Hieu Thanh Vo

Age: 31
Senior sales manager
JM Lexus
Margate, Fla.

Hieu Thanh Vo was born in Texas shortly after his parents emigrated from Vietnam. They had survived several refugee camps and arrived in the United States with nothing but the clothes on their backs. No job was too menial for Vo's father to provide a better opportunity for his two sons and three daughters. The elder Vo passed along that drive and work ethic.

Hieu was pursuing a career in information technology when he decided that a good IT guy's resume includes sales experience. Hieu (pronounced "Hugh") started selling cars for JM Lexus, the best-selling Lexus dealership in the world, six years ago and hasn't looked back.

Whether it was the sales floor, the Internet department, pre-owned or F&I, Vo has broken all the dealership's records. Vo also was instrumental in creating the dealership's VIP program for loyal customers.

Using Auto Sales' data-mining software that informs salespeople when a customer has achieved an equity position in his car, Vo's VIP team generated 100 sales to repeat JM Lexus customers in its first month. Vo predicts repeat customers will soon outsell first-timers at the dealership.

"We were waiting for our customers to tell us when they were ready for a new vehicle. Instead of waiting, we wanted to know first," Vo said.

Craig Martinez, general sales manager at JM Lexus, says: "I wish I had 10 of him. I've never seen a better individual. He's been an achiever at every level. He's the hardest worker at the dealership."

Vo wants to keep moving up the ladder at JM, but he also expressed the desire to start his own customer-relationship software business, focusing on the auto industry.

"I live by teamwork and lead by example," Vo said. "The key to my success is to try to help others and have effective communication."

-- Mark Rechtin

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