NAPPANEE — The Nappanee Chamber of Commerce named Bernard Beer Citizen of the Year during its annual chamber meeting and dinner held Monday night, March 27.
Beer was surprised by the announcement which Jeff Kitson, executive director of the Nappanee Chamber, made before dinner. “I was very surprised,” he said.
Beer’s sons, Brad, who lives in California, and Todd, who lives in Arizona, surprised him as well. “That was the biggest shock after the announcement,” Beer said.
Using a “This is Your Life” theme, Beer said they showed photos of him from back in the 1960s to present. “It was very much appreciated,” Beer said of the honor adding there are several others in the community who are more deserving.
Bernard B. Beer, president, McCormick Motors, a native of Milford, has been with McCormick Motors since 1961, at the age of 18. Starting as a salesman, he became the dealer operator and president of the company in March 1997. Over the course of his sales career he was the top salesman in the zone on three occasions.
In a phone interview, Beer said Arch Baumgartner, founder of The Mail-Journal and The Papers, actually recommended him for the salesman job at the dealership. “I never dreamed I would be there so long,” he said adding he still loved the job.
He has been a long time member of the Society of Sales Executives and Legion of Leaders. He is a graduate of the Chevrolet Academy of Retail Sales Executives, the Chevrolet Commercial College, and the Chevrolet Medium Duty Certification Program.
He has been repeatedly recognized by Chevrolet Motor Division for his lifetime commitment to sales excellence and customer satisfaction. Bernie is a member of the National GM Commercial Dealer Advisory Council providing dealer feedback to GM on issues of concern to commercial dealers.
Beer said he’s always been supportive of the Boys and Girls Club and the Nappanee Chamber of Commerce. He served on the chamber board back in the late ’70s, early ’80s and is credited with having the Nappanee and Wakarusa chambers work together.
The dealership also supports all the summer athletic programs. “We believe in supporting the community,” he said. “This is a wonderful area to be in business. They’re (the community) all upstanding people. They’re honest. It’s a wonderful place.”
Beer, is the son of Theo and Naoma Beer. He is the youngest of seven. “He’s always been a family leader, a real common sense guy,” said Becky Doll, his sister, who lives in Milford.