When Cole Henry was offered the chance to be General Manager at America’s Car-Mart of Sedalia, Mo., he jumped at the chance. His wife, Lindsay and one-year-old son, Hudson, moved to Sedalia and started their new life.
“That’s where we started our journey as a family, and it’s been an amazing ride,” says Cole, while adding his daughter, Lyla, was born in Sedalia. Lyla is now five years old, and Hudson is 11.
Growing the Car-Mart business in Sedalia is also rewarding to Cole. And now he and his team of 20 associates are celebrating their brand-new facility at 3314 South Limit Street. “It’s fun to watch all this unfold, and it’s even more fun to be a part of it.”
Cole joined Car-Mart in January 2010 as a Manager in Training in Springfield, Mo. He was fresh out of college and ready to start his career. He furthered his Car-Mart adventure as an Assistant Manager in Siloam Springs, Ark. before moving to Sedalia in January 2012.
For Cole, working at Car-Mart is all about opportunity and helping customers and the community. He recently answered some questions about his Car-Mart career and his new facility:
What was the moment you knew you made the right decision to join Car-Mart?
“It was during my initial interview, and I remember it perfectly.
Matt Heiderscheidt talked about Car-Mart and what kind of company it was, and how the company is here to help people.
That made an impression on me.
Also, early on at Car-Mart, I remember being in a meeting room with all sorts of photos on the wall – of long-term associates who had worked at Car-Mart for 20 plus years. It made me realize I was in the right place, and that I was doing the right thing for my career. I realized that a young person could make a long-term career at Car-Mart. I also recognized I could work for a place that has the same values I have, but it was also a place that could challenge me.”
What’s your best Car-Mart memory?
“Helping. We’ve done a lot of cool things for the community. I love going to the children’s hospital distributing toys and bringing happiness.
I enjoy giving turkeys and Thanksgiving meals to customers.
We also did a block clean-up in Sedalia. My family helped distribute food. We served food to nearly 400 people. We cooked burgers and hotdogs as fast as we could to feed the hungry-working crew.
It’s these moments when you know you’re in the right place. There’s nothing better than bringing smiles to people who are truly thankful.”
Can you share some touching customer stories?
“Oh wow, during my career, I’ve had a lot of stories where we’ve helped our customers. One of my favorite customers is a lady we call ‘Mississippi.’ She’s a great person, such a joy to be around. She brings smiles to our faces, and we love it when she visits Car-Mart.
Before COVID, we had a carnival for a young girl who had cancer. She spent the day with us. That was a special day.
Another long-time customer and his family visited us on a regular basis. Over the years, he’s purchased six vehicles from us. He’s a big outdoor person, so he brought us fish and beef jerky. Later in life, he was diagnosed with cancer. He invited us to his birthday party. Of course, we helped him celebrate. I got approval to give him his truck, so we were able to hand him the keys to his truck. This memory is special.”
Tell us about your new building.
“It’s incredible. It’s a brand-new facility. It’s really something to have such a nice and awesome building to show our customers and community our growth. It’s because of our customers that we get to have such a nice building.
Our building features 12 customer offices. We have a great lounge so customers can feel at home. Our huge front lobby is beautiful. Our lot is double the size, and we can now feature over 100 vehicles. Overall, our new facility offers so much more for our customers. It’s got curb appeal, and so much more room.
And our associates love it. It brings a real sense of pride into each person. It’s a whole new dynamic for us and our customers.”
How do you keep your customers on the road?
“We believe we are here to help customers stay on the road. We listen and really hear what our customers say. This all goes to my associates. We care about our customers. While my name might be on the front door, it’s all my associates. Every hour, every minute that we are at Car-Mart, we work with customers to get them into a vehicle or keep them on the road.”
What does Car-Mart mean to you?
“It’s given me so many opportunities.
It’s been so much a part of my life. I can provide for my family, and I am part of a special community. Car-Mart truly symbolizes a company that wants to help the local community and people.
At every single meeting of 150-plus general managers and other Car-Mart leaders, this is what we always talk about – how we’re going to help people. The more people we can help, the more successful we’ll be.”
Stop by Car-Mart of Sedalia’s new store located at 3314 S Limit Ave. Sedalia, Missouri and talk cars with our team!