UH Mānoa alumna Kari Rihm, president and CEO of Rihm Kenworth in St. Paul, Minnesota, will be honored with an induction into the Minnesota Women Business Owners Hall of Fame on May 11, 2017. Founded in 1932, Rihm Kenworth is one the oldest Kenworth dealers in the U.S.
In 2010, Kari became president and CEO when her husband John lost his life to brain cancer within four months of diagnosis. With no experience and knowledge of the business, and a dealer contract that provided only 180 days for her to prove she could do it, Rihm jumped in and embraced the challenge.
It was a tough ride, but she not only persevered, she became one of only three dealerships owned and operated by women. Under her watch, the company changed courses, upgraded its technology, opened additional locations and dramatically increased revenues. In 2017, the company kicked off its 85th anniversary by acquiring Lawrence Leasing, a commercial truck leasing company in Minnesota, Wisconsin and South Dakota and announcing the building of two new facilities this coming year.