National Independent Automobile Dealers Association
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2015 Darla Booher

National Quality Dealer of the YearCarolina's Darla Booher Named 2015 NIADA National Quality Dealer

Darla Booher, president of Deal Depot in Greer, S.C., has been selected as the 2015 National Quality Dealer of the Year by the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association during NIADA's 69th annual Convention and Expo in Las Vegas.

In a ceremony broadcast live from Caesars Palace on NIADA.TV, Booher was chosen from the 20 State Quality Dealers nominated for highest honor given among NIADA's dealer members.

NIADA National Quality Dealer candidates are judged on a variety of factors, including contributions to the automotive industry and community involvement. A panel of judges from Northwood University selects the annual winner.

"Over the years, Darla Booher has earned an exceptional reputation not only with her customers and staff, but throughout her community and within our industry," NIADA executive vice president Steve Jordan said.

"Giving back to her community has always been a team effort for her and her staff. "Her rise from a struggling single mother to a successful businesswoman has been built on hard work, trust and integrity. As she tells her customers, 'I wouldn't sell you a car that I wouldn't put my grandchildren in.'"

Booher is the second woman to win the coveted award, joining 2002 recipient Wanda Lewark.

Booher built her business from zero – or very close to it. After years working for others in the car business, she set out on her own, using her savings, credit cards and a personal loan to open a dealership in Greer, S.C. When it opened in 2001, she had one employee and only 12 cars.

Now Deal Depot, a thriving Buy Here-Pay Here dealership, has an additional location in nearby Spartanburg, a related finance company and a towing and recovery company, an inventory of more than 100 vehicles and a staff of 18.

Booher became an NIADA Certified Master Dealer in 2007 and has been active in the Carolinas IADA, currently serving as the association's South Carolina vice president. She has earned a loyal customer base and has an outstanding reputation among her customers, staff and community, with a "dedication to putting people above profit," she said.

That philosophy also shows in Booher's charitable efforts and community involvement. She is active in the Sertoma (Service to Mankind) Club, supporting and volunteering at a free summer camp for disadvantaged children, as well as her involvement with the Miracle Hill Ministries Shelter, Carolina Community Works, Harvest Hope Food Bank, Greer Relief, Greer Community Ministries, Special Olympics South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind and many others.

She was instrumental in the planning, fundraising and building of a safe playground park named Kids Planet. She is also a sponsor of the Greer Fire Department's safety program and local youth sports teams. This year, she was a nominee for the Greer Chamber of Commerce's Citizen of the Year award.

"There were times when the generosity of others was the only way my family made it through hard times," Booher said. "During those times I vowed that one day I would pay it back by paying it forward, and it has been my pleasure to do so."