View from the Valley: It’s the people


By LOUISE SWARTZWALDER - lswartzwalder@civitasmedia.com



A man whose last name is familiar to most folks who live in Bellville and Butler says he can easily tell people what makes this area special.

“It’s the people,” Matt Weekley says, holding his hands out.

This area is a “great place to raise a family,” says Weekley.

Matt Weekley is the third generation of a family that has long been active in the valley area surrounding Bellville and Butler.

His grandfather, Mason, started the car dealership that bears the Weekley name.

Weekley said the schools are strong here, and the churches have been instrumental in the community.

He also said the leadership in both villages has been good in bringing businesses in.

Technology has changed things, Weekley said, and for a business like his it has been a “huge blessing.”

The internet has allowed people from all over the country to see what his dealership has to offer.

Weekley is quick to credit long-time employes for the stature of his business.

Relationships are developed over the course of a lifetime, and Weekley says it goes back to people who work for him.

“It’s God of provision that allowed it to happen,” he said. “Period.”

He mentions Dick and Bert, who have worked for him for years.

They are “people who are interested in the community,” he said.

Weekley said his grandfather had a “radical conversion” in the 1930s. He had appendicitis and was informed he would probably die. He gave his life to Christ, Weekley said, and was able to continue and make his business thrive.

He said a person’s faith can have much to do with how one moves through life. Business and faith don’t have to be on opposite sides of a person’s life, he said.

Weekley said it is “hard to line yourself up with the world” and to line yourself up with the Bible.

“I don’t do that right all the time,” he said.

He laughs a bit at the thought of the standard ideas of a car salesman and a journalist. Sometimes perceptions of both professions aren’t complementary, he said.

Weekley graduated from Clear Fork High School in 1986. He said growing up, he worked for his father.

From that he learned “integrity, character, a good work ethic.” he said.

He and his wife Amy have two children, Aaron and Courtney. He said he is not going to press them to be involved in his kind of work.

“If they desire it, good. If they don’t, good,” he said.

Weekley said he doesn’t have a desire to be like a Mark Zuckerberg, who made millions from starting Facebook. He also doesn’t care about having multiple dealersips in a number of towns.

The Weekley dealership survived even though in 2008 a decision was made to cut by 35 per cent the number of businesses which could handle sales of certain types of vehicles. There were three dealerships in Mansfield, and now only one remains. The Weekley dealership survived.

The strain of enthusiasm that Weekley shows seems to have come from a good source. His father, Albert, was in the dealership last week on Thursday, his day off.

Editor’s note: Weekley’s view is that a photograph can’t add much to a story, so he said he would prefer one not be used.

By LOUISE SWARTZWALDER

lswartzwalder@civitasmedia.com

Reach Louise at 419-886-2291 ext. 1982

Reach Louise at 419-886-2291 ext. 1982