June 2, 2015, Klein Honda – Steve Klein, Klein Honda, Everett, received the “Robert P. Mallon Dealer of the Year” award on May 14 at the Washington State Auto Dealers Association (WSADA) annual convention. Selected by a committee of his peers, the award recognizes Steve’s contributions to the auto industry, quality dealership operations and outstanding community service.
Steve is deeply connected to Everett and the greater Snohomish County – he attended school in the area, built a business from the ground up, and now actively supports the community that helped him succeed.
Although his father at one time owned the local Ford dealership, Steve didn’t take over the family business. Instead, while still a senior at Cascade High School, Steve and his older brother bought the local Honda motorcycle dealership which had gone bankrupt. A few years later, his brother decided to leave the business and Steve was faced with a decision: sell the company or run the business independently. He decided to stay and in 1974, Steve added the Honda automobile franchise. At just 23 years of age, Steve became the 132nd Honda auto dealer in the United States.
“I thought I knew everything,” Steve said. “Yet I soon realized I knew nothing. I had zero experience. So I worked hard, read a lot, and most of all, drew from three things my parents taught me growing up: be honest, work hard, and don’t be afraid to ask questions of people who’ve been down the road before you.”
He took his parent’s advice and with the help of outstanding employees, the dealership has had great success and growth, expanding to larger facilities several times over the past 40 years. Along the way, Steve discovered the satisfaction of giving back – and give he did to a variety of organizations including the Professional Automotive Training Center at Shoreline Community College.
Today, Steve continues his community philanthropy with Carol, his wife of 16 years, and a former speech therapist and administrator for the Mukilteo School District. They share a passion for helping others and together serve as co-chairs of Friends of Providence, an organization which benefits Providence Regional Medical Center Everett. Steve and Carol are honored to also support the following organizations: Red Cross, YMCA, Imagine Children’s Museum, Schack Art Center, Village Theater, Mukilteo School Foundation, Housing Hope, and Hospice.
In recognition of all that Steve and Carol do for their community the Association made a $1,000 contribution in his honor to the Providence General Foundation.
“As a longtime, loyal WSADA member, committed to serving his industry, customers, and community, we consider this contribution to be a particularly meaningful way to celebrate Steve’s receipt of our Association’s most prestigious award,” said Vicki Giles Fabré, WSADA Executive Vice President.
The award is named for former Tacoma dealer Robert P. Mallon who was WSADA President in 1966/67, is a past President of the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), served 30 years as Washington State’s NADA Director, and is founder and Chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Charitable Foundation.
Founded in 1920, the Association’s 293 dealer members serve 70 cities and towns across Washington and are responsible for annual sales volume totaling over $13.2 billion. Together, they employ over 20,000 people with a combined payroll of more than $1.08 billion. Their dealership sales total 13.4% of the state’s retail sales, generating hundreds of millions of dollars of tax revenue for state and local governments through sales, corporate, and payroll tax revenue.