ATLANTA - The National Independent Automobile Dealers Association (NIADA) and Manheim are now officially accepting nominations for the 2012 NIADA/Manheim Community Service Award. The award was created to honor independent dealerships who serve their communities through special projects, sponsorships or financial contributions.

Five finalists will be selected, and the winning dealership will be named on June 13 at the Leadership Awards Banquet during the NIADA Convention and Expo in Las Vegas, Nev. Manheim representatives will present the award along with a $5,000 check made payable to the winning dealership's chosen charity. 

"Independent dealers play an active and important role supporting charitable causes and participating in community service," said Nick Peluso, senior vice president of customer management, Manheim. The involvement and dedication of the 2011 nominees was inspirational. We look forward to seeing more great work from the nominees in 2012." 

Last year's NIADA/Manheim Community Service Award was awarded to Chacon Autos of Dallas, Texas in recognition of its longtime support of Martha Turner Reilly Elementary School. Chacon Autos presented the $5,000 donation to an audience of students, teachers and administrators during a ceremony at the beginning of the 2011-2012 school year. 

"Car dealerships aren't often recognized for their good deeds," said Stefani Musick, CPA for Chacon Autos and daughter of owner Gary Chacon. "The great thing about the NIADA/Manheim Community Service Award is that it not only recognizes a dealer for giving back to their community, but it also allows us to further that impact with an incredible monetary donation."

Nominations will be accepted from individuals, community organizations, agencies, vendors or dealerships until April 1, 2012. The nomination form and additional information are available at