Jason Pickering, 39
General manager, Crest Nissan
Achievement: Led dealership to Berkshire Hathaway Automotive Honors title
Jason Pickering has combined hard work and a positive attitude to propel the dealership he leads to impressive numbers and recognition.
"I feel you have two choices every day when you wake up," he said. "You can be positive, or you can be negative. And when you're positive, you can still have a bad day, but the odds are a lot less that you and your team are going to have a bad day."
Pickering most recently took his team at a new open-point Nissan dealership in Frisco, Texas, to a very positive place. The store beat sales objectives by 175 percent and has maintained one of the highest sales and service satisfaction scores in Nissan's Central Region.
In its first year, in 2015, Crest Nissan earned the Berkshire Hathaway Automotive Honors title, which allows it to use the company name in advertising and media platforms.
Pickering is a devotee of a Warren Buffett management philosophy that says it takes 20 years to build a good reputation and just five minutes to tear it down. "I live every day by Mr. Buffett's quote and run my dealership the same way," he said.
Pickering began as a car salesman just out of high school. Before his current post, he was the director of a pre-owned lot for Infiniti and Cadillac in the same dealership group, where he doubled volume and profit in three years. He also earned a coveted spot at the Van Tuyl Dealer Academy. (Berkshire Hathaway acquired the Van Tuyl Group in March 2015.)
The father of five said there is no job too small for him at the dealership, including working a shift at someone else's desk so that person can have two days off with family.
"The three most important elements in a dealership are people, people, people," Pickering said, quoting the former owner of the dealership group, Larry Van Tuyl.
In the fall, Pickering will reach another longtime goal: becoming managing partner at the dealership.