Coles became a dealer in 1976 when he opened Wyoming Peterbilt in Casper. A decade later he added Western Peterbilt. Today, his operations include a lease and rental division, nine service locations, three body shops, a full frame/axle facility, a refuse systems division and insurance services.
He structured a new system of branch stores, locating them close to his customers, and has installed computers in customer locations linking them to his dealership parts department.
Active in numerous industry associations, Coles has shared his innovations with other dealers. He has won 19 awards of excellence from Peterbilt and its parent company, Paccar Inc.
Community services include his involvement in causes for underpriviliged children, to which he contributes both time and funding.
Candidates for the Dealer of the Year award are judged by the Indiana University Kelly School of Business, where the winner will lecture this year.
Runnerup for the award was William K. Reilley Sr., president of Lakeside International Trucks, Brookfield, WI.
Other nominees were Charles K. Bowen, president/CEO, Around The Clock Freightliner Group, Oklahoma City; Frank Goodpasture III, president, Goodpasture Motor Co., Bristol, VA; John B. Prince III, president, Prince Truck Center, Tifton, GA; and Jon W. Pritchett, president/CEO, Naxtran Corp., Lake Butler, FL.