NewsCovering Colorado


Automotive giant and philanthropist Jay Cimino dies

Posted at 9:47 PM, Feb 25, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-26 00:38:11-05

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado — A familiar face to generations in Southern Colorado has passed away. Gerald "Jay" Cimino, the Chairman of the Phil Long Dealerships Board of Trustees died peacefully Saturday evening at his home in Colorado Springs surrounded by his family.

Cimino, 87, was a trailblazer in the automotive industry. Viewers likely remember his many television commercials delivering the tagline "Colorado Drives Phil Long."

He joined Mr. Phil Long as a partner and general manager of a single Ford dealership in 1975. The company would later grow under Cimino's leadership to become the largest privately owned automotive group in Colorado.

He retired recently as President and CEO of Phil Long Dealerships after 49 years of service. In addition to his many business accolades, Cimino was also a generous philanthropist.

He established the Mt. Carmel Veterans Service Center and Mt. Carmel Wellness and Community Center. He also created the Phil Long Community Fund, which joined with the Denver Broncos Charities to build 12 fantasy playgrounds, two skate parks, and one football field in Colorado.

Cimino also established the Trinidad Community Foundation in his hometown and was deeply involved with the Pikes Peak United Way, Catholic Charities, and the renovation and expansion of the Marion House.

Company President and CEO Kevin Shaughnessy said in a news release Sunday the entire Phil Long Enterprise family mourns this loss.

"On behalf of our Board of Directors, management team, and employees, we extend our deepest sympathies to Jay's family," Shaughnessy said.

"Jay was a larger-than-life figure who brought his remarkable passion, experience, and vision in growing Phil Long Dealerships to be among the most respected and recognized brands in the automotive industry."

A celebration of life ceremony for the community to attend will be organized in the coming week.

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