For 18 years, professors at Indiana University have helped select the Truck Dealer of the Year. As the award recipient, the winner is invited to Bloomington to speak to students about entrepreneurship and how to run a successful business.
This year, Saum, who is chairman of the board of Beltway Companies, LLC, in Baltimore, Md., spoke to two classes of undergraduates studying growth management and corporate venturing. Saum is well qualified to speak on both subjects, having led his business through a period of extraordinary growth from one location to six, now employing more than 160 people.
Saum began his career with International Harvester Company, where he held several management positions. He joined Beltway International as the general manager in 1984. He quickly grew the dealership's sales and in 1997 he bought out the owner to become dealer. Since then, Saum has invested more than $20 million in his market.
Saum spoke to the business students about his strategies for success, including believing in your vision, aligning priorities, and taking care of employees. Saum's focus on his employees through reward and responsibility sharing programs was one of the reasons the Kelley business faculty picked him for the Truck Dealer of the Year award. His commitment to top-notch customer service was another.
"Mr. Saum's continual focus on improving customer service underlies his dealership's strength and growth in its markets," says Lynn McGee, chair of the 2010 Truck Dealer of the Year selection committee. "His story is a testimony to the power of commitment, vision, risk-taking and effective communications."
Read more insights from Saum and the other 2010 Truck Dealer of the Year nominees in the May 2010 article, "Rising from Recession."