Who We Are Wednesday: Jake Hawkins

Meet Jake, or "Hawk" as he's delightfully known to by friends--and everyone is a friend.  Jake became part of our team here at Rhinelander GM in early 2014, and has since established himself as a veteran in the sales world.  His unique and outgoing personality mixed with excitement for life has brought guests to his office from far and wide.

Jake grew up in Tomahawk, Wisconsin, and even has a twin sister!  After graduating from Tomahawk High, he continued his education at the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point, earning a Bachelors degree in American Studies.  When he's not in the showroom, you'll find Jake hitting up the local Musky hot-spots, playing hockey with Mary's Hockey Team, or rooting on his favorite Wisconsin sports teams!  Jake and his girlfriend, Kelly, enjoy hanging out and catching up on great movies, as well.
Jake with girlfriend, Kelly

At work, Jake always walks around with a smile, a firm handshake, and an upbeat opinion on all things Rhinelander Auto Center.  If you ask him what he likes so much about this place, his answer is, "We make people happy, we make their experience unique and fun."  About his role at Rhinelander Auto Center, Jake says, "I get to work with good people, meet new people, and work for a great company."  Jake recently was named to the Rhinelander Auto Center Car Club Member's group, an award given to the top salesmen on our team.

Jake with his new Silverado, and recent award

Stats on Jake 

First Car: Toyota Tacoma
Hidden Talent: I can Juggle
Favorite Food: Chicken Wings
In 5 Years: Living in Tomahawk, working for GM
Dream Lot Car: Just bought it, new 2015 Chevrolet Silverado
Best Part About Your Life: Where I live, the Northwoods!

We are proud to have Jake as a part of our team here at Rhinelander Auto Center.  If you've ever wanted to meet someone with a constant smile on their face, Jake is it.  Great attitude, commitment to excellence, and a dedication to the Rhinelander Auto Center way of doing business.  Jake keeps his guests happy, and consistently exceeds our workplace expectations.  Jake, thank you for making this place so great!  We are thankful you're in our family!

We think you're pretty great too, Jake!


Who We Are Wednesday: Andy Emond

Meet Andy, our resident cool-kid.  Andy is originally from Lakeville, Minnesota, a small suburb of the Twin Cities, and moved to Rhinelander in 5th Grade. He (most of the time) resides here in Rhinelander.  Andy started with us in 2013 as a summer employee at Detail Pros, and has now moved down to our main GM sales floor.  He's currently in his second year at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse studying studying Business Management and Organizational and professional communications.  For support he has his parents, Pat and Tom, sister Eileen, and Wire haired Pointing Griffon, Sadie. 

Don't let the kid in college fool you, he's a hard-charging GM employee here... Andy comes home for all his breaks and gets right to work!  His work ethic makes him an integral part of our team here at Rhinelander Auto Center.  While most people his age would jump at the chance for a carefree spring break... Not Andy!  First thing Monday morning, he showed up with donuts (he sure does know the way to our hearts...). 

Andy in the 2015 St. Patrick's Day Parade

While in school, Andy keeps busy being part of the American Marketing Association, Residence Hall Executive Board, and various other groups.  He enjoys travelling and took a trip to Europe visiting Paris, Amsterdam, and Brussels.  He would love to travel the entire country to see all the things that make America so great.

Why do you work here?
"Because I see it as a great opportunity to gain some valuable experience to meet and work with some fantastic people.  And because I believe this company is doing great things for the community and  I believe in what the company does, and I’m proud to work for Rhinelander Auto Center, because when I sell a car, it makes me happy, it’s no minor undertaking for a financial investment for families.  When I see someone is happy with their purchase, it makes me feel accomplished to know I helped them, and that I get to be a part of it."

Go Eagles!

Where will you be in 5 years?
"Good question, I’m not entirely sure yet.  I’d love to work my way into business management  in chains, eventually going into franchising and ownership."

First Car: TBD; I have a bike though…
Dream lot car: 2015 Yukon Denali; they are totally different from previous models and have made huge leaps forward in terms of design, technology, refinement, and overall appeal to the mass market.
Favorite Vacation: Trip to Paris in 2011 with Grandmother-the architecture is amazing! 
If I could Replay One Day:  The day I sold my first car.  It was such an exciting day because I wanted to be a sales consultant for a long time.  Seeing that my guests were happy was a huge confidence boost and made me understand that what I was doing was bigger than just an accomplishment for myself, it was a service to another person. 

If you'd like to be a guest of Andy's you'll have to stop by and see him this summer!


Who We Are Wednesday: Keb Krouze

Meet Keb, our AutoGear manager!  Keb was born and raised right here in Rhinelander... maybe that's what makes him a great fit for our AG team!  Keb and his sweetheart Khaila, have been together fore 14 years and have welcomed two beautiful children Cash (4), and Mya (9) into the world. 

Keb started his time with Rhinelander Auto Center as a technician, moved to parts, then to GM accessories, and then this January, took on the position of AutoGear Manager.  Keb's extensive history with vehicles led him to his career with Rhinelander Auto Center.  He even spent some time behind the wheel of a race car a time or two!  Keb's hobbies include spending as much time as he can with family, helping his little ones out with projects (and making sure the staff knows when it's time for those Girl Scouts Cookies!), and of course, working with vehicles.

In the office, Keb is responsible for all things AutoGear; from guest services, to hiring new employees.  He manages the budget, helps design new builds, and builds relationships with our vendors. Keb says, "I work for AutoGear (and Rhinelander Auto Center), because the way they do business matches my ethics. I am lucky to work for some really great people.  Mike [Aus] is a great guy to work for."  Keb enjoys helping our guests personalize their vehicles, the fact that our business is different every day, and the knowledge it takes to make it all happen!

Here at Rhinelander Auto Center, we have been blessed to have Keb as a part of our team.  We are proud of his work both in and out of the office.  His determination and drive made him the perfect person to run our AutoGear division!  Thanks for being part of our family, Keb!


Who We Are Wednesday: Deb Schultz

Meet Deb, our GM Assistant Service Manager.  Originally from Janesville, Deb and her husband, Doug, currently reside in Sayner, WI.  Deb and Doug have been married for 22 years and share many hobbies together, including the annual spring turkey hunt, and their beloved muscle cars. 

In the office, Deb fields all the incoming calls for the service department, and answers hundreds of questions from our loyal guests.  She dispatches all the work to our service floor and ensures it’s completed in a timely  manner.  Deb is passionate about our core values and is driven to ensure our guests are treated with respect and taken care of to complete satisfaction.  After working in the automotive industry for various dealerships and brands, she has developed a love and loyalty to the GM brands.

When she’s not taking care of our guests, Deb and husband Doug take their cars on the road and have brought in dozens of awards from various shows, including a Gold Level in the Day Two Concourse Category at the Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals with her 2010 HTR 600 Camaro.  She’s also brought in an Emerald Award the first time showing her 1983 Hearst Olds LS3.  You’ll next see Deb on the road showing her Olds at the World of Wheels competition at State Fair Park, February 21-23.  Good Luck, Deb!

1st Car: 72 Camaro
Dream Car: 2010 baldwin motion camaro
Fav food: Chimichanga
TV Show: The Bachelor
Place to visit: Copper Falls State Park

Dream Vacation: Hawaii

Here at GM, we have been blessed to have Deb as a part of our team.  We are proud of her work both in and out of the office.  She is an outstanding asset to our team!  Thanks for making GM so great, and for being a part of our family!


Pre-Owned Specialists

Here at Rhinelander Auto Center, we're proud of all we do, and now we've got something else to be proud of!  We're introducing a team of experts who will specialize only in our pre-owned inventory. These specialists have proven their knowledge of not only the inventory, but the individual vehicles as well.  To be part of this team, they had to prove their knowledge of not only the inventory on-hand, but the availability of inventory elsewhere, commitment to guest services, and they must live our values.  This new team allows us the opportunity to better serve our guests.

Here are a few new things we're introducing with our Pre-Owned Team!

If we don't have it, we'll do our best to find it!

Yes, you read that right! If we don't have it on the lot, we will do our best to locate it for you.  We're not making any guarantees.... Sometimes, that 1997 Pontiac Sunfire in Cherry Red just isn't available, but you bet we'll try to find one.  We have over 70 partners throughout the nation with resources we can tap in to and will make every reasonable effort to find your new-to-you vehicle!

We'll deliver your pre-owned vehicle right to your house!

Can't make it here at a convenient time for delivery?  We're happy to take a trip to your place and deliver your vehicle from the comfort of your kitchen table!

Worried about the drive?  We'll buy your gas to shop here!

We truly believe we have the best inventory around, and to prove it, we'll buy your gas to shop here. Yep.  Simple as that.


Welcome To Our Family

Many people don't know just how big our family is here at Rhinelander Auto Center!  Some are shocked to know that we're not just GM and Toyota , but Detail Pro's, OK Used Cars, and our newest venture, AutoGear. The honor we feel to serve our community is insurmountable.

We are launching a new campaign to welcome not only our immediate community, but our surrounding communities into our family.  We see guests from all over the Midwest, and we're proud of it.  We're proud that our family spans across state lines!  Each new guest means another person to experience what it's like to be part of our family.  We believe also in supporting the family that does business with us, that's why we partner with so many organizations to give back.  We have a large sense of pride in what our community has done, and we're excited to be a part of it.

When you do business with Rhinelander Auto Center, you're doing more than helping us keep the lights on, you're providing jobs for over 150 hard working people.  You're providing donations to community organizations such as YMCA Of The Northwoods, Hodag Gridiron Club, Rhinelander Area Food Pantry, Frederick Place, and so many more...

If you're not familiar with the way we do business, we'd love to tell you more about it!  Stop by any of our organizations to find out why Rhinelander Auto Center really is like family!

Oh, and by the way.... Welcome To Our Family!


The Power of Social Media

Social Media has changed the way many people, and businesses, communicate.    In record numbers, more people use social media every day to convey messages, sales, news, and the release of information.  For example, when an earth quake hit Japan, about 1200 "Tweets" (Twitter) were being sent every minute.  People were tweeting about the event before it was felt in other areas of Japan.   The reach social media has on todays world is unmatched in history, and from what the experts are saying, it won't be matched any time soon if it keeps growing in popularity has it has!

We here at Rhinelander Auto Center use our social media pages to promote our sales, spread good news, share pictures, and convey our general message.  One thing we did recently was use social media to spread the word about a $5,000 community giveaway.

When we came up with the idea to do the giveaway, we were unsure of how it would work, or if anyone would even notice.  Initially, we received over 800 votes nominating groups from all across the nation.  We were both honored and stunned that so many people saw.  In fact, over 44,650 saw the post.  That many people seeing ONE post on social media says a lot about how wide-spread things can be.   When we narrowed down our final five and posted them, that post reached 31,920 people.  Those numbers blow our minds.  To see that many people reached really speaks to the power of social media. 

We are thankful for every single person who has been to our page and spread the word of our $5,000 giveaway.  We as a business are honored to be a part of our community, and plan to do this type of giveaway again in the future.  We learned a lot in the process, and have a great platform to use for the future.

We also want to offer a big Congratulations to the kids and staff at Kids In Need, as their self-promotion paid off with their big win!  Congratulations!

 We would also like to say a few things about our other groups:
Redeemer Child Care Center: located in Tomahawk, is seeking donations to open an early childhood department capable of caring for the youngest ones in our society.  If you would like to make a private contribution to their effort, please contact Carole Panzer: rlctr@redeemertomahawk.org or 715-453-4814.  All donations are Tax Deductible.

Tri County Council: Tri County's mission is to promote non-violence as a way of life, and provide care to those in crisis.  Private donations can be made to them by calling (715)-362-6841.  Please consider a donation of any amount, or your time and talents!

Hodag Waterski Shows:  HWS is in dire need of a new building. They provide free entertainment during the summer months to those who attend and provide an outlet for our community youth in the summer.  Send an email to hwsski@hotmail.com to find out how you can help!

Ministry Hospice: Hospice care is never something you want to think about, but for some members of our community, it's a reality.  The nurses and staff at Ministry Hospice provide end-of-life care for members of our community of all ages.  The job they do comforts not only the decedent, but the family members as well.  For information on how you can make a private donation, please contact Randi Danner, 715-356-8805 or Randi.danner@ministryhealth.org .

Donations to each of these organizations are tax-deductible and your contribution will help more than you could ever imagine.  If you are unable to help financially, consider donating your time and talents to an organization, any organization.  If we all give a little, the results will be grand!