Sharing time and wisdom is part of a dealer’s routine


When Tari Cash was trying to break into the auto business in 2008, her father, a Harvard University business professor, suggested she contact a former student and car dealer, Marcy Maguire, who might make time for a phone call or a job lead.

Instead Maguire, president of Windsor Nissan in East Windsor, N.J., and a member of the NADA board of directors, rolled out the red carpet for what Cash recalls as “extreme mentoring.”

“Marcy offered to have me spend a day with her and her family, with time at each of their dealerships. She showed me around, shared insight and gave me a hands-on perspective,” said Cash, now 37, who soon after landed a job at Telsa Motors, bolstered by new confidence. That job recently ended, and she turned to Maguire again, knowing she has an open door for mentoring. “Marcy is always willing to share the nuts and bolts of business with me.”

Maguire is one of 800 female car dealers out of approximately 17,500 dealers currently operating in the United States, according to NADA. She became an NADA director in 2003 and helped initiate the women’s breakfast at the group’s annual convention. She was named to the Automotive News list of 100 Leading Women in the Automotive Industry in 2005 and 2010.

Yet an office full of awards doesn’t insulate her from struggles. The Saturn investment she made in 1991, along with the two dealerships she bought in 1993 and nourished with care, went out of business in 2009.

Amid the responsibilities of running the store, she carves out time for The Committee of 200, whose goal is to mentor young women in business schools. With advanced degrees from Harvard and the University of Michigan, Maguire chose to set up a scholarship at the University of Michigan’s doctoral program to help women become professors in business schools, in part because she has fond memories of the campus in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Maguire is on the board of the U.S. Tennis Association, raises funds for scholarships and is an ambassador for the NADA Charitable Foundation. She helps a plethora of organizations.

“Car dealers are not just selling cars. They invest in the community at large,” says Maguire. “I have the pleasure of driving in and out of the store every day and thinking how I can improve my town … how we can help customers and citizens be part of this caring and contributing mosaic.”

Article by Maureen McDonald

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