Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Let's hear it for the good guys!

I grow weary of watching the good guys get passed over for promotions, awards or recognition – doesn’t it always seem like it’s the man or woman who steps all over folks who gets the praise? Now sometimes the good ones sacrifice their career advancement by putting family first; I understand they won’t move ahead like others who haven’t made that choice. But occasionally the guy who’s a true family man and an excellent career man gets the recognition he deserves and that happened for a friend of ours last month.

Jeff Braatz owns and runs Paradise Motors in Lansing, a used car dealership, and in June he was named the Quality Dealer of the Year by his fellow dealers in the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association which is 20,000 members strong. He and his family knew he was in the running for the honor because he’d been being named a quality dealer by the Michigan association but because Jeff isn’t heavily involved with this association or that league he figured he didn't have a chance. He’s a family man who wants to be home at night, not out on the rubber chicken circuit.

I know what you’re thinking – he’s a used car dealer and they’re all the same. While I’ve never dealt with Jeff professionally, personally he’s a gem – he cares about his God, his wife, his kids and that can’t help but spill over into his work life. He could debunk that used car salesman stereotype all on his own.

Congratulations, Jeff! It's great to see the nice guy finish first.