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F&I Dealer of the Year

Software & Technology

Get Inside Pro Chrysler Jeep’s March to Victory

March 2008, F&I and Showroom - Feature

by Joan Shim - Also by this author

If he had it his way, John Schenden’s business card would say “team captain” rather than owner of Pro Chrysler Jeep. And after hearing him describe his approach to managing his Denver-based business, one quickly understands why.

As a leader, Schenden doesn’t unilaterally devise plans and practices his staff is forced to carry out. Instead, he invites all his employees to be part of the decision-making process, even if they’re not directly impacted by the decision. That’s why most improvements and changes at the dealership are made as a team effort. It’s a strategy for success, he says.

“Everyone in the dealership is responsible for participating in the decision-making process. So everybody takes ownership,” says Glen Tuscan, owner of Dealer Commitment Services, an independent agency representing CNA National. “Decisions are well thought out, planned and executed. And because everyone is involved in the decisions, they all buy into them and commit to them long term.”

That’s why Schenden leans on his staff to glean maximum insight prior to making decisions or prior to changing the way things are done.

“If we have a service issue, I want people from the business office, sales, parts and service talking about it. Why? Because some people see things — even though it’s not part of their department — that are important,” he says.

At the same time, Schenden supplies the vision and wisdom required to motivate and mobilize his people.

“He has a management skill that’s beyond anything I’ve ever seen,” Tuscan says. “I leave every meeting I have with him feeling inspired, and I’ve been doing business with him for more than 15 years.”

Schenden’s business skill and integrity are widely recognized. “John is the quintessential entrepreneur who combines tremendous business acumen with professional flair,” says Mark Korman of the Denver Business Center for Chrysler Financial. “His hallmark is having a keen sense of business, understanding the knowledge and providing first-class customer service.

“This [F&I Dealer of the Year] award is the result of Pro Chrysler Jeep’s overall dedication to being customer-focused while upholding the highest of ethical standards,” Korman adds.

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