Northwood University Alumni Honored with Automotive News Award

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Northwood recognizes several alumni who have been named to Best Dealership To Work For list.
Tamara Darvish

Tamara Darvish

November 2, 2012

MIDLAND, MI – Northwood University recognizes several alumni who have been named to Automotive News “Best Dealership To Work For” Award. Alumna Tamara Darvish (’85, B.B.A.) is a vice president of DARCARS Automotive Group, a family-owned franchise group throughout the greater Washington, DC, area. Automotive News recently announced that DARCARS Chevrolet of Lanham and DARCARS Lexus of Silver Spring were this year’s recipients of the Automotive News “Best Dealership To Work For” Award. DARCARS was the only dealership group to win this award in the state of Maryland.

DARCARS Chevrolet took home 7th place under the Small Dealership category (100 Best with 25-49 employees) and 10th overall in the nation. They were noted for their partnership with Washington, DC’s, Department of Employment Services and creation of a shop program with a local high school. More than 100 students have gone onto jobs as service technicians from this program. They prefer to hire fresh talent and develop inside the company rather than recruiting from other dealerships.

DARCARS Lexus took home 3rd place under the Large Dealership category (100 Best with 100 or more employees) and 13th overall in the nation. They were noted for their competitiveness and team-bonding exercises inside and outside of the dealership. Outside actives included everything from a company-wide basketball game to an extreme obstacle course, several which benefit local charities. Inside the dealership sales and service challenges promote competition and develop best practices.  They believe you don’t really know someone’s strengths until they’re fighting under extreme conditions.

Jennette Cobb, a Northwood University senior from Grandville majoring in advertising/marketing/management, states, “As an intern this summer in the digital experience department at DARCARS Automotive Group, I learned the importance of a company giving back to the community. DARCARS cares so much about its employees that on the company’s 35th anniversary I accompanied Vice President Tamara Darvish in traveling over 250 miles to visit every location in the D.C. metro area. Darvish personally shook the hands of these dedicated workers and brought them over 2,000 cupcakes to show how much the Darvish family cared about their employees, several of which had worked at the company for 20 years and had an undying love for DARCARS and the Darvish family.”

Three additional Northwood alumni work at dealerships which were also named on this list. Keith Hudson (’91 B.B.A.), general manager/partner, Jim Hudson Toyota-Scion, Irmo, South Carolina, 91st place; Mike Abbodanza (’99 B.B.A.), general manager/partner, Newton Nissan of Gallatin, Gallatin, Tennessee, 70th place; and Larry Zinn (’08 B.B.A), manager, Warren Henry Infiniti, Miami, Florida, 88th place.

If you identify any other Northwood University alumni or friends who have been recognized on the Automotive News “Best Dealership To Work For” list, please contact Julie Felske, executive director of alumni relations at Northwood University, at or 989.837.4436 so they may be recognized and congratulated.


DARCARS is proud to serve the Maryland-Virginia-DC-Florida areas with a large family of 25 automobile dealerships, representing 13 different automotive brands and employing nearly 2,000 people. Being one of the fastest growing automotive organizations in the country since 1977, DARCARS has established itself not only as a leader in the automotive industry but also in philanthropy and community service.


Northwood University is committed to the most personal attention to prepare students for success in their careers and in their communities; it promotes critical thinking skills, personal effectiveness, and the importance of ethics, individual freedom and responsibility.

Private, nonprofit, and accredited, Northwood University specializes in managerial and entrepreneurial education at three full-service, residential campuses located in southern Florida, mid-Michigan and northern Texas. Adult Degree Programs are available in eight states with many course delivery options including an online option. The DeVos Graduate School offers day, evening and weekend programming in Michigan, Texas, Florida and Switzerland. The Alden B. Dow Center for Creativity and Enterprise in Midland, Michigan, specializes in creative thinking and innovation development. International education is offered through study abroad and in Program Centers in Switzerland, China, Malaysia and Sri Lanka.