EATONTOWN – Circle BMW has announced that founder and president, Thomas J. DeFelice Jr., was named a finalist in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2012 program in the New Jersey region.
The award recognizes outstanding entrepreneurs who demonstrate excellence and extraordinary success in such areas as innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities. Awards will be presented at a special gala on June 27, 2012 at the Hyatt New Brunswick.
DeFelice is a third generation auto industry veteran who began his career working at Circle Chevrolet, the business his grandfather founded. He purchased the BMW franchise in 1981 and has spent the last 31 years building Circle BMW into one of the region’s luxury auto dealerships. His business acumen has enabled the dealership to grow from its roots in Shrewsbury to a state-of-the-art facility in Eatontown.
DeFelice is a founding member of the BMW Tri-State Co-Op Advertising Committee. In 2009, Circle BMW was a NJBIZ Business of the Year finalist and in 2008 received the prestigious Center of Excellence recognition from BMW North America.
Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna and the Red Bank Borough Council presented a certificate of appreciation to DeFelice at the Borough Council’s Dec. 7, 2011 meeting. Menna recognized the 30th anniversary of Circle BMW and DeFelice and his wife Valarie for their continued support of numerous local charitable and cultural institutions. The DeFelices are past recipients of Catholic Charities’ annual Guardian Angel Award for their work and support of Catholic Charities Programs in Monmouth County.
A life-long resident of Monmouth County, DeFelice firmly believes in “giving back” and through Circle BMW has supported several nonprofit organizations such as the Count Basie Theatre, Holiday Express, Meridian Health Foundation, Monmouth Council Boy Scouts of America, Monmouth University Scholarship Program, The Monmouth County Historical Association and Two River Theatre Company. He is a board member of the CBA Alumni Association, Catholic Charities and Prevention First.
Now in its 26th year, the Entrepreneur Of The Year Program has expanded to recognize business leaders in more than 140 cities in more than 50 countries throughout the world. Regional award winners are eligible for consideration for the Ernst & Young National Entrepreneur Of The Year Program. Award winners in several national categories, as well as the Ernst & Young National Entrepreneur Of The Year Overall Award winner, will be announced at the annual awards gala in Palm Springs, Calif., in November. The awards are the culminating event of the Ernst & Young Strategic Growth Forum, the nation’s most prestigious gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies.