The last few months of 2006 were wet in Oklahoma, which was terrible weather for an excavation and dirt worker like Bruce Lynch.
“In the dirt business, when it’s good, it’s great,” he explained. “When it’s bad, it’s horrible.”
In need of steady work and pay, Lynch answered a newspaper ad for a lot attendant at an America’s Car-Mart location in Ardmore, Okla. He went to work in January 2007 washing cars making minimum wage. Three weeks later, the company promoted him to a buyer. He’s been advancing through the company ranks ever since.
Lynch has held several leadership jobs working for one of the nation’s largest publicly held auto retailers in the used car segment. He moved to Northwest Arkansas for the first time in 2009 as purchasing director and moved back a second time in October 2019 for his current job. He oversees a department of about 60 people who buy between 4,000 and 5,000 vehicles each month.
Lynch said his main goal during the pandemic was to keep the company’s car lots — there are more than 150 in 12 states — full of vehicles. His work to improve inventory management allowed the company to set sales records in the most difficult car-buying market in its 40-year history.
“You’ve got to have cars [on the lot] to sell them, and we were aggressive on the purchasing side,” he said.
Lynch’s family has a long history of involvement with the Oklahoma chapter of Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY), and he leverages that relationship so Car-Mart leaders can share their knowledge and experience at various HOBY functions. He also helps organize Car-Mart’s annual holiday toy drive. The effort delivered nearly 22,000 toys to 25 children’s hospitals last year.