SAN FRANCISCO — John Isaacson, chief executive officer of Lee Auto Malls, a Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, GMC, Honda and Nissan dealership in Auburn, was honored recently for his nomination for the 2011 TIME Dealer of the Year award.

Isaacson was one of a select group of dealers from across the country honored at the 94th annual National Automobile Dealers Association Convention and Exposition in San Francisco.

The TIME Dealer of the Year award is one of the automobile industry’s most prestigious and highly coveted awards for new-car dealers. Recipients are among the nation’s most successful auto dealers, but they must also demonstrate a long-standing commitment to effective community service.

Isaacson, 49, was chosen to represent the Maine Automobile Dealers Association in the national competition. He is one of 52 automobile dealers, from 17,000 nationwide, nominated for the 42nd annual award.

The award is sponsored by TIME Magazine in association with Goodyear, and in cooperation with NADA. A panel of faculty members from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan selects one finalist from each of the four NADA regions and one national Dealer of the Year.

Isaacson graduated from Lewiston High School in 1980 and from Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., in 1984, with a bachelor of arts degree in psychology. He began working at the Lee Auto Malls dealership part of the year while at Dartmouth. Following graduation, he pursued a career with the dealership full time. He spent a couple of years as a used car manager but quickly moved to new car manager, then general sales manager by 1987 and general manager a year later. In 1994, he was named chief operating officer, and since 1998 he’s been CEO. Isaacson also represents Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Scion and Toyota at his two other Maine dealerships.

In the area of community service, Isaacson has been an active, longtime supporter of the St. Mary’s Health System of Lewiston, including serving as chairperson for the board of trustees. Since 2005, Isaacson has been a staunch supporter of Covenant Health Systems, based in Tewksbury, Mass., where he is currently vice chairman of the board of directors and chairman of the finance committee. Since 2003, Isaacson has also been a board member of the Portland-based Institute for Family Owned Business.

Isaacson is married and has two children.

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