Ron Claudon of Auburn’s Valley Buick GMC received the Robert P. Mallon Dealer of the Year award at the recent Washington State Auto Dealers Association (WSADA) annual convention.
Selected by a committee of his peers, the association’s prestigious award recognizes Claudon’s contributions to the auto industry, quality dealership operations and outstanding community service.
At age 14, Claudon began working in the dealership founded by his father, Ron, mopping floors and washing cars. A graduate of Auburn High School and Washington State University, Claudon worked in construction and banking before returning to the dealership in 1983, becoming partner and dealer in 1993.
Claudon remains committed to the community where he grew up, and the friends and neighbors the family business has served for more than 57 years. He and his wife, Lorianne, live in Auburn, as do all three of their adult children. Son Bryant and daughter Nicole represent the third generation working in the family dealership, and daughter Jaclynn is a teacher at Auburn Mountainview High School.
Claudon believes in giving back to his community and is a longtime member of the Kiwanis Club, and has held board positions with the YMCA and Auburn Area Chamber of Commerce. He also served on advisory committees for the Auburn School District and Green River College.
Claudon and his father, who passed away in 2009, are the only father-son duo to complete a WSADA “trifecta” – serving as a WSADA president, receiving the TIME Dealer of the Year award for Washington state; and being named the Association’s Dealer of the Year.
In recognition of all that Claudon does for WSADA and his community, the association made a $1,000 contribution in his honor to the Step by Step Foundation, whose goal is to transform the lives of at-risk pregnant women. Daughter Nicole said that since they’ve become grandparents and seen the family village that helps raise their grandchildren, Ron and Lorianne have become even more committed to providing support for women and families who aren’t as fortunate.
“As a longtime, loyal WSADA member, committed to serving his industry, customers, and community, we consider this contribution to be a particularly meaningful way to celebrate Ron’s receipt of our Association’s most prestigious award,” said Vicki Giles Fabré, WSADA executive vice president.
The award is named for the late Robert P. Mallon, a former Tacoma dealer, who was WSADA president in 1966-67, a past president of the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), served 30 years as Washington state’s NADA Director, and founded the National Automobile Dealers Charitable Foundation.
Founded in 1920, the association’s 294 dealer members serve 70 cities and towns throughout Washington and are responsible for annual sales volume totaling $17.3 billion. Together, they employ more than 21,000 people with a combined payroll of more than $1.3 billion. An average dealership creates 70 local jobs, each paying on average over $58,000 per year plus benefits. Their dealership sales total 16.4 percent of the state’s retail sales, generating hundreds of millions of dollars of tax revenue for state and local governments through sales, corporate and payroll tax revenue.