I am PSTC - Jimmy Southard
More and more these days when new hires join the Peach State family, they reference the company’s “Why” as a major reason they were interested in coming to work there. While the organization has an impressive footprint of over 10 locations and 700 employees in two states, industry-leading brands and longevity that reaches back more than four and half decades, it’s Peach State’s interest in creating a positive difference in the lives of others that seems to draw people in—customers and employees. The same could be said for the new sales manager at the Jefferson, Georgia location Jimmy Southard.
“The ‘Why’ is one of the reasons I’m here,” said Jimmy who joined Peach State in early 2022. “I want to make a positive difference in the lives of customers and employees at work. I’ve never worked for a business with that kind of slogan. And it’s apparent that it’s more than a slogan, people act on it too. I actually called a lot of people that work at Peach State before I accepted the offer, and they said the same thing.”
Growing up, Jimmy remembers his dad working at trucking companies, but it’s not something he ever saw himself getting into. Jimmy says that he stumbled into the industry in 1996, taking a job as a parts warehouse manager at a Mack dealership in North Carolina. At the same time, he went to school at night, taking college courses in business and marketing. He soon scored a sales position where he gained experience dealing with lease accounts, municipal sales, and a regular sales territory. Of this period, Jimmy recalls how important it was to his professional growth that dealership leadership took a chance on him, even when he wasn’t sure if he was ready to settle into a career.
But then Jimmy’s career took off. He moved to Atlanta to manage an Arrow Truck Sales used truck dealership in 2006. Then he went out west to St. Louis to become an Arrow branch manager in 2014. Jimmy eventually found his way back to Georgia when he was recruited by MHC to be a truck sales manager and, then the branch manager of their Augusta location. In his branch manager positions, Jimmy enjoyed being able to utilize his parts experience and gain knowledge in service and other dealership departments. Under Jimmy’s leadership the Augusta store was able to grow the business it’s business year after year. In 2022 after being drawn in by the positive company culture, Jimmy joined Peach State as a sales manager.
Jimmy’s goal is to work with each salesperson individually to find out how he can help them better their careers while at the same time helping customers get what they need. He does huddles daily to get the team together because communication is key in his mind. Each salesperson is different, and he’s always looking to improve the dealership processes. In his first month at Jefferson, the sales volume was the highest it had been all year. “To me it’s all about sticking with the process, finding the right trucks, working with parts and service, and having a good product to sell.”
It's the part about finding the right trucks that can be the most difficult today. Jimmy makes a point to listen to his sales staff to see what the customers are looking for, and then they go out and try to find those trucks. Jimmy understands that the buyer of a used truck isn’t the same as a new truck buyer; the used truck buyer doesn’t always have a lot of experience. That’s where Jimmy and his team follow Peach State’s “Why”. They have the opportunity make a positive difference in the lives of someone who’s just getting started in the trucking industry and needs someone who can partner with them and be a resource.
Jimmy enjoys going to work every day because it’s always different, never stagnant. Outside of work, Jimmy spends most of his time with his family. He and his wife have two kids, and he’s always involved in their sports and activities. Jimmy’s daughter will be playing soccer at college next year, so he’s going to all games he can during her high school senior year. That’s what’s important to Jimmy right now, so it’s important to Peach State, too.
The ‘Why’ is one of the reasons I’m here. I want to make a positive difference in the lives of customers and employees at work. I’ve never worked for a business with that kind of slogan. And it’s apparent that it’s more than a slogan, people act on it too.
Sales Manager, Jefferson