Westmont Magazine Cars Online
What does Carter Crocket ’91 do besides living in the inner city of Seattle as a ministry opportunity, participating in endurance competitions, serving on Westmont’s alumni board, and attempting to write a children’s novel? He is the president of Dealer Trade Group (DTG), an Internet start-up company he founded. The initial concept of DTG was to help small, rural car dealers compete with their larger, urban counterparts by creating a more efficient way for them to trade wholesale inventory.
As Carter was completing the retail marketing launch for Microsoft Windows 2000, friend and former Westmont classmate Andy Perez ’93 introduced him to an investor who wanted to start a company to meet the needs of wholesale car dealers. Carter was so excited about working with the people behind the idea that he resigned his position with Microsoft and traveled to Texas a week later to spend four days on a dealer’s lot learning the “car biz.” He confesses, “I took down two pages of terminology I had never heard before, and about as many jokes. One of the first things I learned is that the auto business has its own language, dress code, and sense of humor — and views technology with skepticism, at best.”
Three weeks later, Carter had done enough research to conclude they had indeed identified a golden opportunity that no other company had successfully tackled. He offered to run the new enterprise beginning in March 2000. The investment component was equally promising, as the lead investor was committed to the venture and had the means to take the start-up all the way to profitability. This enabled Carter the rare chance to construct the foundation for the company carefully without spending the majority of his time wondering where he would find the funding for the business.
Their first two months of operation proved to be successful, partly due to the fact that Carter sought out a team of 27 experts representing over 190 years of experience in the auto industry. DTG has cornered a unique market that connects more dealers and more inventory than previously possible. The primary value the company offers the typical auto dealer is savings in time, money and hassle over existing wholesale methods.
Carter thinks he has completed about 70 percent of the work he set out to accomplish. He is tremendously satisfied to have launched a company successfully out of nothing, and relates, “It has been very challenging and rewarding to attempt to combine the promise of technology for the real benefit of those who are typically slow to embrace it.”
Carter and his wife, Kerry Hales Crockett ’93, met at Westmont and now live in the Seattle area with their young son and daughter. He expresses thanks to Westmont for preparing him to quickly adapt to changing environments and for being a place that provided the great models of Christian leadership he encountered during his college years. He enjoys visiting campus each year to keep up with the activities there and is excited about the way God continues to bless Westmont’s unique and important mission.