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Tribute To Mike Shaw

Sen. Mark Udall

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Mr. President, today I want to recognize Mike Shaw, an outstanding Coloradan and this year's recipient of the prestigious TIME Dealer of the Year award. This award is given to outstanding new-car dealers who have also performed community service and exhibited a commitment to improving the world. Mike is an exceptional business owner in Colorado, an active philanthropist, and a role model in his community. I applaud Mike's achievement and would like to take a few moments to share his work with you.

Mike has long been devoted to serving his community, a value that was instilled early in his life. He is a veteran of the U.S. Army, having served in Vietnam, and as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I want to extend my gratitude for his service to our country.

After returning home and entering the new-car business, Mike opened the Mike Shaw Chevrolet Saab dealership in the heart of Denver. Today he is the owner of seven dealerships throughout Colorado, Louisiana, and Texas. Mike's entrepreneurial spirit serves as a perfect example of how small businesses take root and help drive our economy, creating jobs and taking care of their customers and communities.

The auto industry has served as the backbone of American manufacturing. When it was hit hard by the 2008 recession and neared bankruptcy in 2009, thousands of dealerships across the country were at risk of closing. I had the privilege of working with Mike to help give these important Colorado businesses and the jobs they support a second chance. He stood up to inform Congress of the actual impacts of closing auto dealerships and helped promote solutions to keep them in business. He has been a steadfast leader in Colorado, and we can all learn from his principled approach. As Mike says, ``My mantra in business is that quality comes first, customers are always the focus, and integrity is never compromised.''

I also want to commend him for his commitment to expanding education and opportunity for the youth in our State. His reach has extended to countless organizations and boards on which he has served or contributed to in other ways. The Denver Zoological Foundation, the Urban League of Denver, Kempe Children's Foundation, the National Western Stock Show Association, and St. Joseph Hospital Foundation are just a few that have felt his impact.

His exceptional leadership in the auto industry and involvement with these important community partners has earned Mike the Dealer of the Year award. His achievements are far-reaching, and each one of them is in the spirit of service to his community.

Mike is a determined and selfless community leader whose drive has helped provide our children a brighter future and made Colorado a better place to live. I extend to him my congratulations for being honored as the 2012 TIME Dealer of the Year, and I look forward to his continued leadership throughout Colorado.