Stuarts Draft, Va. — Kubota dealer Beverage Tractor and Equipment LLC announced several leadership changes as the company’s management team grows to accommodate the company’s multi-store expansion. Stuart’s Draft General Manager, Allen Gilbert, has been promoted to the position of president. Gilbert joins Melissa Sandridge, vice president of operations, and JT Roper, director of service and warranty administration on the Beverage Tractor multi-store management team. Charlie Beverage, Beverage Tractor’s founder, will take a step back from daily operations. He will remain with the company as an executive officer. In his new capacity, Beverage will serve as a management advisor and continue to support the company’s growth plans as their expansion continues. “We could not be more excited about our new management team led by Allen [Gilbert], and we are very fortunate to retain Charlie Beverage’s decades of experience. Charlie has been an invaluable resource to our ownership group and Beverage Tractor’s leadership team. We cannot thank him enough for his continued support,” said Beverage Tractor co-owner Tee Valentine.
Beverage shared some perspective on stepping back, hiring Gilbert and working with Beverage Tractor’s new owners: “It is not often that the founder of a company has the opportunity to help select his successor after that company is sold. I have known Allen for many years and have always admired his demeanor and his character. It was a privilege to be able to bring him on board. I look forward to working with Allen as we continue to grow our footprint. I am only still participating because I like how [owners] Tee Valentine and John Epley treat our employees and the fact that they always do what they say they will.”
Jim Shields, former owner of Collie Equipment in Danville, Va., now part of Beverage Tractor, has announced his retirement at the end of 2021. Shields' daughter, Liz Hylton, will remain with the company as general manager of Beverage Tractor’s new Danville location. She is supported by Seth Coleman, service and sales manager. “Though it is bittersweet for me personally, I want to congratulate my dad on his retirement after 47 years of service and thank him for the tremendous example he has set. I, along with the Collie Equipment team, are honored and excited to continue his legacy of exceptional customer service with the Beverage Tractor family,” said Hylton.
After joining the company as sales manager in late 2020, Stephen Eanes has been promoted to general manager of Beverage Tractor’s Blacksburg location. Eanes came to Beverage Tractor as a store manager with Southern States. “Stephen is young and ambitious, we are thrilled to have him on the team and believe that he has a bright future here,” remarked Epley, Beverage Tractor co-owner.
Beverage Tractor and Equipment LLC, based in Stuart’s Draft, Va., is a full line Kubota dealer with additional locations in Danville, Va., and Blacksburg, Va. The company grew from one location to 3 locations in 2021.