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Monday, October 18, 2021

Staff Spotlight Terry, South Edmonton Turf Sales Manager

“I still remember the day I got hired.” said Terry (Southside) with a chuckle, “It was in October of 1988 and I was 19 years old.” You can feel the memories seeping out of him as he smiled across the desk, thinking of the many stories he has over the last 33 years of his employment at Martin Deerline.

Terry came across Martin Deerline while he was on a job hunt at an employment office. He was searching their bulletin boards, noticing there wasn't much available, and most jobs were only offering $7.00 to $8.00 an hour. In his cheeky words he said, “In frustration I grabbed the yellow pages and ripped it open. For the young people who don't know what the yellow pages are, it's a big yellow book of companies advertising their goods and services.” He came across an ad for Martin Deerline, which was previously known as Martin Farm Equipment. He immediately picked up the phone and called. To his surprise Merrill Martin himself answered the phone. Merrill immediately questioned Terry over the phone for his qualifications and was set up that afternoon with an in-person interview for a sales position at the South Edmonton store. He was hired on the spot that day by the store manager. “We have always had a receptionist answering all phone calls since I've worked here. It was a fluke that the owner of the business happened to pick up the main phone line. If Merrill hadn't directly answered the call that day, who knows what I would be doing today. I guess my career here was meant to be.” The rest was history.

The growth of the company is the biggest change he's seen through his years. “There were only 3 stores when I started back in 1988,” now there are 10 John Deere locations, and 4 Marine stores (known as Martin Motor sports). When Terry first started, his position looked a little different. He was in sales, but in his words: “We used to do it all, it was different back in the day! I was the parts man, service man, delivery man, you name it! If you wanted electric start on your new snowblower, I would take it to the back and install it for you.” Terry's position has since progressed to being the Sales Manager of the Turf department at the South Edmonton branch, which specializes in John Deere compact tractors, Gators, lawn mowers, commercial mowing equipment, and much more. When asked what his most memorable moment was throughout his 33-year career, he knew right away. “I got a call one day when we were on holidays between Christmas and New Years from a company looking for 20-30 compact utility tractors. I almost fell over on my kitchen floor!” One month later, he secured the deal and wrote up a purchase order for 25 tractors with cabs, loaders, mowing decks, blowers, brushes, blades…etc. It was the largest compact tractor deal Martin had to that day, and he continues today to have a business relationship with that same client.

As someone who grew up quadding, snowmobiling, camping and being outside, Terry has always fit right into the business. His family owned and used a lot of the equipment personally that he was selling, so he knew that it would be a fun place to work. His advice to new employees? “Stick with it, there is an opportunity for advancement here. Martin Deerline is truly a family company. I have seen it firsthand on many occasions. They care about you; they care about our clients, and they care about this city.”

If you ask any employee that has worked with Terry to sum him up in one word, the most common response is always “hilarious.” You can find him making everyone laugh with his witty humor and impressive storytelling, which is likely why he claims the soundtrack to his life would be “We're here for a good time (not a long time)” by Trooper.

With a passion to sell, integrity, commitment, and hilarity, Terry is a joy to be around whether you are a co-worker or a client looking for a new piece of John Deere equipment. Hat's off to 33 years with Martin Deerline Terry!

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