The first John T. Grappone Spirit of Excellence Award, given by the New Hampshire Automobile Dealers Association (NHADA), was recently presented to Paul Holloway, president of Holloway Automotive Group. This annual award goes to an NHADA member who has provided outstanding contributions to his or her community and to the statewide trade association.
John Grappone, who passed away last February, embodied all that is good about dealers. The award from the NHADA was presented in early October by Amanda Grappone Osmer of the Grappone Automotive Group at an association meeting. It includes a donation by NHADA of $1,000 in the honoree’s name to a charity of his or her choice. Mr. Holloway has chosen to make a donation to the Community College System of New Hampshire (CCSNH). He currently serves as chair of the CCSNH Board of Trustees.
An accomplished business leader and entrepreneur, Mr. Holloway purchased his first dealership in Exeter in 1967. He currently owns several dealerships in NH representing Mercedes-Benz, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac.
He has held leadership positions on numerous dealer councils and organizations, including as chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association and as chairman of the NHADA.
He was the national winner of the prestigious 2004 TIME Magazine Quality Dealer of the Year award and has been recognized by all of the manufacturers he represents for the outstanding quality and performance of his dealerships.
Mr. Holloway has influenced NH business, politics, philanthropy, and state government, but his most enduring legacy may be the improvements he has championed at the state’s university and community college systems.
He is a recipient of the Plymouth State College Robert Frost award for outstanding citizenship, and UNH’s Lawrence Whittemore Distinguished Service Medal in recognition of his contributions to the school’s programs. He holds an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from UNH. Keene State College dedicated a new residence hall in his name and UNH named the Holloway Commons dining hall in his honor.
He currently also serves as a NH Lottery Commissioner, and is an NHADA Honorary Director.
Mr. Holloway is committed to giving back to his community and to New Hampshire. His family endowed the Paul J. Holloway Prize Business Innovation-to-Market Competition at UNH, and established the Little Harbour Charitable Foundation, which has raised more than a million dollars for children’s causes in the seacoast area.
Paul and his wife Anna Grace reside in Rye, NH.
The NHADA is a statewide trade association with a staff of 30 professionals, representing close to 570 businesses in the motor vehicle industry with over 14,000 employees. Members run the entire gamut of the motor vehicle industry, including new-car and -truck dealers; motorcycle and recreational vehicle dealers; farm, power, and construction equipment dealers; used-vehicle dealers and recyclers; repair shops, body shops, and parts stores; and other companies that have ties with the motor vehicle industry. Annual retail sales for all members are in excess of $3.8 billion and account for over 24 percent of all retail sales in New Hampshire. More information can be found at www.nhada.com.