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Kathleen Sims Wins the 2014 Idaho TIME Dealer of the Year Award

The nomination of Kathleen Sims, president of Coeur d'Alene Honda in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, for the 2014 TIME Dealer of the Year award was announced by TIME and the sponsor, Ally Financial.

Sims is one of a select group of 57 dealer nominees from across the country who was honored at the 97th annual National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Convention & Exposition in New Orleans, Louisiana, in January 2014. 

The TIME Dealer of the Year award is one of the automobile industry’s most prestigious and highly coveted honors. Recipients are among the nation’s most successful auto dealers who also demonstrate a long-standing commitment to community service. Sims, 71, was chosen to represent the Idaho Automobile Dealers Association in the national competition – one of only 57 auto dealers from 17,000 nationwide – nominated for the 45th annual award. 

"All the success I have had in business could never be achieved except in the U.S.A.," nominee Sims said. "As a woman car dealer, I can say for sure that I have not been disadvantaged – only challenged."

Sims, a graduate of Coeur d’Alene High School and North Idaho Junior College, both in Coeur d’Alene, has been a self-employed for 47 years. She started selling Honda motorcycles in 1968 and in 1973, applied for a Honda automobile franchise, which she still runs today. She co-owns the business with her partner of 46 years, Darrell G. Sims. Her daughter and son-in-law, graduates of the NADA Dealer Candidate Academy, are also part of the family business. 

"I take great pride in seeing my daughter and her husband assume control of the dealership and admire their determination to be good auto dealers," said Sims.  Her commitment to the auto industry spans decades. Sims has served in leadership roles and received awards from the American International Automobile Dealers Association and the Women’s Automotive Association International. She has represented female dealers west of the Mississippi on the NADA’s board of directors and has been re-elected for 12 years. "It has been rewarding to see the acceptance of women dealers in the auto industry and to have been ‘an example.’ It was never a goal I strived for – it just began and became," Sims said.

She is also active in her state government. Sims has been appointed by the governor to the Idaho Department of Transportation’s advisory board, as well as the human rights commission. She has served in the Idaho State Senate, was elected three times and currently serving in the Idaho House of Representatives and has worked on the local, county and state Republican committees. "My most meaningful civic achievement is serving my constituents in the Idaho legislature and protecting their interests in freedom," Sims said. "Good government requires active citizens."

For 17 years, Sims has supported the Children's Village, a non-profit humanitarian organization committed to the prevention of child abuse and neglect. She annually sponsors a chili cook-off, which benefits the organization and, this year, the Idaho Youth Ranch. "It’s a community event loved by all and featuring as many as 30 competing teams," she said. "Lots of music, lots of chili, lots of fun." Sims also supports Toys for Tots, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and Women to Women International, a women’s aid group.  She has two daughters and four grandchildren.

Sims added, "While everything auto dealers contribute to their communities is meaningful and, sometimes, remarkable, a look at the world lets us know there is always more to do. I will keep trying."

Sims was nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year award by Trent T. Wright, Executive Vice President of the Idaho Automobile Dealers Association. 

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