Updated: Jun 22, 2021
By Jeff Holt
Published March 4, 2021 in The Burg
GALESBURG - For an athlete, one of the biggest compliments you can get is when you "leave it all on the field" after a big game. It just means that you went the extra mile and gave it all your all to be successful.
You could say Jon Peck has done just that, deciding to retire recently after 46 years. Several of you know him well as a Sales Manager for Bob Lindsay Cars.
Peck took some time to reflect on his standout career.
Q: Could you talk about how you got started in the car business?
PECK: In 1975, I was approached by an insurance agency in Galesburg to sell insurance. I had just passed the state insurance test to be licensed and made a cold call to the sales manager at Stierwalt Buick. To make a long story short, I didn't make the sale but he did. He offered me the job and I took it. Little did I know that it would be a 46-year career.
Q: What advice would you give to someone who wanted to start selling cars for a living?
PECK: I think the best advice I could give someone wanting to get in the car business would be prepared for a fun but challenging career. I think the public under estimates the time and effort it takes to be successful in this business. Weigh your options! The community will tell you what dealers do things the right way. Learning the business from the right place will make your career."
Q: Who is someone that helped you get to where you are at today in the car business, and how did they help you?
PECK: I have been blessed by many! The sales manager at Stierwalt Buick, shortly after he hired me, went to Weaver Yemm Chevrolet and basically took me with him. Those early years were very important in learning the business the right way. Dick Yemm and Ray Weaver were great role models. Bob Shottenkirk in Abingdon was the first one to give me a start in management, but I found my 38-year home in 1983 with the Lindsay organization. Both Bob Jr. and Bob Sr. gave me the opportunity to learn and grow in several different positions and locations. I am extremely grateful for the faith they have had in me over the years.
Q: What has been the most rewarding part of selling cars the past 46 years?
PECK: One of the most rewarding parts of the last 46 years has been the relationships that I have developed with customers and fellow employees. Some of my best friends today are these people I have worked with in one capacity or another.
Q: What is your favorite type of car (and year/model) of all time and why?
PECK: I have been fortunate to own several favorite cars over the years. I think my favorites were in the 60s and 70s. I had a '63 Corvette, a 1966 Chevelle SS, a 1970 Camaro, a 1971 Cutlass, a 1969 GTO. They were all favorites in one way or another.
Q: What are some of the biggest changes you've seen through the years in the car business?
PECK: Two of the biggest changes that come to mind are the quality of the cars being built today and the Internet's effect on the car business. When I first got in this business, if you traded for a vehicle that had 100,000 plus miles on it, it was pretty well worn out. Today, we trade for lots of cars with 100, 200 or 300,000 miles and they are still going strong! The Internet has made a huge impact on the car business. At the click of a mouse, a prospective customer can learn everything there is to know about a particular vehicle. As a person in the car business, your product knowledge better be good or your customer will know more about your product than you do.
Q: What has sports meant to you and your family?
PECK: Sports have been extremely important to my family! I have great memories of sporting events from middle school and up. My son wrestled for GHS and both my girls participated in swimming, soccer and basketball through GHS and Carl Sandburg College. Kimi was lucky enough to go on to play Division II basketball at Culver Stockton College in Missouri. My dad Bob and my brother Dave were inducted into the Hall of Fame at GHS and my brother Jim was inducted into the Hall of Fame in Kewanee for his coaching accomplishments. Growing up in Galesburg, the athlete I always looked up to was my dad. I heard stories all my life from people who told me of his accomplishments in basketball, baseball, track and football both in high school, college and signing a pro contract with the Washington Senators. He was my hero in sports and life.
Q; At this point of your life, how do you see your retirement years and is there anything on your "bucket list" that you hope to see or do?
PECK: I think in retirement the top of my bucket list is to watch and participate in my kids and grandkids activities and accomplishments. Cindi and I have been blessed with great kids and great grandkids.
Q: Is there anything else you would like to add?
PECK: I would like to thank all my customers and coworkers for their support and friendship over the last 46 years. If I could, I would do it all over again.
Pro Team: Cubs, Bears
Pro Athlete: Michael Jordan
Professional coach of all time: Mike Ditka
Stadium to watch a college or pro game: Wrigley Field
Type of music: Country
Galesburg restaurant: Grandview
Meal at home: Ham Balls, Spinach Scuffle
Movie: Field of Dreams
TV Show: Bluebloods
Place to go for a family vacation: Door County
Teacher or coach from your days at GHS: Ray Peoples
Jon Peck ...
Year that you graduated from GHS? 1973
Sports (or activities) from your days at GHS: Football, Track
Hobbies away from selling cars: Yard work
You can reach Jeff Holt at email@example.com