored him in training at the General Motors Dealer Management Academy and classes at the NADA Academy. Looking for an ownership opportunity, Burchell took the next step in 1988 after meeting H. Carter Myers III, he moved to Carter Myers Automotive, a multi-dealership operation in Virginia, and partnered at one of its stores, Heritage Chevrolet the next year. Today, 28 years later, Burchell continues to have a stake in the dealership and continues to run the operation.
For Burchell, nothing is more important than giving back to the community. “Specifically, I like to support our youth, as they will carry the burden and pleasure of the business environment in the next and future generations,” he said. “I try to stay very involved and keep my dealership and its associates engaged in that direction.”
In addition, Burchell has put his leadership skills to work for the Chester Family YMCA; the YMCA of Greater Richmond; Bon Secours St. Francis Medical Center Community Advisory Board; Virginia’s Gateway Region Economic Development Organization; and Holy Comforter Catholic Church (Charlottesville), to name a few. Active board member and Past Chairman of the Virginia Auto Dealers Association for 13 years; is a Grand Knight, fourth degree, for the Knights of Columbus. He has contributed to the Chesterfield Center for the Arts, a theater and arts center set to open in Chester in 2017; Chesterfield Education Foundation; Kiwanis Club of Chester; Thomas Dale High School Key Club (Chester); St. Joseph Catholic Church in Petersburg, Va. (capital building fund); and the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Richmond, Va.(preservation fund).
Burchell was nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year award by Donald L. Hall, president and CEO of the Virginia Automobile Dealers Association. He and his wife, Joanne, have three children and nine grandchildren.