Jim Hudson Automotive Group
Jim Hudson Toyota-Scion
Irmo , SC
Overall Rank for 2012: 91
For Jim Hudson Auto Group, faith isn't just for Sundays.
That's why the dealership group has a corporate chaplain to help employees during the workweek.
Stephen Acree has been associated with Jim Hudson Toyota-Scion for the seven-plus years since it opened in suburban Columbia, S.C. Contracted through Corporate Chaplains of America, Acree visits each of the auto group's dealerships at least one day a week and is on call for spiritual or emotional crises.
"It is a stressful time for our industry and life in general," said Dave Ellison, the auto group's customer relations manager. "As a Christian businessman, Mr. Hudson thought he should offer this to our employees."
Acree, an ordained minister, officiates at weddings and funerals and makes hospital visits to tend to the sick.
He was at the bedside throughout the final days of a cancer struggle of a longtime employee.
"He comes and visits, asks how everyone is doing. It's nonintrusive and all confidential," Ellison said.
Hudson's spiritual orientation extends to his business hours. His stores are closed on Sundays, even though the competition is open.
"Our chief Toyota competitor is open from noon to nine on Sunday," Ellison said. "We lose some business because we're not open, but it's OK. We've had many people say they bought from us because of it, too."
Citing a quote from a longtime mentor, Ellison said, "If you can't do it in six days, don't try it in seven."
-- Mark Rechtin