Scott Pearson, President of Peterbilt of Atlanta, LLC in Jackson, Ga,. 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.
“Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the honor of simply being considered,” Pearson said. “My only hope is that the interactions, guidance, and wisdom that was shared with me along the way was likewise imparted to those I have met. It has always been my goal to work hard and keep doing better every day.”
Pearson’s career in the commercial truck industry began in 1977 working as a materials manager followed by sales manager and eventually Western region parts manager at Cummins Engine Co. in Columbus, Ind. Over the following years, he climbed the sales ranks within Peterbilt Motors Co., becoming president of Peterbilt of Las Vegas in 2007 and Peterbilt of Atlanta in 2011.
“When we opened the doors to the new Peterbilt of Atlanta in March of 2011, we had one location in Kennesaw, a new dealership name, and a handful of employees. Our goal was to treat customers with a passion that had been absent for many years,” Pearson said. “It was not easy, but with determination and strong leadership from the entire management team, we began to see a change, and the potential for success.”
During the first 10 months under Pearson’s leadership, the dealership sold 253 new heavy duty and 97 medium duty Peterbilt trucks and total parts sales were just over $5 million. Today, Pearson’s team has sold 610 heavy duty and 147 medium duty Peterbilt trucks in the first 10 months of 2019 and nearly $24 million in retail parts.
In addition, Peterbilt of Atlanta has grown to include three full service locations in Kennesaw, Jackson and Gainesville, as well as two parts only locations in Conley and LaGrange.
“During all [my Peterbilt] roles, I tried to maintain personal relationships with the many dealers, vendors, and customers I met along the way,” Pearson said. “There were lessons to be learned from each and every interaction. It is these relationships which have helped shape me, and our Peterbilt of Atlanta organization.”
Over the course of his 40-year career in the commercial trucking industry, Pearson has lived in eight different communities and participated in a number of local organizations, including Rotary Clubs, Optimist Clubs, Boy Scouts of America, 4-H programs and coaching youth athletic teams. “My goals have always been to be a responsible citizen and provide participation – if not leadership in civic endeavors,” he said.
Since its founding, Peterbilt of Atlanta has been a proud sponsor of local youth softball, baseball and football programs and participates annually in multiple charity drives, including the Ronald McDonald House, Back Pack Buddies (providing meals for school children), and Caring for a Cause, a local charity that provides assistance to families with children suffering from chronic or terminal illnesses.
It was that connection with Caring for a Cause that led to Pearson and his team helping to transport dozen of hospice patients from Savannah when Hurricane Irma threatened the Georgia coast in September 2017, leading to mandatory evacuations.
“A Savannah hospice had no place to relocate their dozen patients out of harm’s way. [W]e learned of this situation and offered our large training room [at the Jackson dealership] as a singular site for the relocations,” Pearson said. “The patients and staff stayed on-site for about four days and were an inspiration to us all.”
Pearson and Peterbilt of Atlanta have been honored with multiple national distinctions from Peterbilt Motors Co., including three Platinum Oval Awards as well as the Service Excellence Award for the Southeast Region in 2016 and Best in Class Dealer of the Year in 2018—one of only six national dealers recognized annually for overall dealership performance.
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., Thomas “Lance” Wilson from General Truck Sales & Service, Inc. in Memphis, Tenn., Tim Mitchell from Motor Truck Equipment Company/Kenworth of Pennsylvania in Carlisle, Pa., and Jim” Bland from TranSource Inc. in Greensboro, N.C.
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.