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“‘Integrity in everything we do.’ That is our mantra, our core value and it is our middle name,” said nominee McCurley. “It is how we do business. The empowerment of our people is clear: Make a good decision and do the right thing.”

And McCurley has followed that same code of ethics, having left North Dakota State University in Fargo in 1970 at age 19 to take over the family’s Chevrolet Buick dealership following his father’s sudden passing. He had worked there during high school and had sold 21 cars in one month. “I was number one salesman and loved it,” he said.

But when his father died, he took on the great responsibility of managing the entire operation in Valley City, North Dakota, to support his mother and four young sisters. He grew the business and once his sisters were through college, he and his young family moved to Tri-Cities, Washington, in 1981, to capitalize on a burgeoning marketplace. The Chevrolet dealership he bought at that time is now part of McCurley Integrity Dealerships, which also includes brands Cadillac, Honda, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz and Subaru. One of his sons, Mason, is general manager of the Honda dealership.

“Our business is a family business, and I view my 40 years as a steward of the business as a term in its history,” McCurley said. He added, “It is my responsibility as the dealer-operator to set an example of integrity in everything I do as well.” And he has, devoting his time and leadership to make significant contributions to both Valley City and Tri-Cities, where McCurley has received numerous awards, including Citizen of the Year in 2011 from the Tri-City Association of Realtors.

McCurley was asked by the Washington State attorney general to serve on the Dealer Advisory Committee in 2005 and continues to share his expertise today. He has also worked tirelessly for the Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce, Tri-Cities Development Council and has sponsored countless community activities. McCurley was instrumental in keeping the Tri-City Americans hockey club in town, spearheaded the building of a new church in his parish and was a founding member and co-chairman of ACT, Advisory Council Tri-Cites, which helped establish a branch of Washington State University in the area.

“All the civic and charitable projects I have been involved with over 40 years are a result of groups of people coming together for a common cause,” McCurley said. “None of them would happen if it were not for the generous contributions of time, talent and treasure.”

McCurley was nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year Award by Vicki Giles Fabré, executive vice president of the Washington State Auto Dealers Association. He and his wife, Victoria, have three children and eight grandchildren.