Dodge Country Ltd.
Killeen , TX
Overall Rank for 2012: 73
For the majority of Matt Connell's 100 or so employees at his Dodge Country Dodge-Ram store in Killeen, Texas, service to country sometimes trumps service to the dealership.
As an employer near the U.S. Army's Fort Hood base, Connell is absolutely OK with that. In fact, he does whatever he can to make that decision easier for his employees with deep-rooted ties to the military.
Connell said that more than half of his employees are either retired military or are military spouses.
"You have to be a little bit flexible in allowing people the ability to be involved on the post," said Connell, the dealer principal. "If you have an employee that is an officer's wife, for example, you have to allow her the time to be involved on post because they have duties that they have to attend to."
In addition to flexible hours, the dealership and its employees support toy drives and food pantries for military families with both money and time. Connell said he uses his employees to scout out other ways his business might help out.
"I encourage my employees to find causes that I can support," Connell said.
To support its employees financially, Dodge Country has a savings plan match to help out during the holidays: Salespeople donate $5 per vehicle that they sell into a fund, and technicians put in 25 cents an hour, which the dealership matches and then distributes as a Christmas bonus.
The dealership also buys its employees lunch each Saturday as a way to say thanks.
-- Larry P. Vellequette