By DAVID THOME
Special to ADAMM

Jerry Cousin Jr.’s journey from car salesman
to car dealer took him from the East
Coast to the South Pacific, and from Dixieland
to the Land of Lincoln. He brought
his idea of treating customers like a sports
team’s “most valuable player” to the Milwaukee
area last year when he took ownership
of the former Boyland Honda store
in Greenfield and renamed it ALL-STAR
Honda.

All-Star Honda partners: Mark Wade, Jerry Cousin Jr., Jerry Cousin Sr., Jon Palmen.

All-Star Honda partners: Mark Wade, Jerry Cousin Jr., Jerry Cousin Sr., Jon Palmen.

“My wife Kirsten and I like the people
here,” he said. “Where we live, on the
north side of Kenosha, we get the best of
being in a smaller community, but also of
having Chicago and Milwaukee nearby for
what big cities have to offer.”
Cousin grew up in North Carolina. He
studied economics in college, but put his
degree on hold to sell cars. Twenty-three
years later he jokes about the length of his
one-year hiatus.
After he’d worked himself up through the
ranks to general sales manager in North
Carolina, he visited his parents, who were
living in Hawaii. That vacation turned into
a move to the Big Island, where Cousin
ran a Honda dealership that grew rapidly
and received the company’s President’s
Award — an honor claimed by only 15%
of all Honda stores.
His goal, though, was to own a store. An
opportunity presented itself in Alabama,
but when it fell through, Honda’s recruiters
recommended him to run a dealership
in northern Illinois. A year later, in
2010, he took the helm of a fast-growing,
President’s Award-winning, dealership in
Kenosha.
He sold his interest in 2013 and asked
Kirsten where she’d like to live next. She
listed five places — and Cousin said he
was astonished to see Wisconsin was
one of them.
“She’s a Hawaii girl, and we joke about
what the weather’s like here compared
to there,” Cousin said. “But she teaches
third grade in Racine, and has really
come to like the area and the people.”
Within a year, he entered into negotiations
to buy Boyland along with his father,
Jerry Cousin Sr., and local entrepreneurs
Jon Palmen and Mark Wade.