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Moses Atkins gains recognition for its efforts in the community

Apr. 25, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Technically speaking, it was Ruth Lemmon who chose Barbara Moses Atkins to be West Virginia's 2013 TIME Dealer of the Year nominee.

But ask Lemmon, and she'll tell you that, "Barbara's reputation nominated her. I was just fortunate enough to do the paperwork," Lemmon, president of the West Virginia Automobile & Truck Dealers Association, said.

"She certainly deserves accolades for her industry and community contributions," Lemmon said. "It's a prestigious award that goes to people who aren't just excellent dealers but strong as it relates to community involvement."

Atkins, dealer manager at Moses Honda Volkswagen in Huntington, is one of a select group of 57 dealer nominees from across the country honored at the 96th annual National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Convention and Exposition in Orlando, Fla., in February.

In honor of her being recognized, Ally Financial donated $1,000 to a charity of Atkins' choice on Wednesday. She chose the Yeager Scholarship program at Marshall University, and donated a $1,000 match from the dealership.

"I'm on the board, and I feel it's a wonderful program for these outstanding young people selected," Atkins said.

The gift was much appreciated, said Lance West, vice president for development at the Marshall University Foundation.

"Barbara has (recently joined) the board and has really jumped in with her time, talents and treasures," West said.

She is a 1972 graduate of Huntington High and a 1976 mathematics graduate of the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. During high school and college, she worked in various capacities at the dealership founded by her father, Jackson F. Moses.

After college, Atkins worked for an oil company in Ashland before leaving to raise her three children. In 1994, she returned to the business world as manger of Moses Honda and added Volkswagen to the mix in 1997. Today, her two brothers and nephew also run dealerships under the Moses Automotive Group.

Her contributions to Marshall are among many of her community projects -- a big reason why she was chosen for the award, Lemmon said. In working with Atkins, it's apparent how involved she is in the community because conversations always sound something like, "I have a meeting at Marshall, and I have a meeting at the museum and I have a meeting here," Lemmon said. "She's very community oriented."

Atkins, 58, is a past chairwoman of the West Virginia Automobile & Truck Dealers Association and has served it in just about every capacity, Lemmon said.

Atkins also has served on the boards of the Hospice of Huntington, Huntington Museum of Art, Marshall University Yeager Scholars and the Marshall University Foundation. She has supplied a new car to a member of Marshall University's athletic coaching staff since 1995.