At Garber Management Group, Dustin McSweyn is known for his positive demeanor.
With his mask on, he skips down the hallway. He smiles. He laughs. A lot. His positivity is not only recognized, but valued.
It’s also earned him a nickname or two.
“People call me ‘McSkippy’ or ‘Skippy’,” Dustin laughed. “Mr. Garber calls me ‘Grumpy’ to be funny. He’ll ask me, ‘Do you ever get angry?’ I tell him, ‘Not really.’ He always says to me, ‘What’s up, Grumpy?’”
Dustin has been an integral part of the IT team at Garber Management Group in Saginaw, Michigan, since 2014. In his current role as Help Desk Manager, he is one of the talented team members who helps the company run smoothly when it comes to all things IT and electronics.
He said he didn’t initially see his job at Garber as a career. But things change – and so has he.
“I’m meant to be here,” he said. “I feel complete here. I know I am valued. I don’t have to look for a new job. There’s no reason to go anywhere else.”
But before he found Garber, he had to learn that patience really does pay off.
Winter is a hard time to be a door-to-door salesman. Dustin learned that the hard way: by living it.
Before he joined Garber, Dustin – a 2012 graduate from Northwood University — sold television and Internet packages one Michigan winter. The position helped pay the bills and buy his time while he waited for the job he really wanted: a seat on the bus at Garber.
“Before I sold TV and Internet, I applied for a spot as a salesman at Garber,” he explained. “I didn’t know much about Garber at the time, but I applied anyway. Erika Ardouin [Director of Recruiting at Garber Management Group] called me in November 2013 to interview. We hit it off immediately.”
During the interview, Dustin – who initially applied to sell cars — told Erika about another one of his passions. That’s when Erika had a lightbulb moment.
“I told her my passion was computers: fixing them, and helping people fix their problems,” Dustin explained. “She’s like, ‘I think I have an idea.’ She got Ryan Shepard [Garber’s Chief Technology Officer] and he came in and talked to me. Then I had another interview with Ryan and Wes Stack, our IT Manager. I had three interviews all together.”
Garber’s hiring process is always intentional, which means decisions are not taken lightly. Rarely is it a quick call back. So Dustin waited.
“I got a job in the meantime, selling TVs and phones door-to-door in the winter. When I was knocking on doors in the cold, I was praying, ‘I hope Garber calls.’”
In February 2014, that call finally came. Dustin was hired as a Help Desk technician – and his career began..
There is an “I” in “IT”
Dustin is a Mr. Fix-It of sorts. The entire IT department is built around the same purpose: helping solve problems.
But their type of fixing is different from the type found under the hoods of vehicles throughout all 23 of our Garber-owned dealerships.
“In IT, we get to help our team members and Garber customers,” Dustin explained. “We help our team with passwords, websites, and in turn, that helps the customers. We see instantaneous results. It’s gratifying work. We’re part of a bigger picture, and we see all departments, all stores, all people in this company.”
Dustin said the IT department fixes more than computer issues.
“We install new paper towel dispensers, we take staff photos, we hang TVs…anything electronic,” he said. “We create all new accounts when new employees join the company. It takes two to three hours to get a new hire set up. Most people don’t realize a lot of this isn’t instantaneous. It takes a lot of time.”
Due to his hard work and dedication, Dustin was promoted to Help Desk Manager earlier this year.
“Since I got my new role in February/March 2021, I’ve delegated and trained new people, and it’s been so nice to be on the same page with people,” he said. “It’s great to have a team that helps each other out and it’s a great work environment.
He said his growth is due to the leadership who have believed in him, as well as the example they’ve set.
“My managers have mentored me to help me grow and manage people, and taught me how to give my team that empowerment and trust,” he said. “The leadership here has helped me grow as a manager. This job has changed my life. Now I feel even more empowered and worthwhile.”
He said it’s been great to watch the team grow. It helped him change his perspective and make that mental switch from job to career.
“When I first started, I thought, ‘OK, cool, this is a good job’”, he said. “But as I have stayed here, I quickly realized this was a place that I could be at forever. The team is awesome. We’ve grown from eight to 12 people.”
He said the culture at Garber is one built on appreciation, trust, and family. He also likes how every day is different.
“I appreciate the trustworthiness and the family culture,” he said. “Everyone has the same end goal and wants to better our own lives. We are empowered to make ourselves better here. I love my job. Every day in IT, every help desk ticket is different. It’s always changing and evolving. It’s always expanding and growing.”
Time and Talents
As part of the IT department, Dustin is able to give back to the community in a unique way using their specific skillsets.
“Our Garber team helps give IT support to local organizations, like the Saginaw Children’s Museum, the Temple Theatre, the Boys & Girls Club, the Saginaw Art Museum, and more as they need. We donate computers and equipment, we help solve problems, or help let them know who to contact to fix additional issues. We try to help them as much as we can. We donate our time to help.”
Dustin said the encouragement to provide IT support to the community reflects Garber’s heart and values as a company.
“It shows Garber is bigger than making money,” he said. “Garber truly cares about helping our community. No questions asked. They offer our help and we do it. Mr. Garber is all about us being hands-on-deck for our community. We are encouraged to be involved.”
Dustin said that this caring attitude is apparent from every level of the company.
“We aren’t a number here,” he said. “They truly care about us. Mr. Garber remembered my fiancée’s [now wife’s] name; he remembers family members’ names. It’s crazy how much people care here, from the top down. It makes you feel good about where you work. You’re recognized here. We do so many things to show recognition and appreciation: lunches, parties, people say how great of a job you are doing…those reinforcements make you feel valued.”
First concert? Shania Twain in Grand Rapids
First car? 1993 Cadillac Deville. It was called the McSwaddillac. It was originally my dad’s work car. It was blue with a white top. I miss that car.
Favorite meal? Steak and potatoes
Three words your friends/family would use to describe you? Happy, energetic, caring
Item on your bucket list? Go to Alaska.
The Garber team would also like to send a heartfelt congratulations to Dustin and his wife Kaila Mattson, who were recently married on October 9th, 2021! Here’s to a life full of love and happiness.