2018 40 Under 40
COO, Del Grande Dealer Group in San Jose
Achievement: Building the group's staff to 1,200 employees, up from 200 when he joined in 2009
Jeremy Beaver brought a background in retail sales and digital marketing to Del Grande Dealer Group when he joined almost 10 years ago. That experience is paying dividends for the 17-store retail group based in San Jose, Calif.One of the group's hallmark features is its in-house technology center, called eSuite, which has grown substantially under Beaver.
Started with just two people, eSuite now has 27 employees producing videos of testimonials, vehicle walkarounds, dealer events and more for the group's various media channels.
Del Grande also has incorporated market-based pricing and data reporting for the group, and is developing an online retail platform, Beaver added.
"When we're building tech, what we're trying to do is increase productivity," he said.
Given Del Grande's location in Silicon Valley, the group is near the forefront of technology.
"We get to see a lot of different technology before it comes out," Beaver said. "Being able to build technology and collaborate with people in tech is a cool advantage."
As the group's technology skills get sharper, Beaver said the group wants to be nimble when it comes to the customers' wants."Part of our strategy is not focused on the time of the transaction of a car," Beaver said. "However the customer wants to do business, we have to have a process for that."When he graduated high school, Beaver's parents told him they'd pay for college anywhere he wanted to go. But the idea of college wasn't exciting to him at the time, he says. But that meant he had to go get a job.
He began working as a business development manager running a call center at a Dodge dealership in the Bay Area. It was there that he got a taste for putting in hard work in order to reap the financial rewards.Eventually Beaver rose up to director of sales there. "It became an opportunity to have fun every day," he said.He climbed the retail ladder quickly, but he made a career change. He moved to Jumpstart Automotive Media, a digital marketing company that deals with third-party leads and display advertising with online automotive enthusiast publications such as Car and Driver and Road & Track.
But the years of driving four hours from south San Jose to the tip of San Francisco and back every day eventually made Beaver decide to get back into retail, joining Del Grande in 2009. This time, he was able to bring new skills in digital marketing to his auto retailing.
He was taken under the wing of Shaun Del Grande, now president of the group. Their close working relationship allowed them to tackle two areas of growth: culture and technology.
Nearly 10 years later, the growth is evident. Del Grande's footprint has gone from four dealerships to 17, and its total annual sales of new and used vehicles has increased to more than 33,000 last year from 5,500 then.
The group was voted a Top Workplace in the Bay Area in the largest company category by Bay Area News Group for the past seven years, Beaver added.
-- Jack Walsworth