You are leaving the website of Ally Dealer Heroes and going to a third-party website.
By selecting continue below, you acknowledge that you have read and understand this disclosure.
"The communities we live and work in mean everything to our business and to our employees," nominee Luther said. "Community involvement is a major cornerstone of everything I learned from my dad, and I believe that one of the most important benefits of business success is the continued opportunity to help others."
A 1974 graduate of Edina High School in Edina, Minnesota, Luther studied business at Augsburg College in Minneapolis, Minnesota, before entering his family's business. His father had purchased a Pontiac dealership in 1952 and in the 1960s, built a state-of-the-art building that was renowned for its award-winning architecture. "So this is where I spent my summers as a kid, working as a lot boy or, as I like to say, a human car mop," he remembered. "Often my job was to walk around with my mop covered arms outstretched and dust the cars. I washed cars, mopped floors and did just about anything that anybody told me to do."
In 1982, the company acquired a Volkswagen dealership and Luther was named general manager. "Those were the dark days of Volkswagen and everybody wondered why in the world I even wanted to run a VW store," he said. "But I managed to make it profitable and I am still proud of that today."
More franchises were then added and in 1996, Luther was named president and CEO. Today, the company consists of 29 dealerships, five collision/glass centers, a towing company and more 2,500 employees. "As a major employer in the Twin Cities area, I take very seriously the role my company plays in impacting families and our communities," he added.
The Luther family has generously supported many organizations, including Mn Adult & Teen Challenge (addiction recovery), N.C. Little Memorial Hospice, Gilda's Club, Metro Hope Ministries (recovery center), Angel Foundation (aiding cancer patients), Make-A-Wish, Salvation Army, American Cancer Society, American Red Cross, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and World Vision.
Luther is extremely proud of his company's Drive to Serve program, an annual event each February that was created in memory of an employee's brother. "He had been very involved with hunger programs through a humanitarian organization called Kids Against Hunger, and as a token of our appreciation for all his sister means to us, we hoped to honor him by hosting a food packing event." In its third year in 2013, almost 3,000 volunteers gathered over two days to pack more than 1 million meals. And during the event, they collect food and raise money for local food pantries.
"I have come to realize that the drive to serve is a universal desire and that we are doing something very important by providing an opportunity for so many people to do so in a meaningful way," he said.
Luther was nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year award by Scott Lambert, executive vice president of the Minnesota Automobile Dealers Association. He and his wife, Anne, have three children and five grandchildren.