Honoring Jim Martin

The folks at Kent-Gault Homes in Mauldin put together a really nice event this week, honoring Jim Martin who is retiring after 38 years in the business.

Jim has had an outstanding career, finding success as a salesperson, GM and community manager.  He was the first-ever SC Manufactured Home Salesperson of the Year.  He is one of the small group of people elected to the SC Manufactured Housing Hall of Fame.

If you ever dropped by Kent-Gault it was easy to see why Jim was such an outstanding – and long-serving – member of the team.  Jim and owner Mitch Gault clearly have a lot of appreciation and respect for each other.  Jim’s perspective was always what’s going to be good for KG; and they worked together in partnership.  Their personalities complemented each other.  Mitch is a bit hyper (in a good way) and Jim is more laid-back (in a good way.)

And Jim hold the respect of everyone who know him.  He was an association leader, serving as a chapter office and on the state board.  He is devoted to Glenda.  He genuinely cared for his customers and felt lucky to have a job where he can do something worthwhile, putting people into a quality home that they could afford and still have money left over for the necessities and luxuries of life.

Jim’s easy-going personality has an immediate positive effect on people.  I’ve talked with him 200 or 300 times at least and never heard him say an unkind word about anyone.

What people may not know is that Jim was my go-to guy.  Of course part of my job as association director is to thoroughly understand sometimes  complex issues.  For the first 20 years of my career with MHISC, Kent-Gault was primarily a retail company, along with doing some developing and community management.  Jim was always the first guy I thought of when I needed to understand some part of how the retail industry worked.  Not only is he knowledgeable and smart (he went to Georgia Tech!) but Jim was always friendly and patient.  He had a way of letting you feel he was glad to hear from you and happy to make time to talk.

All these factors are reasons Tuesday’s event in Greenville meant so much to the co-workers, family and industry friends who attended. It was great to see business leaders like Todd Hiott, Robert Rizzetta, Joe Walden, and Doug Marchbanks there to honor Jim.  Clayton Evans of the MHISC team took some great photos you can check out here.

Congratulations, Jim, on your retirement and thank you for all you’ve done for our industry.