By Adam Quandt
Top 100 Program Director, Managing Editor
Jerry's Majestic Marine
Lake Geneva, WI
For those looking for a humble beginnings story, one doesn’t need to go any further than Jerry’s Majestic Marine in Walworth, Wisconsin.
In 1984, after being out of work, Jerry Oglesby — a mechanic by trade since the age of 16 — painted the side of his truck, loaded up his tools and began doing service calls, while his wife, Diane did the dispatching from home.
Oglesby went on to purchase a small, rather run-down building which he sold his first boats out of.
“The building, you didn’t know if it was going to fall on you, the little tiny office was all windows and it had a leaky roof,” Oglesby said in a video reflecting on his legacy. “Wound up selling $100,000 Chris-Craft boats out this shack and I thought ‘could you imagine what we could do if we had a nice showroom?’”
Today, Jerry’s Majestic Marine has grown to employ over 25 people and maintains two service centers, 12 storage facilities, an indoor showroom and a rental/valet pier around Lake Geneva.
The showroom location serves at Jerry’s Majestic Marine’s main sales, new boat delivery and prep facility, boasting over 9,000 square feet of space in Walworth. The location also features the only indoor boat unload bay in its market area, allowing for on-time deliveries no matter the weather conditions that come with operating in the Midwest.
2019 was a year of gearing up and moving the dealership forward into the future all around for Jerry’s Majestic Marine. After almost 40 years of running the dealership, Jerry’s Majestic Marine is in the process of transitioning ownership to the second generation, by moving the organization under the care of Jerry’s son, Mark Oglesby.
“2021 will be a different year as I transition from working in the business, to totally working on the business,” Mark said.
Despite the transition not being completely finalized in 2019, work already began on the business to accelerate into the future, with a key focus to get a process map in place and dialed in for every aspect of the business.
“Our goal is to have every employee know exactly what their job is and when we hire a new employee the training process will let the dealership know within two weeks if the new hire will make the cut or not,” Mark said.
Jerry’s also worked on dialing in its new custom website during 2019, making it as Oglesby calls it, a working of art, with inventory updated with photos daily, events updated weekly and updating across all social media regularly. The work on the social media side has already tripled the dealership’s Facebook audience.
The service department, as well as storage has always been the cornerstone of Jerry’s Majestic Marine due to Jerry’s background.
“My father built Jerry’s on exceptional customer service,” Mark said. “Service was our only business from 1984 until 2006. Our motto is ‘service is the heartbeat of Jerry’s Majestic.’ We know that fixing a customer’s boat right the first time is always our number one goal.”
For 2019, the service department brought in laptops for every tech, making it easier for each technician to keep better track of every job they are working on, from process to time keeping.
“Technician time tracking is a key way our business stays profitable and the techs enjoy access to weekly reports to hold them accountable for their work,” Mark said. “It is part of our culture.”
From sales to service and storage, Jerry’s Majestic Marine worked to increase its total revenue by almost 53% in 2019, all on top of maintaining 100% CSI scores with all of its OEMs.
As Jerry’s Majestic Marine continues to grow and moves into its second generation of family ownership, one thing will always remain true, customer service and the ability to care for customer’s boats as if they were their own is the heartbeat of the dealership.