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Mike Hanigan Chosen as Idaho 2012 TIME Dealer of the Year

The nomination of Mike Hanigan, president of Hanigan Chevrolet, Inc., a Chevrolet, Buick and GMC dealership in Payette, Idaho, for the 2012 TIME Dealer of the Year award was announced today by TIME.

Hanigan is one of a select group of dealers from across the country who was honored at the 95th annual National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Convention & Exposition in Las Vegas in February 2012. 

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 must also demonstrate a long-standing commitment to community service. Hanigan, 49, was chosen to represent the Idaho Automobile Dealers Association in the national competition – one of only 50 auto dealers, from 17,000 nationwide, nominated for the 43rd annual award.  

"I helped 'dust' cars as a young boy to keep them clean out on the lot,” says nominee Hanigan of his first days at the family dealership. "Later, I worked in the lube bay and detail departments.”

Hanigan grew up in Payette, attending high school there, and graduated from the University of Idaho with a B.S. in business management in 1984. He then accepted a job as a senior systems engineer with Electronic Data Systems in New Jersey. "When my dad hit age 65, he asked each of his eight children if there was any interest in coming back to Payette and helping with the business,” he says. "I left my job in New Jersey in 1989, moved home and eventually purchased the business from my dad.” Hanigan Chevrolet was originally started by his grandfather in 1925 and, according to Automotive News, is one of the 25 longest-operating, same-family Chevrolet dealers in the U.S. Today. His brother Kevin is his partner and general manager of Hanigan Chevrolet. Mike also owns Hanigan Chrysler Jeep Dodge, Inc. in Ontario, Oregon.

"This may surprise some but I am not a car guy,” explains Hanigan. "The classics or the latest and greatest vehicles do not get me excited. I am a people person and my strengths are my passion and desire to provide a service to others.” And he is also committed to creating careers for his employees, adding, "I want each person to stretch and grow and have that opportunity to achieve his or her dreams.” This people-focused philosophy has helped Hanigan Chevrolet earn the Payette Chamber Business of the Year award in 2010 and has resulted in many employees staying with the company for more than 20 years. "I'm extremely proud of the consistent and loyal service of these individuals,” says Hanigan.

In the area of community service, Hanigan is a member of Kiwanis of Payette, a board member of Lifeways, a mental health facility, and past board member of Holy Rosary Medical Center, the local community college foundation and Four Rivers Cultural Center, a local museum, conference center and theater. He was named one of Idaho’s 40 Under 40 in 2002, an award given to outstanding business professionals under the age of 40. Hanigan currently co-chairs the Treasure Valley Community College Capital Campaign to raise $3 million in 18 months to build a new science building. And he works annually with Help Them to Hope, a local charitable organization that provides food and presents to needy families at Christmastime.

Hanigan is most proud of helping organize the Snake River Economic Development Alliance (SREDA), a group of nine towns on the Idaho/Oregon state line that work together to promote the region and attract businesses and jobs. He has been the spokesperson for this public/private enterprise that is supported by businesses and municipalities alike. "I believe that the work we are doing today will have lasting benefits for generations of citizens of our region,” he says.  Hanigan and his wife, Kimberly, have four children.

                  Hanigan was nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year Award by Trent Wright, executive director of the Idaho Automobile Dealers Association. 

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