Thomas “Lance” Wilson, General Manager of General Truck Sales & Service, Inc. in Memphis, Tenn., is one of five nominees for 2020 Truck Dealer of the Year – a national award that recognizes commercial-truck dealers for industry leadership, business performance and community service.
“I am honored to be nominated for ATD Truck Dealer of the Year. It wouldn’t be possible without the solid foundation laid by the two generations before me, the complete support of our dealer principal, and the hard work and dedication of the 51 employees who show up to work every day and get it done,” remarked Wilson about his nomination.
Wilson has spent his entire career working in or around dealerships, including seven years with agricultural and construction equipment manufacturer, Case Corporation and as vice president/relationship manager with GE Capital’s Transportation Finance Division. “My time at GE honed my direct selling skills while also increasing my knowledge of more complex financial models important to run a business through the entire cycle,” Wilson said.
In 2011, Wilson joined the family business, becoming a sales manager at his father-in-law Jim McCullough Jr.’s General Truck, a family owned and operated Volvo Truck dealer established in 1965.
Within the first year of Wilson’s tenure, General Truck more than doubled its’ market share with new truck sales growing by 146% and used truck sales grew 49%. After graduating from the ATD Dealer Academy in 2015, Wilson was named dealer successor and general manager, purchasing a minority interest in the dealership three years later.
Wilson is modest about his management and the dealership’s success, noting that an extended period of economic expansion has contributed greatly to General Truck’s increasing profits and market share. “I feel blessed to be a part of such a great industry and a great organization that provides a good living for our employees,” Wilson said. “I take the greatest joy in finding opportunities for people to learn, grow and provide a better living for their families.”
Wilson is involved in many charitable causes and fundraising events from volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House to supporting local youth sports to shuttling cars annually for the local Navy League Fundraiser. “I grew up in a rural community where helping out was a part of life that was second nature,” Wilson said. “At the same token, if ill fortune ever stepped foot at your door, there was no question of whether or not you had the support of the community.”
Following Hurricane Katrina, Wilson brought his trailer-mounted grill to the Jackson Coliseum to help feed refugees from New Orleans who had arrived at the Jackson Coliseum in the days after the storm. “[Relief workers] were overwhelmed by the amount of food that had been dropped off,” Wilson added, “However, they had 3,000 people and nothing was set up yet to cook for them.” Wilson and his church group set up a work rotation until official relief organizations were fully operational. “We were the first cooks for the first refugees of Hurricane Katrina,” he said.
The national Truck Dealer of the Year award is sponsored by ATD, Heavy Duty Trucking magazine and Procede Software.
The other nominees are Oscar Horton from Sun State International Trucks, LLC in Tampa, Fla., Tim Mitchell from Motor Truck Equipment Company / Kenworth of Pennsylvania in Carlisle, Pa., Jim Bland from TranSource, Inc. in Greensboro, N.C., and Scott Pearson of Peterbilt of Atlanta in Jackson, Ga.
The nominees were selected by ATD board members and dealer association executives. Professors from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business in Bloomington, Ind., will evaluate the nominees based on dealership performance, industry leadership and community service.
The winner and runner-up will be announced on Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020, during the 57th annual ATD Show in Las Vegas, which runs concurrently with the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Show from Friday, Feb. 14, through Monday, Feb. 17.
ATD, a division of NADA, represents more than 1,800 heavy- and medium-duty truck dealerships in the U.S.
For more information about the ATD Show, visit atdshow.org.
This is the second article in a five-part series featuring each nominee for 2020 Truck Dealer of the Year.