James H. Stem recently retired from LB Smith, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Volvo Construction Equipment. Stem was honored with a luncheon attended by friends, family and colleagues in Nashville, TN.
The event was in celebration of Stem’s 46 years of experience in the construction equipment industry.
During the ceremony, Bill Cummins, president and chief executive officer of LB Smith, said that Stem’s impact in the industry was “mimicked by a plaque he kept on his wall which says, ’say what you mean, mean what you say, always keep your word and never, ever forget a friend.’”
Guests, including Del Keffer, vice president and region director of Volvo Construction Equipment North America Inc., also spoke of Stem’s contributions.
“Jim has approached his business dealings the same way he approached everything in life, with honesty and perseverance,” he said.
As a businessman, Stem said that his “philosophy is discipline and fairness with both employees and customers. Everyone should be treated as a human being with the respect they are due.”
Stem plans to continue this philosophy in his retirement by focusing on his family and church.
“It is my intention to spend as much time as I can with my wife, my children and my grandchildren while at the same time, working in my church,” he said.
In addition, he plans to spend time reading more and playing a little golf.
Stem was born and raised near Franklin, TN. He entered the construction business after accepting a job as a steam cleaner operator. This pleased his parents, who were share croppers and wanted him to succeed in a career.
For several years, Stem continually moved up the career ladder as a serviceman, parts department employee, parts and service manager, credit manager, salesman and sales manager. While working, he balanced his time between work, night school and starting a family.
Stem has worked for five different equipment distributorships, including Nixon Machinery & Supply Company; Thompson and Green Machinery Company; R W Moore Equipment Company; and for the past 12 years, LB Smith.
LB Smith is the largest Volvo Construction Equipment dealer in North America with 31 branches located in 10 states.