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Sonny Merryman named Thomas Dealer of the Year

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May 12, 2020
This year’s Thomas Built Buses Dealer Awards Ceremony looked a little different than it has in years past and concluded with a grand surprise visit for Team Sonny.

Every year the Thomas dealer network comes together for a three day conference and on the final evening, Thomas hosts an awards ceremony where top performers are recognized for their achievements. Like many other organizations, Thomas unfortunately had to cancel this year’s conference due to the COVID-19 situation. That didn’t stop the dealer network from coming together though. Over the last two weeks, dealers from all over the United States and Canada took part in several virtual awards ceremonies hosted on Zoom. Much like the annual conference, the highest honor – Dealer of the Year – was awarded during the final Zoom meeting.

Floyd Merryman as he notices a conspicuous vehicle pulls into the Sonny Merryman headquarters in Evington, Virginia.Rather than a walk across stage though, it came in the form of conspicuous car pulling up at Sonny Merryman’s headquarters with the President of Thomas Built Buses, Caley Edgerly stepping out in front of all of Team Sonny.

“Pulling into their parking lot now . . . We’re going to go hand Floyd this award,” Edgerly can be heard saying as he live broadcast the event to the dealer network.

While maintaining social distancing standards, Sonny Merryman team members came outside to watch as President & CEO, Floyd Merryman, accepted the Dealer of the Year award from Edgerly of Thomas Built Buses. This was the first time in Thomas history nearly the entire team of the Dealer of the Year was able to watch live and participate in the awards presentation. “This is a special time right now and to be able to do this – it’s a special way. I was happy to drive up here today to hand you guys – not just Floyd – but hand you guys, Sonny Merryman, this award. You all have done great things and you are our 2019 Dealer of the Year.”

Floyd Merryman proudly lifts up the Dealer of the Year trophy to present it to the crowd of Sonny Merryman team members.“This is the sixth time our team has been awarded this honor. Having nearly our entire team present made it a truly special surprise and experience. Earning this award is a team effort – from the people in the shop, in the office, and on the road. Our team members’ efforts day-in and day-out and their commitment to our customers is what makes our dealership special and one of the most successful in the country,” Floyd Merryman said.

Caley Edgerly, President & CEO of Thomas Built Buses, as he exits his car to present Dealer of the Year to Team Sonny.For the past 53 years, Sonny Merryman has been the exclusive Thomas dealer for Virginia. The company is one of the longest-standing Thomas dealers in the entire network and has achieved the Dealer of the Year accomplishment more times than any other dealer.

In addition to dealership’s Dealer of the Year award, many individual Sonny Merryman members and departments also received personal accolades and acknowledgments.

For the fifth consecutive year, the Sonny Merryman parts team achieved Gold level status. Parts Manager, Derek Shelton accepted the award on behalf of the Sonny Merryman parts team. Sonny Merryman operates four locations with parts distribution throughout the state and employs five outside parts sales representatives and more than 10 parts analysts.

Daniel Droog, Sonny Merryman Trainer achieved Platinum level status, landing him among the top ranks of the network’s more than 60 trainers. Daniel offers training to technicians and drivers all across Virginia both on-site and at customer locations.

Western Region Sales Manager, Cory Compton and Eastern Region Sales Manager, Mike Wirt were both awarded Eagle’s Nest status in the Wings of Eagles Sales Program. The program recognizes Thomas’ top performers who demonstrate an unparalleled commitment to providing excellent customer service and possess an unmatched level of knowledge about Thomas products.

To our many customers across Virginia, we are grateful for your loyal support and the trust you put in our team and buses. Thank you for making us “Virginia’s Bus Company” – a title most special to us.

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