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At an early age, Mr. James Ryan decided to make the automotive business his life’s work. It began in 1945 when he took a position with Chevrolet Motor Division. That lasted 12 years until Mr. Ryan teamed with another legend of the North Dakota automotive scene – Leonard Rydell.
In 1957, Mr. Ryan joined Rydell Chevrolet in Grand Forks as its General Sales Manager and later, General Manager. He would work with Mr. Rydell for almost 17 years until, in late 1973, Auran Chevrolet in Minot became available. Mr. Ryan moved with his wife, Anne to Minot to assume control of the newly named Jim Ryan Chevrolet.
Under Mr. Ryan’s leadership, the dealership blossomed. Beyond the obvious physical alterations to the dealership, Mr. Ryan instilled in each and every employee a fervent commitment to unparalleled customer service. It was his responsibility to serve the people of Minot with honesty and integrity, day in, day out, without exception.
His commitment to customer-centric service was apparent to all, including his competitors and colleagues. It earned him recognition on a national scale when, in 1986, he was a regional finalist for Time Magazine’s National Dealer of the Year.
At the turn of the century, after a celebrated 27-year tenure at the half of Jim Ryan Chevrolet, Mr. Ryan retired, leaving the day-to-day operations in the capable hands of the third of his five daughters, Kathleen Gaddie.
Under Kathleen and Michael’s leadership, Ryan Family Dealerships thrived and expanded: first, by purchasing Neilson Stewart GMC in Minot in 2003, then acquiring a used car store in Williston, ND in 2005. In 2007 they purchased Williston Honda Chrysler a Honda Chrysler Dodge Jeep dealership and renamed it Ryan Motors.
Kathleen, continuing in her father’s footsteps, was also one of four national finalists for the 2010 Time Magazine’s National Dealer of the Year award.
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