CHICAGO -- Adam Arens sported a smile the size of Maine.
Three years ago this month, on a similar-size stage in a ballroom just off Lake Michigan, Arens stood beaming as his enthusiastic, creative and car-crazy team from Patriot Subaru in pint-sized Saco in York County, Maine, collected one of our first Best Dealerships To Work For awards.
Last Wednesday night, he was front and center again.
"This," Arens said, "is just the validation for everything we do. Happy places mean happy customers."
What a concept.
Arens and his team crank out nearly 1,500 new-vehicle sales a year with a staff of 57 -- but they really want to be a best place to work. This year they made the Best Dealerships list for the fourth time, a feat achieved by only 10 dealerships in our annual ranking of the best places since 2012. But nothing is taken for granted.
"Every year we learn how to do things better," said Arens, president of Patriot Subaru. "Every year we work hard to improve."