NJ CAR is proud to announce that W. Rodman Ryan, CEO of the Open Road Auto Group and Ryan Automotive LLC, was recently selected as New Jersey’s 2017 TIME Dealer of the Year (TDOY) Award winner. The TDOY recognizes new vehicle dealers in the United States for exceptional performance in their dealerships, combined with distinguished community service.
Nominations for the TIME Dealer of the Year Award are submitted by NJ CAR members, and a winner is chosen by the NJ CAR Awards Nominating Committee, made up of the sitting NJ CAR Chairman and all past winners of this prestigious honor. A nominee must be a member of the National Automobile Dealer Association (NADA) and NJ CAR for at least five years. The individual should spend at least 60% of his or her time involved in dealership affairs. Rod will represent New Jersey in the National competition, which takes place at the NADA Convention in New Orleans, Louisiana, January 26-29, 2017.
Rod is a veteran of the U.S Army, having served during the Vietnam War. Following his discharge, while attending Middlesex College, he opened his first dealership in 1972, selling recreational vehicles, used cars and Honda Motorcycles out of a two-bay garage in Edison, New Jersey.
Over the next 44 years, through creativity, vision, leadership and philanthropy, Rod Ryan grew the Open Road Auto Group to include over 20 locations in New Jersey and New York. His dealerships include Acura, Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Honda, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mini, Sprinter, Subaru and Volkswagen.
Rod and the Open Road Auto Group have donated countless dollars and hours in support of organizations including JDRF, Somerset County YMCA, RWJ Barnabas Somerset Health Care Foundation, The NJ Land Conservancy, numerous schools, youth sports, police and fire departments, first responders, food banks, boy scouts, and much more. Rod served as the Vice-Chair of the Somerset Hills YMCA Board of Directors and as co-chair of the organization’s Strengthen Tomorrow Endowment Campaign, a $5 Million effort with over $3.5 million already raised. The Open Road Auto Group has served as the presenting sponsor of the Y’s annual Strong Kids Golf Classic and sponsor of the benefit performance at The Big Apple Circus. He continues to support JDRF and the JDRF One Walk, as well as the Somerset Health Care Foundation including the Far Hills Race Meeting, The Essex Trials and Monmouth on the Team.
The Boy Scouts of America are also recipients of Rod’s generosity, where served as President of the Board of Trustees of the Patriot Path Council and through his participation in the annual Man and Woman of the Year Harvest Ball, the Annual Golf Classic and the 100th Anniversary Gala. He was recognized as the Boy Scouts of America Patriots Path Council “Man of the Year” in 2007.
Rod was the recipient of the 2012 Somerset Business Partnership “Citizen of the Year” and the 2015 Senator Millicent Fenwick Civic Award. He is also Vice-Chair, as well as a member of the Development Committee of the Far Hills Country Day School and a financial supporter and advocate for the Somerset Hills Handicapped Riding Center.
Rod Ryan and his wife Dianne live in Far Hills, New Jersey. Their daughter, Jaimie and husband Michael Morais, who is President of the Open Road Auto Group, have blessed them with three grandchildren, Grace, Jack and Brady.
NJ CAR wishes Rod great success as he represents New Jersey in the national competition.