SAN FRANCISCO -- Thomas Castriota has been named the 2011 Time Dealer of the Year.
Castriota, 57, was to receive the award here Saturday, Feb. 5, at the National Automobile Dealers Association convention. He is the dealer at Castriota Chevrolet in Hudson, Fla.
Fifty-two auto dealers were nominated for the award, which honors new-vehicle dealers for exceptional performance in their dealerships and distinguished community service. It is sponsored by Time in association with Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.
A panel of faculty members from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan selects one finalist from each of the four NADA regions and one national dealer of the year.
Castriota graduated from Duquesne University in 1975.
In December of that year he was commissioned a 2nd lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps; he spent 26 years on active and reserve duty.
He retired as a lieutenant colonel in 2001 but was recalled to active duty at age 53 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2006 to 2007. For his service, he was awarded the Defense Meritorious Service Medal.
Castriota and his wife moved to Florida from Pittsburgh in 1993.
He has been involved in many civic and community organizations, including the West Pasco Chamber of Commerce, Berkeley Preparatory School, the American Legion, the Marine Corps League, the Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point, the United Way of Pasco, the Lighthouse for the Visually Impaired and Blind, Port Richey Rotary and Trinity Rotary. He has received Rotary International's Paul Harris Fellow Award twice.
Castriota also has worked with several educational organizations, including the Pasco Education Foundation, Saint Leo University's government bond board and the University of South Florida's Stavros School of Education.
Castriota was chosen to represent the Tampa New Auto Dealers Association in the national competition.
The other finalists for the Time Dealer of the Year Award were:
-- Rick Jensen, 51, president of Jensen Motors, a Buick, Cadillac and GMC dealership in New Ulm, Minn. He was chosen to represent the Minnesota Automobile Dealers Association.
-- Chip Miller, 65, president of Miller Ford-Lincoln-Subaru in Mount Holly, N.J. He was chosen to represent the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers.
-- Buzz Rodland, 60, president of Rodland Toyota-Scion in Everett, Wash. He was chosen to represent the Washington State Auto Dealers Association.