Jayson Newman | Lujack's Used Car Center, Davenport

My name is Jayson Newman, I'm the general manager of Lujack's Used Car Center and Lujack Kia/Mazda. I started with Lujack's in February of 1997. I started out as a college intern: starting this job until I found my real job and, lo-and-behold, 21 years later I still haven't found that real job so I'm here now and loving every minute of it.

Over the years, I've seen a lot of changes from early on even before Gurley Leep bought the store where we were a one-price store and kind of the the experience the one-price offered for customers to later on and working for Gurley Leep and many of the different things that Mike Lee Senior and Junior have doen for the company to the point of really trying to make it a world-class sprint for the employees and even to the here and now where I've been part of the Executive Team here at Lujack's where I'm involved in a lot of the things that we try to do for our employees to really make this an experience and a place for them to be proud of and want to work at.

I'm actually really impressed in the way we keep track of all of this. In fact right now we've got a trip to Vail, Colorado going on, I probably had two or three of my salespeople get back from Cancun in the middle of January, I've got our sales manager going to golf here at the end of this month down in Florida, I myself was on a trip to Cancun not too long ago, we did a trip to Whisting Streets not too long ago, we had a bunch of people at Bruno Mars not too long ago when it was going on. So you can almost count on there's at least an incentive trip every month or every other month and they're not little: this one to Vale is sending 48 people to the one to Cancun sent 40-some people to as well so Mike makes it his personal mission to make these trips be something that our people won't do for themselves: to really go above and beyond and make it a memorable experience for our employees.

I mean, I think a couple things; we need to offer those incentives like that it's important: one: it's looked at as above and beyond meaning it's, you know, we want to pay our people really well and then offer even that to our top performers on top of the good pay. So it becomes an incentive, you know, to where your peers are going on it, you want to be part of it even if there's some trip that you're not that interested in, so maybe golf or something like that, you want to win it because you want to show your peers that you can perform at a level of theirs or better. And the peers aren't necessarily just at Lujack's, they may be at some of their other stores at times, too. Like we compete as general managers with many of our other stores in Indiana and Des Moines and such so there's always that good healthy level of competition going on between them, but there's a lot of us that, in some way or another, have been affected by one of their incentive programs at some time or another.

I love to golf, I have three daughters: I have a 12-year-old, I have a 15-year-old now, and an 18-year-old, so we're getting ready to go through high school graduation for the first time and all three of my daughters are softball players so we spend a lot of time in the spring, summer, and into the fall with softball, either playing, I coach it as well, playing it, two of my three are pitchers so a lot time spent practicing pitching on top of everything else that comes with softball so it's one of those things where it almost becomes a family affair: it's kind of what we do for our weekends, or for our Sundaysl, or that kind of thing, it's just what we get to do as a family.

I haven't always been in the car business: at least for my adult life. I think about if I wasn't how I'd be comfortable making the decision to buy from someplace or somebody or the type of car. And I think, you know, when you look at how a person's purchase decision happens it happens once you like, know, and trust the person you're dealing with and then once those things are there: the like, know, and trust part, but then you'll have to listen to them and as you listen to them, at that point you can make a good decision and I think that's a customer service piece, that "like, know, and trust," if you don't get to that point with somebody just somewhere before that, you know, it becomes a standoffish situation, I can't think of a time that I've completed a transaction in the car industry or any industry when I didn't get to some form of the "like, know, and trust" situation before that decision was made.

So I think, hey, when you're working with someone in the car industry, you know, there's a stigma out there for the most part and I think I've been around for a long time--there's an awful lot of really, really good people in our company and in our industry there are, fortunately. You know, as an industry, we've earned every bit of any bad signal we've gotten over the years, but I think a few have ruined it for the masses in many cases there so I would say when it comes to, you know, I know it's hard to keep everybody happy but we always want to sell a quality car to a person that's going to run for as long as they want it to to get what they paid for. I understand it doesn't always wear exactly like that but certainly, on our end of it, we want to do everything we can to make it a great experience and a great economical decision for the customer as well.