274 275 of employees we have,”Grahn adds.“We have a very high retention rate, especially key employees and managers. But we keep stressing the family thing; we consider our employees as family; we have 30- year relationships with a lot of our customers and they become like family too.” While long-time, loyal customers make up a good portion of the company’s client base, Grahn knows there is always a need to market proactively.“Two or three years ago,we hired a marketing person, and she concentrates on getting our name out there,” he says.“And we always try and stress the fami- ly-owned and operated part in all of the marketing that we do.The internet is huge. If you would have asked me ten years ago if we ever would have sold a truck over the internet, I would have said,‘You’re crazy.’Now, it’s real.You’re always getting internet leads, and a lot of them turn into sales.” For now, Grahn says that there are no more im- mediate plans for further expansion.“We’re happy with the footprint we have,”he relates.“We certainly would entertain further growth–the three purchas- es that we made over the years to expand from one location to four were people calling us -but we do believe in putting money back into our facilities.We have one brand new building.Our main location is older; it’s been around for awhile and we’re con- stantly putting money back into it, investing in new technology and things like that. But, as far as some- thing right over the horizon–no.” Meanwhile, another generation of Ballards is be- ing prepped to run the family company.“Both John and I each have a kid in the business with us, so we have the next generation, the fifth, in place,”Grahn reveals.“Both of the kids are in their mid to late twenties, right now, so it’s going to be awhile before Agency: Davis Advertising Client: Cornerstone Bank W.S.# COR082517C File Name: COR082517C_TruckAd.indd Media: Business View Magazine Size: 3.6” x 4.9”” Color: 4C Bleed: no PDFuploaded toBoxHoldingTank Artist:_________________________ Date:__________Time: ___________ Worcester • Charlton • Holden • Leicester N. Oxford • Rutland • Southbridge • Spencer Sturbridge • Warren • Webster Member FDIC MemberDIF • 800-939-9103 The cornerstone of your success starts with a solid relationship. Proud of Partner Ballard Truck Center Contact us today for your business needs! BALLARD TRUCK CENTERS they take over.”No doubt, though,when that time ar- rives, Steve and John will remind them of the number one principle that has sustained Ballard Truck Cen- ters for over a hundred years: “Do the right thing. Be honest in everything you do, and success will follow.” PREFERRED VENDORS n Isuzu Commercial Trucks Isuzu Commercial Truck of America, Inc. (ICTA) is the North American subsidiary of Isuzu Motors. Headquartered in Ana- heim, California, ICTA is the distributor of Isuzu commercial vehicles in the United States. Isuzu commercial trucks have been the #1 selling, low-cab forward trucks in America every year since 1986. The Isuzu N-Series low-cab forward (LCF) truck family is consistent of class 3-5 trucks, and the only low-cab forward lineup that includes two diesel engines and a gasoline engine that is CNG/LPG capable. n Cornerstone Bank