FORT PIERRE — John Deniger, who has owned and operated Prostrollo General Motors in Huron for 30 years, was presented the 2022 Chairman’s Award by Bob Beadle recently at the 104th Annual South Dakota Auto Dealers Association (SDADA) Convention.
“It came as a complete surprise to me,” said Deniger on Friday in his Huron office. “I have been the president of the association and selected the winner of this award during that year!”
Deniger said he remembered thinking to himself that there was only the one award to be handed about at this year’s convention and then it would break up until next year.
“And then they started…”growing up in Russelville, Arkansas….well, I was pretty sure that I was the only person in that room from Russelville!”
John was born in Russelville, then grew up in Madison. He graduated from South Dakota State University, with a degree in Civil Engineering and moved to Huron in 1975 to begin work with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.
In 1977, he transferred to Boulder City, Nev., and moved again to Juneau, Alaska in 1979, with the Department of Energy. He worked on the design and construction of hydroelectric plants and power marketing.
Then in 1984 he and his family moved back to Huron to join Prostrollos. In 1992 Deniger bought the dealership.
The award paid homage to Deniger’s deep community involvement — “It’s really an award that recognizes community involvement,” he said. Deniger’s purpose of community spirit, public service and generosity to others has led him to become actively involved as a member of numerous clubs: The American Legion, Sertoma, Elks, Knights of Columbus, Beadle County Sportsmen, Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association, PADI Diving Association, the American Society of Civil Engineer, Huron United Way, Boy Scouts, Greater Huron Development Corporation, Huron University, Huron University Foundation, South Dakota Auto Dealers Association, Huron Chamber and Visitors Bureau, Huron Airport Board and Huron Regional Medical Center.
“It means a great deal to me to be selected for this award by my peers,” Deniger said. “Bob Beadle and I have been working together for 30 years and I consider him a peer.”
As a family man, he and his lovely wife Laurie are the proud parents of two children, Katie and Patrick. They are also the proud grandparents of Jonah. While John was in the dark regarding the award, Laurie was not.
“Oh no, I knew about it for a couple weeks,” Laurie said as she stepped into her husband’s office with an envelope of photos that comprised a slide show at the convention.
“She never let on one bit,” John said. “It really is quite an honor to me….I thought I was at the end of my plaque-receiving days!”