2005 – Fort Lauderdale, Florida
At nine years old, Rita Case was helping out in her parents Honda dealership. She still sells Hondas, and she’s learned a key to success in all those years — treat the customer like your best friend. She is now the chief operating officer of the Rick Case Automotive Group, and, along with her husband Rick Case, operates 13 dealerships in three states with 900 employees. Working together, their dealership group has become one of the top 20 performing groups in the country. Their Acura dealership in Ft. Lauderdale has been recognized as the World’s Largest Volume Dealer seven years in a row. Rick Case Honda in south Florida is the world’s largest dealership with over half a million square feet and holds the sales record for the most new Hondas sold in a single month, as well as one full year. That success may be attributed to the unusual customer service that the couple emphasizes. A five-day money back guarantee on leases and purchases, free road service or a free car wash for customers every time they come into the store, voting precincts, a discount gas center, a Clerk of Courts office and emergency defibrillators are just a few of the community services provided. They also offer customers points, good for discounts on any future purchases of service, parts and vehicles. Rita Case is devoted to children’s causes. She and her husband built the Rick and Rita Case Boys & Girls Club, pledged $450,000 to the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital and provided thousands of bicycles to underprivileged children through the Rick Case Bikes for Kids program since 1982. The couple has two children who attend Northwood and are supporters of the university’s annual auto shows. “Having grown up in the car business, I have long been acquainted with Northwood University and its outstanding reputation, both nationally and internationally,” Case says.