Special Coverage

NADA Convention & Exposition

SAN FRANCISCO – Tamara Darvish, who fought for dealer rights on Capitol Hill after a massive termination of dealerships, receives Manheim’s woman of the year award.

“Tamara is a shining example of an outstanding leader, role model and tireless advocate for our industry,” says Manheim CEO Dean Eisner, citing Darvish’s contributions to the auto industry, education and charities.

He presented the award at Northwood University’s annual breakfast during the National Automobile Dealers Assn. convention here. Darvish is a graduate of Northwood’s dealer-management program.

She is executive vice president of DARCARS, a dealership group founded by her father. Based in Silver Springs, MD, the 35-franchise group had $773 million in revenue in 2009. It ranks No.26 on the Ward’s Megadealer 100.

Joining the firm 26 years ago, Darvish has held positions in nearly every department, including sales, service, accounting, finance and collision repair. She now oversees daily operation of all departments.

But it was her work outside the family firm that garnered her national attention as a dealer advocate. Darvish co-founded a group that fought the way General Motors and, especially, Chrysler terminated thousands of dealerships in 2009 and 2010 as part of a post-bankruptcy reorganization plan.

Her efforts included testifying before Congress, which ultimately enacted legislation requiring third-party arbitration for dealers.

“Tamara’s passion for representing industry concerns, her dedication to lifelong learning and commitment to giving back to her community are qualities to be admired,” Eisner says. “We can all learn and be inspired by her many accomplishments.”

Says Darvish: “I have the pleasure of working with countless colleagues who love the automotive industry just as much as I do, and who give their time and resources to improve their communities.”

An operator of auto auctions in the U.S. and abroad, Manheim is a major automotive remarketing firm. Its Barbara Cox Anthony Automotive Woman of the Year Award is named for a member of the family that owns Cox Enterprises, Manheim’s parent company.

Barbara Cox Anthony was an advocate of career opportunities for women “and for everyone, really,” Eisner says.

As part of the award to Darvish, Manheim will make a scholarship contribution to a deserving Northwood student.

sfinlay@wardsauto.com