Blake Greenfield's professional career keeps tracking north; this time, he believes that he has found a permanent place to settle.
As of Nov. 1, brothers, Chuck and Paul Hinkley, finalized their sale of Hinkley Chevrolet Buick, in Wells, to Greenfield, 39, of Clarion, Iowa.
The only franchise automotive dealer in Faribault County will be renamed Blake Greenfield Chevrolet Buick.
Greenfield brings with him 15 years of sales experience working in the car business.
A?year after graduating from the University of Northern Iowa in 1998 with a business management degree, Greenfield started out in Ankeny, Iowa. He then moved north to Ames. His last stop was with Pritchards Family Auto Stores in north central Iowa.
"The Hinkley brothers and I have worked together on dealer trades in the past," Greenfield says. "We got to know each other and when they decided they might be interested in selling the dealership, they called me first."
Originally, the brothers believed that Pritchard would be interested in buying the dealership, but Greenfield also expressed interest, according to Chuck Hinkley.
"We figured that the Pritchard group would be interested in buying because they own a lot of small dealerships," Chuck Hinkley explained. "Blake is the ideal buyer. This will be his main focus and bringing in a younger guy solidifies that this dealership will hopefully still be around in 20 or 30 years."
The agreement will keep the Hinkley brothers with the dealership as salesmen. By keeping all of the original staff, Greenfield doesn't have to worry about training new staff and will enable him to have excellent and experienced members on his team who know their customers.
"There are all kinds of different emotions going on right now," Paul Hinkley says. "But, to have a new owner lined up and ready to go, really helps our future success and longevity of the dealership."
Also joining the team is Kiester native Calli Stenzel. She will be the new finance and insurance manager.
In general, Greenfield wants to keep the look of the place similar, but also wants to make some small improvements.
He plans on installing new carpet, adding two offices, painting the walls, adding a flatscreen television and a popcorn machine. Greenfield already made his first change by moving the lounge area forward to the main floor. Hopefully all of the new additions will be completed by this upcoming spring, according to Greenfield.
"I want to reinvest the profits back into the dealership to make it the best small town experience for every customer," Greenfield says."
In addition to the renovations, Greenfield wants to expand his inventory of both new and used vehicles so he can offer the community a variety.
In his first couple of weeks as owner, Greenfield has been focussing on learning the computer system and getting Stenzel situated to make her feel comfortable.
Greenfield admits there is still paperwork that still needs to be completed.
"I have been getting every last detail orchestrated," Greenfield explains. "There was a monumental amount of paperwork. I am used to working hard because of my Iowa farming background."
Paul and Chuck's father and uncle started the family business in Freeborn in the 1930's. They became an authorized Chevrolet dealer in 1938.
Eventually, Paul and Chuck took on the reins of the business, moving it to Wells, when it took over what was once Schultz Motors of Wells in 1991.
The name of the dealership has changed multiple times over the years. Hinkley Garage became Hinkley Chevrolet; Hinkley Chevrolet became Hinkley Chevrolet Geo; then Hinkley Chevrolet Geo Pontiac Buick; then Hinkley Chevrolet Pontiac Buick. Now Hinkley Chevrolet Buick will become Blake Greenfield Chevrolet Buick.
After many years and names, Hinkley's remained a constant. The brothers are well known among the longtime residents of the Wells area.
"I?couldn't be in the position I am in without the Hinkley brothers," Greenfield says. "Everyone here has been so welcoming. My goal in buying and running this business is to make sure the customer experience inside this dealership is the absolute best it can be."