Economic Development Board of Directors
Jim Gesswein Age 73 Married to Sue
I have Son; Jimmy, and Step Sons; Tim & Kevin
A lifelong resident of Milbank, graduated from Milbank High School in 1961
Father was a franchisee for Oldsmobile, GMC Trucks, as well as Harley Davidson and three lines of farm equipment. Having spent my early days hanging out in Dad's Dealership I always had an interest in the business. Dad passed away shortly after my High School Graduation. At that time I was offered a job by Howard Sawrey selling Ford cars and Trucks for the local Ford Dealership (J.H. Drewelow) in Milbank. After five and a half years selling Fords, I borrowed $5,000 from my Uncle Ernie Gesswein and opened a used car lot in February of 1967. Shortly thereafter I borrowed another $5,000 from Ernie. Starting with a seven car inventory. As years went by I was fortunate enough to be able to work with the local Bank for inventory & retail sales financing. Over the years I have held franchises for Rupp Snowmobiles,Kubota Farm Equipment, Aeromate Vans. In 1974 I was awarded the Chrysler, Plymouth and Dodge Truck franchises In 1977 added the GMC Truck Franchise. In the mid 80's I added Renault, as well as AMC, & Jeep franchises. Today's inventory numbers around 350 vehicles. I currently have 29 employees, most long term (Brother John-50 years). I have always taken pride in saying we have a great selection at great prices and great service after the sale!!
Have served on the Chrysler/Jeep National Dealer Council for a number of years, Chairman of Minneapolis Chrysler/Jeep Dealer Council, Currently serving as South Dakota Representative on the Denver Chrysler Dealer Council. Served as Chairman of the Chrysler Jeep Advertising Assn for a number of years.
Have served on various local Boards over the years, A member of the Northeast South Dakota Healthcare Foundation for fourteen years, thirteen of which and currently as Chairman.