About Us…

jim edwards

Jim Edwards: Jim serves as the President of the Professional Dealers Institute after a decade as the Chief Staff Officer with another automotive trade association. He is a graduate of East Carolina University where he was a member of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. He has nearly 27 years of professional experience in the legislative affairs/lobbying arena and over 35 years of senior management experience in the for-profit and non-profit fields. He was the first chief executive of an automotive non-profit to meet the high standards to become a Certified Association Executive and he remains as the sole CEO (in the Independent Dealer circle)  to hold that prestigious professional designation. He has spoken at automotive events around the country on topics ranging from association governance, bankruptcy, insurance and undisclosed prior damage/diminished value and has been accepted as an expert witness in both state and federal courts on varying automotive topics. He has written hundreds of articles on the industry that have been published in various state and national publications around the country. He is an approved instructor and conducts dealer pre-licensing and continuing education seminars in the Carolinas.  He is a former Army Captain and Vietnam Veteran. jim@professionaldealers.org


Kat Messenger: Kat serves as the Vice President of the Professional Dealers Institute and as the President of Carolina Dealer Training, LLC. Kat holds a Master’s degree in education from the University of SC and has two-plus decades of professional training experience. Like Jim, she holds the Certified Association Executive designation and she remains as the only automotive trainer in the country with that prestigious designation.

She also holds the Certified Professional in Learning and Performance designation and stands alone among automotive trainers with that credential. Kat has trained over 10,000 current and prospective dealers and has developed curriculum for 5 states and has trained trainers on the delivery of pre-licensing and dealer continuing education around the country. She is widely acknowledged as the expert on federal compliance issues and is widely sought out as a consultant on such issues. kat@professionaldealers.org


Professional Dealers Institute (PDI) 
PO Box 1536 
Harrisburg, NC 28075 
704-654-5400     FAX: 704-918-4228