Grask started his truck career in 1973 as a parts counterman and service writer for an Illinois dealership, and later served as a GMC truck sales engineer. In March 1975, four months after the oil embargo, George's father, Stephen, was running a dealership in Des Moines. He offered George the chance to take over the troubled Cedar Rapids GMC truck center, and in July 1976, at the age of 24, George became the dealer principle. In 1983 he and his father opened Quad City Peterbilt, which went from selling 30 Peterbilts a year to 440 last year.
The winning dealer serves as the spokesman for truck dealers throughout the nation and will meet, on their behalf, with congressional leaders. The truck dealer of the year also becomes an honorary member of the ATD committee, and will hold the title of dealer-in-residence at Indiana University, where he will have the opportunity to be guest speaker at their business school.
A team of judges from the Indiana University Graduate School of Business evaluates all nominees on the basis of excellence in business practices, industry contributions and community leadership. The judges first select four finalists, and choose the Dealer of the Year from those finalists.
The other three finalists were Kenneth Nichols, president, Nichols Ford and Sterling Trucks, Fort Worth, TX; Ed Olson, president, Trucks of Bismarck, Bismarck, ND; and Dick Kane, president/CEO, Grande Truck Center, San Antonio, TX.
For more about Grask, as well as insights from all the nominees, see the next issue of Heavy Duty Trucking or Truck Sales and Leasing.