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Rita Case making history while making Miami Proud

Miami Proud: Rita Case is making history, lasting legacy
Miami Proud: Rita Case is making history, lasting legacy 03:35

WESTON - Rita Case wears many hats, literally and figuratively.

She's the President and CEO of Rick Case Automotive Group, a generous philanthropist, and now, a cover model. She's the 2024 TIME Dealer of the Year.

"It's the most prestigious recognition across all brands. All 17,000 dealerships are reviewed. One person, one dealer is chosen every year for the past 55 years," Case explained. "No other award for auto dealers matches this award."

Case has been around cars her entire life. Her parents owned a motorcycle repair shop in California and then a Honda dealership where she worked even as a child. She met her husband Rick through the industry.

Together, they built a lasting legacy and a name for herself as someone who's changing the car-selling game.

"Most dealers back in the 60s, 70s, 80s even the 90s, really were family owned and operated," she said. "Ninety-nine percent of the dealers were men. It's been a slow transition for women to be leaders in the auto industry."

She supports important causes including the American Cancer Society, the Boys and Girls Club of Broward County, PACE Center for Girls, Rick's Bikes 4 Kids, and the Soles 4 Souls 4 Every Kid initiative, which recently provided students with brand new shoes.

"I can go on and on about the philanthropy and helping anyone that's willing to help themselves with a hand up and it starts with education," Case said.

She is also a willing teacher and mentor. Adrienne Bono is the General Manager at Rick Case Honda.

"Being a woman in automotive, it was difficult. In all the other stores, they wanted to make a man out of you. And when I came over here it was different," Bono said.

Adrienne describes Case as "wickedly brilliant." She says she's been a constant cheerleader who is truly invested in everyone's career success.

"I think in your career you need something to emulate and look up to and I had Rita," Bono said. "She has a totally different approach to the automotive industry and really made me feel that being a woman is a superpower."

Case said while the cars have changed a lot over the decades, the business has not. It's still all about people and she says she loves people.

"Breaking barriers is what I've always done," she said. "If you want to break barriers no matter what they are, just educate yourself. That gives you confidence in your field, then you can challenge yourself to take risks."

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