Courter earned a bachelor’s degree from Washington State University in Pullman in 1996 and graduated from the NADA Academy in 2000. His career in the retail auto business started in high school while doing various jobs around the dealership founded in 1980 by his father, Al. He later became a service advisor and began selling cars after college.
“I am where I am today through many years of good leadership training, not only from my father, but from a wonderful mentor, Mike Lavigne, our general manager,” Courter said. “I have worked alongside Mike, who I have known since I was 7 years old, every step of the way.” Today, the Courter Family owns and operates the Honda of Kirkland as well in Kirkland, Washington.
“My father operated under the principles of treating others the way he and all would want to be treated,” he said. “We have achieved success – and multiple President’s Awards from Honda – by employing the philosophy of high expectations, great customer service, sound business practices and happy team members.”
Courter is also a staunch advocative for the retail auto industry and has spearheaded grassroots efforts for the Washington State Auto Dealers Association, the Puget Sound Automobile Dealers Association and the American International Automobile Dealers Association (AIADA), for which he was named chair in 2020. He also serves his local dealer advisory group for Honda.
“I grew up with the idea that a thriving business is the result of a strong association with fellow peers, as well as partners,” he said. “And my father always taught me that you must give back to the community to make it a better place.”
To that end, Courter supports organizations, causes and initiatives that help lift his community and has created the Building a Stronger Community project, which recognizes a local, small nonprofit each month and promotes the group on radio.
“Getting the word out about the wonderful programs in our local community is a hard thing to do, but once grassroots endeavors take off and can reach individuals that care about similar causes, then you have the opportunity to spark more and more engagement,” he said.
One such organization is Bridge of Promise, which offers social, recreational and life skills opportunities for children, teens and adults with developmental disabilities. Other groups he supports include Northwest Harvest (hunger relief agency); Youth Eastside Services (counseling and behavioral health services for children and youths in East King County); the Bellevue College Foundation; Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound; Boys & Girls Clubs of King County; and Toys for Tots, to name a few.
Courter was nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year award by Vicki Giles Fabré, executive vice president of the Washington State Auto Dealers Association. He and his wife, Courtney, have two children, Hanley and Grace.