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CATA Bulletin
January 28, 2019, special edition


Alfirevich named 2019 Time Dealer of the Year

January 28, 2019

John Alfirevich, dealer principal of Apple Chevrolet in Tinley Park, on Jan. 25 was named the 2019 Time Dealer of the Year, one of the most prestigious and highly coveted awards that a new-car dealer can win.
The recognition came during the 102nd National Automobile Dealers Association Show in San Francisco. Alfirevich was announced the winner at a ceremony where all 51 of this year’s dealer nominees were honored.
Five regional finalists and the award winner were chosen by a faculty panel at the University of Michigan.
Award recipients are among the nation’s most successful auto dealers who also demonstrate a longstanding commitment to community service. Alfirevich, 55, was nominated by both the Chicago Automobile Trade Association and the Illinois Automobile Dealers Association.
Alfirevich began his career in the car business at the age of 12 at Bob Motl Chevrolet in Chicago, which would later become Apple Chevrolet. "My father, Joseph, was general manager of the dealership at the time and called me in to perform oil changes and other quick maintenance because of a local mechanic strike that lasted the entire summer," he said. "Since that day, I have worked in every department. I started my full-time career at the dealership in 1986." Alfirevich and his father now own the dealership, which they moved to Tinley Park. 
When beginning in the automotive business, Alfirevich was concerned that more established dealers would always have an advantage. "However, my passion, will and desire to always do the right thing has persevered, motivating me and keeping me wanting more for my dealership, my employees and my community for 35-plus years," Alfirevich explained.
He credits the dealership’s philosophy of treating customers with "unpretentious integrity" as a key to success as well as the dealership’s emphasis on honesty and transparency in every transaction.
Over the last year, Apple Chevrolet has donated to nearly 100 organizations, including the American Legion Auxiliary; Better Business Bureau Educational Foundation; Colon Cancer Coalition; Gigi’s Playhouse Down Syndrome Achievement Centers; JDRF; The Salvation Army; Special Olympics; USO of Illinois, as well as many schools, churches and sports teams. 
"I believe dealers play an enormous role in their communities by donating to many great causes to advance the well-being of their communities," he said.
One of CATA Chairman Tony Guido’s first acts in his new role was to call for a vote on the nomination of Alfirevich as the CATA’s nominee for the 2019 award. The vote from board members was unanimous.
Ray Scarpelli Jr., a CATA board member, recalled: "As we made the decision, the question came up, ‘Who should it be?’ Without hesitation, I said ‘Let’s nominate John Alfirevich,’ and that was the candidate unanimously approved by our board for exhibiting the best qualities for a new-car dealer."
Not even a week later, the IADA board agreed and used its nomination to put Alfirevich forward as the state association’s candidate. It was the first time that both associations nominated the same dealer, and a harbinger of his successful candidacy.
Ally, a sponsor of the Time award, will give $10,000 to the charity of Alfirevich’s choice. 
A 1981 graduate of St. Francis de Sales High School in Chicago, Alfirevich earned a business/marketing degree from Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan., where he received an athletic scholarship to play football. He furthered his training by attending the NADA Academy in 1990.