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The Best of the Best: Vote for MPN’s 2013 Dealership Superstar Finalists

These Superstars show innovation in their field, great compassion for their dealership and its customers, and remarkable salesmanship. Every year we consider many nominations, and we are proud to present the 2013 class of Dealership Superstars to you!

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At MPN, our annual Dealership Superstar program recognizes dealership
employees who embody that energetic spirit and beyond for their
customers. These Superstars show innovation in their field, great
compassion for their dealership and its customers, and remarkable
salesmanship. Every year we consider many nominations, and we are proud
to present the 2013 class of Dealership Superstars to you!

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As the nominations rolled in, MPN was deeply impressed by the amazing
stories that co-workers and customers across the country took the time
to tell. There were stories about employees who stayed late for
customers having trouble with their bikes, stories from customers about
their great experiences dealing with service technicians or salespeople,
and stories from employees about the selfless work they’ve done for
those in need financially, those serving overseas or even those who just
needed a little help getting on a bike.

MPN is proud to announce the Top Five nominees for the 2013 Dealership
Superstar. Across these nominations, we’ve noticed a trend. Many
Superstars attribute their success to the other people they work with in
the dealership. As nominee Dan Lavergne puts it, “All of us at the
dealership work as a team."

Check out each of the five nominees’ profiles in this article and at the end of the article you can vote for one of them today. You can also click here to vote for your favorite as well!

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MPN encourages you to vote early and
vote often. You can vote for your favorite finalist once a day now
through Oct. 4.


Rob Blair
Sales Lead, Colonial Harley-Davidson, Prince George, Va.
Years at Dealership:
5 1/2 

Nominated By: Don Hager

How does the nominee stand out as a Dealership Superstar?
Rob is the go-to guy for information, service-type questions, motorcycle
model advantages and all-around help. He goes the distance for his
customers by staying late, coming in early, delivering to people’s homes
— just about whatever it takes for the customer to be satisfied. His
referral rate is remarkable.

Share a specific story of how the nominee went above and beyond to provide superior customer service.
We had a female customer who struggled with her bike come into the shop.
Rob worked out a deal to get her a smaller bike with little or no loss
financially. He helped her customize the bike to her needs and then
worked with her to build her confidence for long distance riding. She
now rides 300+ mile trips with no problems and she is now starting to
encourage other riders by sharing her story of overcoming the obstacles
to motorcycling. She credits Rob with helping her with her total
motorcycle confidence and experience. He does this for everyone whether
they are his customers or not. 

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From the Nominee:

What’s special about your dealership?

Colonial Harley-Davidson has been open 10 years and it has received a
Bar and Shield award every year that we have been eligible. We received
the 2010 Platinum Bar and Shield award. Colonial is a true family-oriented
dealership where customers are family and everyone is welcome. I am
blessed to be an employee of such a dealership and enjoy going to work
every day.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve ever faced working at the dealership?

It’s a challenge to balance the time it takes to be a single father,
coach my son’s baseball team and be a customer-dedicated salesman.


What is the most rewarding experience you’ve had working at the dealership?

A 17-year-old girl came into the store to help buy her father his first
Harley. Her mother was completely disabled and her father worked full
time and took care of the two of them. She was buying the bike for her
father for Christmas. They both had been in the store several times and
he felt like the bike was completely out of reach. You could see the
longing on his face, but tried to not show it in front of his young
daughter. The look on his face when he saw the bike with a big red
ribbon and his whole family gathered around it was amazing. That
experience brought many of us to tears. Four years later, his daughter,
brother and him still come in to the shop and there’s a bond between us
that I will never forget.


Tell us a little about your life beyond the dealership, other interests, family, hobbies, etc.

I am married to an amazing woman who I met at the dealership. My
15-year-old son is now employed for the summer at the dealership washing
bikes and performing general maintenance. Together we enjoy riding,
football games, baseball, the beach, the mountains, camping, bowling and
shooting.

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What do you ride?

2010 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Custom, 1948 HD chopper.


If money were no object, what would you ride?

1948 Harley chopper.

Is Rob Blair your favorite MPN Dealership Superstar? Vote for him here today!


Bryan Blanott

Parts Manager, Frazier’s Harley-Davidson
Buford, Ga.

Years at Dealership: 14
Nominated By: Lisa Rush

How does the nominee stand out as a Dealership Superstar?
He knows so much but doesn’t come across arrogant at all. He is always
helpful to customers and employees alike. I always see him talking to
every customer as they come in the dealership, and it looks as though
he’s friends with everyone who comes in the dealership.


Share a specific story of how the nominee went above and beyond to provide superior customer service.

I had an instance where I had a warranty issue with my bike, and the
service department wasn’t too helpful. He caught wind of it and
immediately called me to ease my mind and to make sure I knew that he
was going to follow through to the end to make sure I was taken care of.
I felt personally protected by him. I’ve told this story to other
people and they started chiming in about how he’s done the same for them
in the past. Amazing individual! I know as long as he’s there that I
can always shop there and never have a worry in the world.

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From the Nominee:

What’s special about your dealership?
The special thing about our dealership is that it is a family
environment. That comes from the fact that it is owned by family as
opposed to a corporate atmosphere, and that mentality trickles down to
all the employees. We were once in a small building where everyone
crossed paths every five minutes, and that kind of feel hasn’t changed
now that we are in a facility five times larger.


What is the biggest challenge you’ve ever faced working at the dealership?

The biggest challenge I would say is trying not to buy everything in the
dealership. Rumors aside, I would say that the biggest challenge is
trying to evolve in an ever-changing retail environment. The business
changes as the customer changes, and you have to evolve with it or you
will be left behind. There are too many choices for the customer to
make, so it is an everyday job to build relationships and retain those
relationships on a yearly basis.


What is the most rewarding experience you’ve had working at the dealership?

The most rewarding experience for me would have to be helping a soldier
in Afghanistan build his dream bike while he was still deployed. We
worked with him through emails and communicated with his family. The
look on his face when he got back and came to get his motorcycle was
priceless. Just to know that we helped keep his mind off the job at
hand, if only for an hour or two a day, really made us all feel special.


Tell us a little about your life beyond the dealership, other interests, family, hobbies, etc.

My life outside the dealership is all about sports. I love going to
Atlanta Braves games and I get season tickets to the University of
Georgia football games (GO DAWGS) and also enjoy getting to Atlanta
Falcons games when I can.

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What do you ride?
A 2003 H-D Road King.


If money were no object, what would you ride?

A brand-new 2014 Street Glide Special.

Is Bryan Blanott your favorite MPN Dealership Superstar? Vote for him here today!


Denny Johnson

Business and Finance Manager, Beasley Honda Yamaha Kawasaki Suzuki
Ozark, Ala.

Years at Dealership: 5

Nominated By: John Beasley

How does the nominee stand out as a Dealership Superstar?

Denny has the drive to get out there and talk to people on the sales
floor. He goes the extra mile to get them financed. He always has the
sales floor clean and in line. I know when I take off, the store is
safe. Denny has won the Honda Council of Excellence four years in a row.
He always keeps our store ranked high with all four of the OEMs we
sell. Denny Johnson is the go-to man for the store. You could put him
under sales or finance because he does a great job in both of them!

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Share a specific story of how the nominee went above and beyond to provide superior customer service.

We once had a customer call us from another dealership’s parking lot
late one Saturday afternoon. Denny gave them a price over the phone and
beat the other store. Then, Denny waited for the customer to drive 45
minutes (by now, we have been closed for 30 minutes). Denny had the unit
ready when they pulled up, already sent in the credit application,
signed them up and made sure they knew how to operate everything before
they left. He ended up staying around two hours late for that family.
That family has come back and purchased two more units from Denny
because of the way he treated them that Saturday. We have customers call
all the time just to talk to Denny cause he will do everything in his
power to make them happy.

From the Nominee:

What’s special about your dealership?
It’s a laid back dealership. We’re not pushy with our customers at all.
We want to give them the best buying experience they could ask for. The
owner, Mr. Jerry Beasley, has been with Honda for 49 years as of Aug.
29, 2013, and over 20 years with Kawasaki and Yamaha. It’s a family
owned business with Mr. Beasley and his two sons, Bob and John Beasley.

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What is the biggest challenge you’ve ever faced working at the dealership?

When the market started dropping, it was hard to get the units moving
and people financed. I’m a big go-getter and I work hard on every deal
that comes across my desk.

What is the most rewarding experience you’ve had working at the dealership?

The first year and a half I was here, I tried so hard to become an
American Honda Finance Council of Excellence dealer and fell short. It
bothered me so much seeing the ranking and I was nowhere to be seen. I
worked harder than I have worked before to make sure I got it the next
year and I did. I have received it now four years in a row (‘09, ‘10,
‘11, ‘12) and stayed ranked first or second in my volume group.

Tell us a little about your life beyond the dealership, other interests, family, hobbies, etc.

I love spending time with my family and friends doing different things
like grilling out at my parents’ houses and taking my son and niece
roller skating on the weekends. I’m a big Florida Gators and New Orleans
Saints fan, so when they are on, I’m watching with some friends and
having some wings. Within the last couple of years, I’ve really got into
MotoGP and purchased a track bike to do a couple of track days a year.

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What do you ride?
Yamaha R6 and TW 200.

If money were no object, what would you ride?
A 2013 Yamaha R1 (blue and white) and Honda NC700.

Is Denny Johnson your favorite MPN Dealership Superstar? Vote for him here today!

Dan Lavergne

Finance Manager, Des Plaines Honda
Des Plaines, Ill.

Years at Dealership: 8 1/2

Nominated By: Dan Burdett

How does the nominee stand out as a Dealership Superstar?

Dan has an excellent relationship with all of our lenders. Last month,
we were the largest Honda dealer in our district by more than double the
dealer in second place. Dan easily accounts for a major portion of
these sales. Today more than ever, so much of our business is
finance-driven. I have had fellow dealers tell me that they cannot
handle and don’t know how to handle the volume of finance-driven
inquiries that they receive every day. We will gladly take them all. Dan
is a champion and a huge impact in our success.

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Share a specific story of how the nominee went above and beyond to provide superior customer service.

There are so many instances where Dan has shined. The best is when a
customer walks out of his office with a huge smile and says he was at
another dealer and they told him he was out of luck. Then those same
customers come back a year or two later and don’t even stop at the sales
desk. They go right to Dan, tell him what they need, and he gets it all
set. He is not only a great finance manager but also a great sales
person and a great guy.

From the Nominee:

What’s special about your dealership?

What can I say? I work for one of the largest Honda dealerships in the
Midwest and we have won the Council of Excellence five years straight.
We’ve been family operated for 30 years and … it gets better. All of us
at the dealership work as a team. We always do something for our
customers and have customer appreciation days three to four times a year
that includes a Christmas party for everyone’s family. I work 120
percent and try to get everyone approved for a loan that meets their
needs. No matter what their credit looks like I try because with a
little effort you’ll be surprised with the outcome. I have been in the
business for 30 years and have never been so happy to come to work like I
am when I come to Des Plaines Honda Motorcycles.

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What is the biggest challenge you’ve ever faced working at the dealership?

When the power went out at the dealership, we had to do the paperwork by
hand, the old-fashioned way. Regardless, I do anything to keep
customers happy.

What is the most rewarding experience you’ve had working at the dealership?
I have to say that every time a customer smiles when ringing the sales
bell leaving the dealership is a reward. Winning the five-year Council
of Excellence award was also great.

Tell us a little about your life beyond the dealership, other interests, family, hobbies, etc.
I have four great kids and five grandchildren who I love to help. I love
to help my beautiful wife. I do a little golfing and watch the Cubs and
the Bears no matter how bad or good they play. I go down to New Orleans
once a year if I can just for fun.

What do you ride?

I rode a lot in the past. When I was younger, I rode as a MP in the Army and rode a police bike HD.

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If money were no object, what would you ride?

A Honda VTX1300.

Is Dan Lavergne your favorite MPN Dealership Superstar? Vote for him here today!

 

 

John Marshall

Sales Manager, Montgomery Honda Yamaha
Montgomery, Ala.

Years at Dealership: 11

Nominated By: David Huneycutt

How does the nominee stand out as a Dealership Superstar?

John has exhibited exceptional skills in two departments. He started as a
salesperson and was moved to F&I manager where he became the No. 1
PPM salesperson in the country. Now he is sales manager and has taken
the dealership’s unit profits to new levels.

Share a specific story of how the nominee went above and beyond to provide superior customer service.

John ALWAYS goes the extra mile to get any deal bought and works with
every sales customer to ensure that they get the best deal possible,
including staying several hours late at any time.


From the Nominee:

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What’s special about your dealership?

The staff. We have a great working relationship between the different
departments, which is a struggle for most dealers I’ve been associated
with.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve ever faced working at the
dealership?
It was a challenge dealing with the tanking economy from the years 2008
to 2010. We had to make adjustments in staff levels and income
(including my own) for the ones left standing. That was as hard as it
gets.


What is the most rewarding experience you’ve had working at the dealership?

The list could be long, but probably my career. I came here as a
salesman in April of 2002 and have been the floor manager, finance
manager and currently the sales manager. Working at a place that has
given me career training and given me the opportunity to work my way up
the ranks has been awesome.

Tell us a little about your life beyond the dealership, other interests, family, hobbies, etc.
I am 34 years old and have a beautiful 3-year-old little boy. He is the
joy of my life. I also love the outdoors and spend my free time enjoying
God’s renewable resources. Hunting and deep-sea fishing are my hobbies.

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What do you ride?

Depends on my used inventory at the time!

If money were no object, what would you ride?
A RC211V.

Is John Marshall your favorite MPN Dealership Superstar? Vote for him here today!

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