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Jim Barr

Jim Barr

Crest Acura and Crest Cadillac
Syracuse, New York

"I have worked throughout the Crest dealership organization, including service, parts, new-car sales and used-car sales. I believe one needs to have experience in all aspects of the business in order to best manage and coach other team members to their fullest potential."

“Looking back at a 21-year career in the auto business, it has been filled with both difficult challenges and gratifying successes,” nominee Barr said. “I look forward to the many opportunities that the future holds.”

A 1987 graduate of New Hartford Senior High School in New Hartford, New York, Barr earned a B.A. from Colgate University in Hamilton, New York, in 1991, where he was a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity. He also received an M.B.A. from New York University’s Stern School of Business in New York, New York, in 1997.

Although he had spent a few summers working at the Utica, New York, dealership owned by his father, Brian Barr, Barr pursued a career in investment management and private banking in New York City. After six years and after completing his M.B.A., he returned home and entered the family enterprise. “Business school fostered an entrepreneurial spirit in me, and I saw the potential to kindle this spark in the car business,” he said.

Barr and his father co-own Crest Acura and Crest Cadillac, both located in Syracuse. “I have worked throughout the Crest dealership organization, including service, parts, new-car sales and used-car sales,” Barr said. “I believe one needs to have experience in all aspects of the business in order to best manage and coach other team members to their fullest potential.”

Barr also attended the NADA Academy in 1998 to hone his dealership management skills. “My years of experience were greatly enhanced by the solid foundation that the academy provided me,” he said. “Without a working knowledge of the automobile business, dealership operators are bound to make more mistakes and waste unnecessary time and expense.”

Barr’s most meaningful civic achievement is contributing his time and leadership to the Syracuse Auto Dealers Association (SADA) Charity Preview, a gala fundraising event held each year at the opening of the Syracuse Auto Expo. Since 2010, he has served as either chairman or co-chairman of the gala. “This fundraising event has had tremendous impact on our community, as we have raised and distributed more than $3.6 million since its inception to local non-profit organizations,” he said. “We remit fully 100 percent of every $125 ticket to the charity of the attendee's choice, as a result of a spirited underwriting effort by the local SADA dealer body.”

As past president of SADA, Barr is proud of other dealer association contributions that help boost the community, including an awards program for outstanding auto technology students. In addition, Crest Acura and Crest Cadillac received a certificate of appreciation from the National Foundation for Teen Safe Driving for participating in the Love Drives Me campaign. Through the program, Crest dealerships secured a $1,500 grant from the organization to support the nearby Manlius Fire Department’s in-school initiative to prevent drunk and distracted teen driving. Barr has been an active member of St. Ann’s Church in Manlius, NY, serving as a Youth Group adult leader, missionary, lector, and religious education instructor.

Barr also generously shares his expertise and best practices through networking programs. He has been a member of the Syracuse Executives Association for more than 15 years and has served as a board member and president of the group. The association is comprised of non-competing Syracuse-area businesses that meet to exchange sources and generate new business.

Barr was nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year award by Robert Vancavage, president of the New York State Automobile Dealers Association. He and his wife, Dana, have three children.