PALM BEACH, FL - Eugene Ribakoff, former chairman of Automotive Management Inc., died April 9 at a local hospital in Palm Beach. He was 84.
His automotive career spanned 62 years, with multiple successful businesses in the automotive sector, including Automotive Management, Inc., a Worcester, Mass.-corporation that operates car and truck dealerships; AMI Leasing; and Harr Motor Companies. Ribakoff served for 55 years as chairman of Automotive Management. He spent his entire business career with this company and its predecessors before retiring from active business in 2001.
Ribakoff sold Harr Motor Companies to his son, Charles, years ago. Ribakoff and the late Leo Malboeuf bought the Harr family of car dealerships in 1948, and started AMI Leasing in 1952. The AMI Group of automotive leasing and rental companies was sold to Ford Motor Credit Company in 1998.
Ribakoff was also one of the founding members of the American Automotive Leasing Association (AALA), a national industry association composed of commercial automotive fleet leasing and management companies.
As a community leader, he served as chairman and president of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), the largest Jewish humanitarian aid organization in the world, from 2000-2008. He also served as chairman of the JDC's Eastern Europe Committee, JDC's Israel Committee, and the JDC Trans-Migrant Program.
Born Jan. 6, 1926 in Worcester, Mass., Ribakoff was a graduate of Case Western Reserve University.
Ribakoff is survived by his wife Stephanie, his son Charles, his daughter Betsy Sheerr, seven grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his wife Corky in 1998.
Services were held April 11 in Palm Beach, Fla. Contributions in his memory may be made to the JDC, 711 Third Avenue, New York NY 10017.