Cox Automotive presented the 10th annual Barbara Cox Anthony Automotive Woman of the Year Award to Michelle Primm, managing partner of Cascade Auto Group. This honor is awarded to women who demonstrate business leadership and community advocacy, as well as a commitment to furthering the automotive industry. Cox Automotive President Sandy Schwartz presented the award during the Northwood University Dealer Education Awards annual breakfast at the National Automobile Dealers Association convention.
“Michelle is an exceptional business and community leader, displaying a passion for excellence and exhibiting deep commitment,” Schwartz said. “She has positively influenced our industry and her community while shaping the Cascade Auto Group into one of the most respected dealerships in the country. This award is named after the late Barbara Cox Anthony, one of our owners and mother of our chairman, Jim Kennedy. Michelle and Mrs. Anthony have many things in common, including a skill for getting things done -- and done well. I am honored to present this award to Michelle on behalf of Cox Automotive.”
Primm’s automotive career was built on humble beginnings as she started in high school filing for the service department, washing cars and delivering parts for the Cascade Auto Group in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. After completing degrees in Finance and Economics at Kent State University, and a year performing as a financial supervisor for Royce Security, Primm rejoined the dealership to progress in management roles involving title processing, car sales, business management and general management.
For more than three decades, Primm has heavily supported the automotive industry. A graduate of the National Automobile Dealers Association Dealer Candidate Academy, she currently represents women dealers on the NADA Board of Directors, is chair of the NADART and serves as vice president of the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles Licensing Board. Primm also is a member of the Ohio Automobile Dealers Association and Greater Cleveland Automobile Dealers Association, for which she was a past board member representing Mazda, Subaru, Audi and Porsche. In addition, she was president of the BMW Dealer Licensing Board from 2005 to 2007 and a member from 1994 to 2007.
“Thank you, Cox Automotive, for recognizing women leaders in the automotive industry, and the importance of having a diversified workforce that reflects our customer base,” said Primm. “It’s a true honor to be named as this year’s award recipient."
Primm was recently honored by Crain’s Cleveland Business as “A Woman of Note” and recognized as the Time Magazine Goodyear Quality Dealer from Greater Cleveland in 2005. She volunteers for Youth for Understanding, serving on its Northeast District Volunteer Leadership Council as a certified trainer and area counselor for international students.
Previous winners of the Barbara Cox Anthony Automotive Woman of the Year Award include: Susan Scarola, vice chairman of DCH Auto Group; Rachel M. Richards, vice president of retail strategy and chief marketing officer for Sonic Automotive; Tamara Darvish, executive vice president of DARCARS Automotive Group; Lorraine Schultz, Women’s Automotive Association International’s founder and chief executive officer; Sandra Moss, independent dealership owner; Tracey Doi, Toyota executive; Pam Nicholson, Enterprise Rent-A-Car executive vice president and chief operating officer; Marcy H. Maguire, Maguire Automotive Group president; and Alexis Jacobs, Columbus Fair Auto Auction owner.
In addition to the award presented to Primm, Manheim and Cox Automotive made a $10,000 scholarship contribution to Kayleen O’Boyle, a student in the Automotive Marketing and Management program at Northwood University in West Palm Beach, Fla.