BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (Oct. 19, 2011) -- Commercial truck dealer Dick Ryan of South Carolina recently visited Indiana University's Kelley School of Business as a guest lecturer, an annual honor bestowed on the winner of the Truck Dealer of the Year presented by ATD and Heavy Duty Trucking magazine. For 19 years, professors at IU have helped select the top dealer. The award's recipient is invited to Bloomington to speak to students about entrepreneurship and how to run a successful business.
This year Ryan, president and CEO of Carolina International Trucks in Columbia, S.C., spoke to two classes of undergraduates studying growth management and corporate entrepreneurship. Ryan led his dealership to profitability just one year after becoming its CEO as the business was exiting bankruptcy. Since then, the company has been profitable each year, substantially improving its net worth.
Ryan shared some of the keys to the dealership's success, including developing a strong, loyal team of employees that share his vision, concentrating on areas of the business that improve business operations (such as parts, service and leasing) and giving back to their community. Ryan also urged the undergraduates to become "students of the industry" they choose to pursue and always "understand the audience you're selling to."
"I tried to explain to them that no matter what you're doing, you're always selling something," Ryan says. "And you need to understand what's important to them."
Under Ryan's leadership, Carolina International Trucks has earned several industry awards, including International's Dealer of the Year in 2003, Blue Book Used Truck Group's Franchised Dealer of the Year in 2004/2005, Idealease's Idealgold award 12 times, and Navistar Financial Corp.'s President's Award 17 times.
Founded in 1970, the ATD division of the National Automobile Dealers Association is the only national organization representing dealers selling and servicing new medium- and heavy-duty trucks. For more information, visit www.ATD.org
NADA Public Affairs
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NADA Public Affairs
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