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Mary Pacifico-Valley

Mary Pacifico-Valley

Rickenbaugh Cadillac Volvo
Denver, Colorado

“Community service and active involvement has made me a better business leader, a better colleague and a better person.”

“I learned from my family and from my mentor, the late Kent Rickenbaugh, among many others, that the responsibility I had as an employer and as a good corporate citizen was to make serving others the single most important part of the business,” nominee Pacifico-Valley said.

A 1975 graduate of Westminster High School in Westminster, Colorado, Pacifico-Valley started her career at Rickenbaugh Automotive Group, first established in 1944, at the age of 19. “I would phone customers with friendly reminders for service updates and repairs, and work with salespeople to ensure they kept in contact with their customers” she said. Her hard work and dedication even at the lowest levels of the organization paid off, as she quickly advanced to tire department manager, service office manager, then to controller, and then to general manager.

In 2006, Pacifico-Valley became the full owner and president of Rickenbaugh Automotive Group – one of the few women in the country to lead a dealership group – which today also includes an Infiniti store in Dacono, Colorado.

Despite her busy work schedule and growing dealership responsibilities, Pacifico-Valley felt it was important to go back to school and earn her degree. She received a B.A. in business administration in 1984 and an M.B.A. in finance and accounting in 1990 from Regis University in Denver. She currently is a member of the university’s board of trustees.

“I started in sales and worked my way through each of the departments at the dealership, to eventually rise to owner and president,” she said. “I have realized just how important each one of these jobs is to the success of the dealership. This evolution has had an enormous impact on me and will continue to shape me as a worker and a professional.”

She attributes her success to sheer determination, education and always placing customers at the top of the organizational chart. Her dealership has been recognized by Cadillac and Volvo for its outstanding record in serving customers. In addition, Pacifico-Valley places a high value on her employees, offering them opportunities to further their professional development and education. “Of our 137 employees, more than one-third have remained with the company for a minimum of 10 years,” she said.

Pacifico-Valley has a deep connection to her community and is presently involved in organizations that are helping to shape the future of Colorado, from local neighborhood development to statewide advocacy, including the Golden Triangle Association, Downtown Denver Partnership and the Colorado Association of Commerce & Industry.

“I believe that my impact on the community, while I hope it continues to grow, has been significant,” she said. “Community service and active involvement has made me a better business leader, a better colleague and a better person.”

For her leadership and advancing women in business, Pacifico-Valley received the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013 from the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce. “I feel particularly blessed to have received it, as it really awards not only me, but all of those who helped me get here and it shows just how committed we all have been to this work,” she said. “I remain deeply humbled by this recognition.”

Pacifico-Valley was nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year award by Tim Jackson, president and CEO of the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association. Her husband’s name is Dennis Valley.