Senator Olympia Snowe
April 23, 2008
Mr. President, today during National Small Business Week I wish to commend a local auto dealership from Downeast Maine that recently won the Top Drawer Award from the Ellsworth Area Chamber of Commerce. Morrison Chevrolet of Ellsworth has been selling automobiles in Hancock County for nearly 80 years, and it shows no signs of slowing down.
The Top Drawer Award is presented annually to either a business or person that makes a lasting contribution to the development and improvement of the greater Ellsworth region. The award was founded in 1980 to commemorate the late Tom Caruso, who established Bar Harbor Airlines to ‘‘Link Maine With The World.’’ It is clear that, through Morrison’s solid and intelligent commitment to the customer and the community, it is highly worthy of this recognition.
Founded in 1930 by the present coowner Bud Morrison’s grandfather, Harry, Morrison Chevrolet began its storied history in Winter Harbor, about 25 miles east of its present location. The dealership has moved over time first to Bar Harbor and then to several locations in Ellsworth, finally settling on a new 23,000-square-foot facility on Route 1 in Ellsworth in 2005. Although it may have relocated, the company has always been owned and run by a member of the Morrison family. Morrison Chevrolet has always stayed on the cutting edge, positioning itself to best survive in a competitive industry.
To keep current in providing the best possible service to their customers, Morrison’s technicians attend training and certification classes, frequently via the Internet. Workers often use the company’s conference room to link in to classes online. Morrison’s also makes use of technology to augment its sales by continually increasing its Internet advertising. In fact, Mr. Morrison says that roughly one-third of his sales leads come from the Internet, and the firm ships cars—even Corvettes— across the country. Additionally, the dealership’s Web site is a handy tool for the consumer, allowing clients to search available new and used automobiles, schedule service and maintenance requests, prequalify for purchasing a car, and calculate whether it is wiser for them to buy or lease a vehicle.
In addition to providing their customers with convenient options and caring service, Morrison’s employees always find time for community involvement. Dave Keep, the used car sales manager, serves as an officer of the Ellsworth Masons, and P.J. Davis, who works in the sales department, is a member of the chamber of commerce’s board. And Morrison’s general manager Clyde Lewis is a member of the board of directors of the James Russell Wiggins Downeast Family YMCA, which has been assisting Ellsworth area families since 1961.
A staple of the local business scene for decades, Morrison Chevrolet is most deserving of the immense honor of the Top Drawer Award. By serving the customer and the community at the same time, Morrison’s 47 employees exhibit the generosity and kindness of Downeast Mainers. Furthermore, by continuing to innovate its business practices, Morrison Chevrolet is wellpositioned for future success and additional accolades. I commend Bud Morrison and everyone at Morrison Chevrolet for their accomplishments and wish them well in their continuing endeavors.