People tend to look up when they talk to Mike Jorgensen of Red Noland Cadillac.
The 6-foot, 7-inch auto dealer moved to Colorado Springs with his family during 1961 and returned to the area after graduating from college. Today his company is ranked among the nation’s top 100 Cadillac dealerships, but Jorgensen says credit for his success must be shared with an extraordinary mentor.
He recently took time to tell CSBJ about himself and his organization:
Organization: Red Noland Cadillac Saab
Hometown: Colorado Springs
How long have you lived in Colorado Springs: The Air Force brought our family here during 1961. When I take out the time for college and my first job, it all adds up to more than 36 years in this great city.
Education: Palmer High School (Go Terrors!); accounting degree from Brigham Young University
A few words about your company: Red Noland purchased Silver State Cadillac in Colorado Springs during 1974. Today, the Red Noland Auto Group consists of Red Noland Cadillac Saab and Red Noland Infiniti Jaguar Land Rover, both in Motor City, and the Red Noland Collision Center.
Our newest addition is Red Noland Pre-Owned Center, or “Red’s Rides,” in Motor City, where our focus is pre-owned vehicles under $15,000.
Recent accomplishments: Red Noland Cadillac has received the Cadillac Master Dealer Award for each of the past three years. We also have received an award from General Motors for ranking No. 1 nationally in customer satisfaction (among 1,600 dealers).
Biggest career break/accomplishment: I joined Red Noland during 1992 and it’s been a great ride. During 1999, I became part-owner of the auto group and during March 2006 became the Cadillac dealer.
The toughest part of your job: To successfully negotiate the business through these tough economic times when there are so many things happening around us that have such a profound impact on our business — over which we have little or no control.
Someone you admire: Red Noland has had a tremendous impact on me personally as well as professionally.
“The way you want to be treated, the way you ought to be treated … and then some” is not just a marketing slogan, it is who he really is. I have experienced first-hand the dignity and grace he extends to everyone he meets.
I can’t thank him enough for all he’s taught me and the opportunities he’s provided me.
About your family: Maureen, my wife of 29 years, and I have two sons. Our oldest is married, and we have a grandson — our new hobby.
Something else you’d like to accomplish: Working alongside Red Noland is a tremendous gift to me and my partner, Thom Buckley.
Our desire is to honor his impact in our lives, this organization and the community by successfully transitioning the business from Red to the current generation.
How your business will change during the next decade: The next decade? In our industry, we measure change in days.
Our challenges are twofold. First, the evolving manufacturer-dealer relationship demands higher levels of dealer investment. At the same time, we must maintain profitability even as revenue streams are shrinking. The second challenge is that EPA regulations will continue to dictate product offerings and limit purchasing options for customers.
What book are you currently reading? “Why GM Matters” by William J. Holstein.
What is the one thing you would change about Colorado Springs? While there has been disagreement and conflict about how to create our community’s future, I would like to see a forum that brings all parties and interests together, and not just the “usual suspects,” so that our collective passion can unite, ignite and positively sustain this wonderful city.