When Nathan Cowell was told he was transferring to a new Car-Mart dealership he wasn’t happy. But it turned out to be the best position he’s ever held at Car-Mart.
“I had a Friday evening meeting with my boss who said, ‘you’re going to be the new Purchasing Agent in Conway, AR.’ I showed up in Conway, and they welcomed me with open arms,” says Nathan, Area Operations Manager in Russellville, AR.
“I wasn’t excited about the opportunity. I didn’t know what I was getting into, but I got to own this piece of the business. And it turned out to be the best position I’ve had as I was able to develop a market that hadn’t yet been developed,” Nathan continues. He purchased vehicles for Car-Mart Conway, AR for three years and in 2009, the dealership won the company’s Lot of the Year Award.
Car-Mart = team, camaraderie, and accomplishment
Nathan joined Car-Mart in Russellville in July 2002 as a customer service representative and then moved into Sales. “I felt like I could buy a better car than we were buying so I became a ‘buyer in training,’ a position created for me,” says Nathan, a self-professed ‘car guy.’
In 2010, he was named Regional Purchasing / Inventory Director for Car-Mart’s Regions 2 and 4 in Conway where he was responsible for training purchasing agents at 44 stores. He also served as Purchasing Agent for Car-Mart’s Discount Autos in Russellville and North Little Rock.
Indeed, he’s bought a lot of cars for Car-Mart. “As Purchase Agent, there is a sense of accomplishment when you see 80 to 100 vehicles in a lot. I can tell you a story about each car. I take pride in the fact that all the inventory is a presentation of what I have done,” says Nathan, who, in his spare time, researches cars every night online.
In his current position, Nathan oversees 110 associates. “I really enjoy the sense of team and camaraderie,” says Nathan. “And, I’m proud to say that I make an effort to meet with each and every one of them at my dealerships.”
Cars, stereos, hip hop, and rap
Nathan’s earliest memories revolve around his Dad’s 1946 Chevy truck and keeping it running through the years. During the summers, they traveled to car shows. “We’d sit there all day and look at cars,” smiles Nathan. “That’s what probably got me into cars.”
Today, Nathan is working on a 1971 International Travelall. “I keep two or three project cars at any one time,” says Nathan. The other two are a 1957 Chevy truck and a square body Chevy truck.
“My favorite all-time classic car, well actually two if I won the lottery, is the 1966 Chevy Suburban and a 1996 Chevy Impala SS,” says Nathan. “I just love cars. I’m mechanically inclined.”
He, also, loves to find vehicles that haven’t run from three to 20 years. He’ll spot a car, knock on the door, make a deal and drag the vehicle to his shop for rebuilding. He once bought a non-running 1948 GMC truck. He drove it 30 miles home, covered in moss and wasps flying at him. After the restoration, it made a nice truck, according to Nathan.
Another passion of Nathan’s is car stereos. During high school, he competed for in-car stereo competitions throughout Arkansas. “Stereos and amplifiers in cars. It used to be a thing – who’s stereo is the loudest,” says Nathan, who adds his music is hip hop and rap.
In fact, he met his wife, Ronette while ‘cruising the strip’ in Russellville. “I had a loud stereo,” laughs Nathan.
Car-Mart, an unanticipated career
For Nathan, working at Car-Mart is about the opportunity. “All I’ve had to do is tell somebody what I wanted to do. I want to sell cars. I want to buy cars. Opportunities were created for me,” he says. “I didn’t plan on this being a career for me. This place hired me on the spot. I’ve seen the ins and outs of the business and the company has been great to me. They’ve always had my best interest in mind.
“I never thought I would have had the opportunities that I’ve had,” concludes Nathan.
If you enjoy serving others and growing your career like Nathan, Car-Mart may be the place for you. Check out Car-Mart’s current job opportunities and jumpstart your career today!