Cook Jeep Eagle Chrysler Plymouth Inc.
Ethel CookEthel Cook's life has been intertwined with Cook Jeep Eagle Chrysler Plymouth Inc.
She's named for her great-grand-mother, who was married to the founder, Robert Cook. She can remember working at the detail department of the dealership as young as 9. As a child, she walked to school from the dealership and walked back in the afternoon. She often played on the lot in downtown Little Rock until her mother or father took her home in the evening.
"My brother [Roger, who shares the president and CEO titles] and I worked in the business every day they would let us," Ethel Cook says. "When we were younger, we used the dealership as our playground. That's how we both developed a love for it."
After college, the 39-year-old Ethel Cook bought a Jeep and, to her father's dismay, drove more than 2,500 miles to Honduras and spent two years helping a friend on a farm in that Central American country.
When her parents retired in 1989, she and her brother acquired the dealership. Roger focuses on operations - the parts, service and body shop departments. Ethel Cook's forte is sales, accounting and marketing.
Last year, the dealership took on the Chrysler-Plymouth lines. It has already implemented the requirements for Project 2000, Chrysler's guidelines for every dealership by the year 2000.
In the past five years, the dealership has tripled in size, Cook says.
"It seems like the more competition we have, the bigger and better we get," Ethel Cook says. "Competition has been very healthy for the Cooks."
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