Bob Lesher has been named the new president of Atlanta JCB.
Lesher started in the equipment business in 1970 working for Howell Tractor in Chicago, beginning on the ground floor in the industry as a night shift apprentice mechanic. The experience he gained “put him in” a field service truck for 10 years.
In July 1983, he joined JCB as a district product support manager, also based in Chicago.
“I literally went from a field service truck on Friday, to getting a hair cut, a clean shave and putting on a tie on Monday,” Lesher said.
In 1985, he was promoted to regional product support manager; in 1988, he was promoted to district sales manager; and in 1990, he was promoted to national accounts sales manager. He left JCB in 1990 to join Brandeis in Evansville, Ind., as branch manager, and in 1994, he was named general manager of Brandeis Indiana Equipment Co., in Indianapolis, Ind.
He left Brandeis in 2000 to join Crescent Machinery, a JCB dealer, as the company’s regional manager for Indiana, Ohio and Oklahoma. He stayed with Crescent until 2002 after which he spent a year as a consultant in the business. In 2003, Lesher moved to Volvo Construction Equipment as a district manager based in Indianapolis and went on to become a regional vice president.
In early 2008, Lesher rejoined JCB as its vice president of dealer development.
“John Patterson [chairman of JCB Inc.] is the sole reason that I returned to JCB. I have the utmost respect for John and was honored when he contact me to come back. When a slot became available at Atlanta JCB, I felt that the opportunity was a real good fit for family, my career and JCB,” he said.
“Although the market is currently down, I’m extremely excited about the opportunities that do exist in a large dynamic market such as Atlanta,” he added. “The ’silver lining’ of my particular set of circumstances is that I have time now, without the strong flurry of activity to start putting the team into place and building our strategies for the return of stronger market activity. It’s much harder to do this when the phones are ringing off the hook. We can ’set the table’ for the market return and put our game plan in order. It’s hard to come into a new position in a down market and show quick results, but it’s good in terms of preparing for the upturn, which we know will come.”
As the economy inevitably rebounds over time, Lesher sees a change in the way his company will do business.
“As the business slowly comes back, we will have to become more aggressive with our rental purchase options. Customers will continue to be cautious of equipment purchases even after economic indicators improve. The rental purchase opportunities should be more appealing to our customers in the beginning of an upswing than that of direct machine purchases. The U.S. economy is like a big ship, it takes a while to turn it around.”
For more information, call 678/594-5400, or visit www.atlantajcb.com.
(This story also can be found on Construction Equipment Guide’s Web site at www.constructionequipmentguide.com.) CEG Staff