Why did you want to work in the auto industry? I was raised in the car business and decided to continue working in the car business after I graduated from college. I loved it. The car business is definitely a unique business with a lot of passion and a lot of intensity, a lot of hours. But when you're raised with it, it becomes part of your personality — that constant intensity and the fast pace. And everybody likes to talk about cars. Nobody I ever met doesn't want to talk about it. When I was much younger and realized there were very few women in the car business, that gave me a real challenge. I said I'm going to be a car dealer. I'm going to show that women can succeed in a very male-dominated industry.

On cars, love, marriage: I started the first Honda 20 group in 1977. That's where I met my husband, Rick Case. He was single, and I was single. We were the first two Honda dealers to ever get married. I was already running my dad's dealership and had been successful. When we decided to get married, that was a very big decision. I was leaving my legacy and my hometown, but I was in love. When I married Rick and moved from Santa Rosa, Calif., to Akron, Ohio, I started working fairly quickly. I was now the dealer's wife. I made my place in his company. I took it upon myself to choose a position no one else had in order to gain his company's respect. I became the parts and service director. Then I became the CFO.

First automotive job: My first official job, when I actually made a paycheck, was at 13. I checked in and put away parts.

Proudest professional achievement: Being the No. 1 selling Acura dealer seven years in a row in the United States from 1997 to 2003.

Current challenge at work: It's twofold: Employee morale and reducing people leaving. I want to maximize associate morale to have a passion and career with our company. Rick and I are very involved with our associates. We do a lot of charity work. We have a commitment to leadership professional training called Rapport. It's an outside company we send everyone to. It's not about the car business. It's about being a better leader of your own life and balancing your life and family and time and career.

On women as sales representatives: The women make the decisions on the car, although they may not be the ones pulling out the checkbook. We have always tried to hire women — service advisers, salespeople, managers, F&I people. They balance a showroom. They balance a department. They balance the atmosphere. It's like the difference between going to a cowboy bar and going to a more upscale martini bar.

On working with a spouse: We respect each other. It's that simple. I respect his decision making. When we first got married, I made a point not to challenge his expertise, and he was not going to challenge mine. That's the only way a husband and wife can work.

Dream job: To be a personnel motivator, a speaker. Not to teach them to sell, but to be someone who stands up in front of a group of people and teaches them how to be more positive and more appreciative of what they have. I do that with my own stores. I'm the one who walks in the dealership and says, "Good morning. What a great day today."

On a nickname: I learned to be a fighter right from the beginning being very, very young and working in a business of all guys. They used to call me DD — dealer's daughter, like she's only here because she's the dealer's daughter. And I loved it. So I would work harder, come in earlier. I'd be smarter. I'd be more successful. I'd sell more than anybody else. I'd have the answers first. Instead of crawling into a hole and saying, "Oh, jeez, nobody is ever going to respect me," I took it another way.

What you do to relax: I love hobbies. I'm a pilot. I've got the first Honda jet on order. I'm getting my jet certificate right now. I'm a glass blower. I give all my work for charity. I ride motorcycles. I have several Honda dirt bikes and street bikes. Rick and I take trips across the country. I love to deep-sea fish. We ski, play golf.

— Amy Wilson

ATTENTION COMMENTERS: Automotive News has monitored a significant increase in the number of personal attacks and abusive comments on our site. We encourage our readers to voice their opinions and argue their points. We expect disagreement. We do not expect our readers to turn on each other. We will be aggressively deleting all comments that personally attack another poster, or an article author, even if the comment is otherwise a well-argued observation. If we see repeated behavior, we will ban the commenter. Please help us maintain a civil level of discourse.

Email Newsletters
  • General newsletters
  • (Weekdays)
  • (Mondays)
  • (As needed)
  • Video newscasts
  • (Weekdays)
  • (Weekdays)
  • (Saturdays)
  • Special interest newsletters
  • (Thursdays)
  • (Tuesdays)
  • (Monthly)
  • (Monthly)
  • (Wednesdays)
  • (Bimonthly)
  • Special reports
  • (As needed)
  • (As needed)
  • Communication preferences
  • You can unsubscribe at any time through links in these emails. For more information, see our Privacy Policy.