Still Loving America’s Car-Mart after 30 Years

Barry Baggett Shares His Car-Mart Story

Barry Baggett, Senior Marketing Manager at America's Car-Mart

Thirty years and Barry Baggett still loves working at America’s Car-Mart! It’s still fun. It’s still challenging. And it still energizes him to work to make a difference for the company. Barry is our Senior Marketing Manager, and he’s celebrating 30 great years with Car-Mart.

Barry’s Car-Mart journey started in 1992. He was fresh out of college, newly married and starting a new job with a young company. The 22-year-old was optimistic about his future and his company.

Barry in a commercial shoot in Little Rock, AR with former Car-Mart Associates Danny and Tammy. Circa 1996
Barry in a commercial shoot in Little Rock, AR with former Car-Mart Associates Danny and Tammy. Circa 1996

His mantra is to ‘always go the second mile for the company.’ That’s why, every day, he brings his committed, dedicated and enthusiastic mindset to the office.

“It’s been a great 30 years! I feel really good about my time with Car-Mart,” says Barry, who has never taken a sick day in 30 years. “I’m a part of something greater than myself, and I still feel that way. It’s been an honor to be along for the ride. And I see an even brighter future.”

Recently, Barry reminisced about his Car-Mart journey.

Your first day at Car-Mart

“Well, I was late. My wife, Tricia, and I had just gotten married and were on our honeymoon in Vancouver. We experienced weather issues on our return trip and didn’t get home until 5 a.m. – the first day of my new job! Since we didn’t have cell phones then, I had my dad call my boss to tell him I would be a little late. But at 9 a.m., my mother-in-law knocked on the door, saying, ‘Car-Mart needs you to go in. They need you ASAP!’ So, I went into the office and started my new job as Advertising Manager.”

Best memory

“In the early days, I enjoyed spending time on the road and getting to know the general managers. It was fun doing an event in Benton, Ark., on a Friday and Conway, Ark., on a Saturday. It was a great way to get to know our people and customers while learning about the company.

Barry at a Kerry Earnhardt autograph event at our SPringfield, MO dealership. Circa 2007
Barry at a Kerry Earnhardt autograph event at our Springfield, MO dealership. Circa 2007

I also remember how we did marketing back in the early days. I was responsible for the company’s monthly promotions. I developed the themes and designed the flyers. And I would go to the manager meetings and deliver flyers and balloons, as well as reel-to-reel tapes to the local radio stations. It was easy with 25 locations. At 154 today, it’s impossible. And today, it’s done online. But it was a lot of fun back then.”

Most proud moment

“In 2010, I received the President’s Award, the company’s highest honor and my highest personal honor. They tricked me because I helped organize the award. Everybody but me knew I was getting the award.

Barry receiving the President's Award in 2010 from then President and CEO Hank Henderson (retired)
Barry received the President’s Award in 2010 from then President and CEO Hank Henderson (retired)

That was around the same time I turned 40, and my wife threw a surprise party for me. Such an awesome time. It was a special weekend.”

The moment you knew you made the right decision to join Car-Mart

“Getting to know the people and working with great people. My contributions are very much needed. That’s what I like about Car-Mart. Every day, every associate’s contribution is appreciated and needed. I appreciate that about Car-Mart.

Also, it still excites me to know that what I do makes a difference at Car-Mart. That’s true then and it’s true now.”

Car-Mart’s biggest accomplishments

“The company hires great people. It also takes good care of and has compassion for its associates.

Barry with Vickie Judy, CFO, and Jeff Williams, CEO, at Barry's 30 Year Celebration with America's Car-Mart
Barry with Vickie Judy, CFO, and Jeff Williams, CEO, at Barry’s 30 Year Celebration with America’s Car-Mart

When we established our mission, vision and values, that was the right move at the right time to help us understand why we’re here and why we do what we do.

We’re doing a great job of building on these ideals.

Also, the company is great at helping to improve our communities. We’re carrying over the spirit of giving held by Nan Smith [former President]. We bring that to the forefront of everything we do. Helping our customers is a major accomplishment.”

Lessons learned at Car-Mart

“I learned to be judicious with the dollar, both personally and professionally. In the early days, I negotiated hard for every advertising dollar, and that carried over to my personal life.

The company has also taught me responsibility, to work hard when it’s time to work and value your time off.”

Advice to other aspiring Car-Mart associates

“The best thing you can do to have a great career at Car-Mart is working hard and doing the best you can. That’s what Car-Mart looks at.”

Wrestling Themed December Sales Contest. Circa 2015
Wrestling Themed December Sales Contest. Circa 2015

Why Car-Mart?

“I like Car-Mart because of the need we serve in our communities. I feel like we treat our customers right. I like the areas we serve. I’ve met so many people of high integrity. I work very hard to carry on the traditions and culture. It’s just been exciting and refreshing to have the growth – perfectly melds the old with the new.”

Happy family, happy life

Barry’s family is as much a part of Car-Mart as Barry is. Tricia is Barry’s biggest cheerleader. And their daughter, Gwyneth, recently received a Car-Mart Scholarship for her college education at Missouri S&T.

Barry and his family at the Gentlemen of Distinction Event
Barry and his family at the Gentlemen of Distinction Event

When not working at Car-Mart, Barry spends time with his family. He’s also a lifelong outdoor person who enjoys walking, golfing, exercising – and staying active. He’s a big sci-fi guy – think Star Trek. Tricia and Barry enjoy binge-watching TV series. His favorite kind of music is EDM – electronic dance music. He has a sweet tooth and interesting snacking habits.

A graduate of Harding University, Searcy, Ark., grew up loving maps after receiving his first road atlas at age 12. Traveling is a passion of Barry’s. Some fun facts about Barry:

  1. Finished fourth in the 800 Meter Run (Half Mile) in the state of Arkansas his senior year in high school
  2. As a 9th grader, he was the fastest miler in Arkansas
  3. Won a junior-varsity college cross-country race
  4. Was the intramural tennis doubles champion at Harding University
  5. Won numerous tennis singles and doubles titles at the 4.0 Level in Northwest Arkansas
At home with Car-Mart – he’s still here and loving it!
Barry with his family at his 30 Year Celebration with America's Car-Mart
Barry with his family at his 30 Year Celebration with America’s Car-Mart

“I have grown up with this company,” says Barry. “Car-Mart has given me the ability to learn and grow. The company has always been there for me and given me a chance to make a difference.”

“I feel valued. There’s so much work yet to do,” Barry concludes. “The company has come so far. We’re like a start-up company. I feel like we’re just getting started. We’re still growing, and it’s so much fun!”

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