TwitterFacebookPinterestGoogle+

Getting to Know Sutherlin Nissan Co-Owner “U.S. Marine”

WINTER PARK, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – “U.S. Marine,” the man who owns Sutherlin Nissan, pretty much started with nothing and turned it into the American dream. The bartender-turned-Florida auto industry mogul recently sat down with Florida National News and shared his story. And let me tell you, it’s not what you might expect.

A few years back, my friend and I walked down Park Avenue in Winter Park, Florida, and saw this beautiful red Ferrari. We start posing for pics like we owned it. From afar, I heard a man say, “Hey, do you need the keys?” That was U.S. Marine. A few years later I learned that his wasn’t your typical success story. This is a man that cared more about his daughter than life itself and yet had a wonderful spirit and passion for his community.

Marine describes working for a chain restaurant in Tampa years ago. “I was a bartender. Everyday after lunch the sales team of a local car dealership would come in after work for Happy Hour.” The sales team, liking his personality, would often recruit him to join them. “I enjoyed meeting new people and hearing their life stories. I really wasn’t ready to make a career change.”

But then life changed and Marine realized it was time to grow up and start a life with more meaning. “I decided to give car sales a try. My first month in car sales, I was salesman of the month and made triple what I was making as a bartender,” says Marine. I guess you could say he caught the bug. He continued, “I got so excited about the car business I worked every day for nine months straight. My work ethic allowed me to advance and my goal became clear…to own my own car dealership.”

Marine was certainly on his way. By the time he was 28 years old, he was General Manager of the dealership he started in and was running two more in Naples, Florida. This is where the story gets even more inspiring.

Marine eventually put his feelers out that he was looking to purchase his own dealership–a big move for someone relatively new in the car business and a former service industry employee. “The opportunity to purchase an underperforming story in Orlando came up and I partnered with George Sutherlin and opened Sutherlin Nissan Orlando,” says Marine.

But it gets better. “We quickly took the store from selling on average fifty cars a month to over six hundred cars per month,” he humbly explained. Nissan Corporate quickly took notice of the team’s Orlando success and elevated Sutherlin Nissan to preferred dealer status, allowing them to purchase not one, but two additional underperforming stores on the East Coast of Florida in Vero Beach and Ft. Pierce. They quickly turned those stores around as well.

 

U.S. Marine marketing his Nissan dealership in East Orlando. Photo courtesy of U.S. Marine.

U.S. Marine marketing his Nissan dealership in East Orlando. Photo courtesy of U.S. Marine.

 

While U.S. Marine has notable success in the car industry, it’s his 11-year-old daughter Sydney that is his center of attention. “She is the most important person in my life. I definitely spoil her, but she is also a little girl boss and is smart beyond her years,” Marine shared. Will Sydney one day take over the family business? “Sydney loves spending time with me at work and is fascinated by the car business and loves to watch her daddy at work,” he explained.

Looks like we could have future car dealership owner in the future.

 

U.S. Marine and his daughter Sydney. Photo courtesy of U.S. Marine.

U.S. Marine and his daughter Sydney. Photo courtesy of U.S. Marine.

 

When U.S. Marine purchased the land for his East Orlando location, he got an interesting surprise. The land was occupied by nesting turtles and he learned the investment involved in relocating their nest to a new habitat. “I may not have liked the cost, but I knew what I had to do,” says Marine. In the same fashion, when a family of ducks recently showed up at the dealership, he took action. His care for the ducks, documented on his social media pages, soon garnered national attention. “I couldn’t just ignore them. What type of example would that be for my daughter?” says Marine. The ducks, and his clear and apparent love of nature, are things we can all take a lesson from.

 

U.S. Marine greets a family of ducks inside his Nissan dealership in East Orlando. Photo courtesy of U.S. Marine.

U.S. Marine greets a family of ducks inside his Nissan dealership in East Orlando. Photo courtesy of U.S. Marine.

 

So what does this highly successful businessman and father do to relax? “When I’m not working you will probably find me somewhere on the water. I love anything water-related including wake surfing, paddle boarding and jet skiing,” says U.S. Marine. Interestingly enough, if you want to catch up with him, your best day is Wednesday, most likely in Winter Park. “I work hard. I play hard. I love our community. I love our country. I love being a father. What else could I ask for?”

Add all this to a man that truly gives back and you’ve got a local hero. Who knows what the future holds for U.S. Marine, but one thing’s for sure: he’s far from done with his life mission.

 

U.S. Marine and his daughter Sydney. Photo courtesy of U.S. Marine.

U.S. Marine and his daughter Sydney. Photo courtesy of U.S. Marine.

 

Sutherlin Nissan is located at 8125 E. Colonial Drive, Orlando, FL 32817.

_____________________________________________________________

Community activist and radio host Randy Ross is a contributor for Florida National News. | mellissa.thomas@floridanationalnews.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

VIDEO NEWS

National Politics

Is America ready for gay president? Iowa casts first votes

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The question posed to Pete Buttigieg — gay, married and…

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg heads to Washington

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will be in Washington Thursday to meet…

Court calls US “enhanced interrogation techniques” torture

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal court in San Francisco took the unusual step of…

Trump dismisses whistleblower complaint as ‘hack job’

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump irritably defended himself Friday against an intelligence whistleblower’s potentially…

STATE & LOCAL POLITICS

Orange County’s “Don’t Pitch It-Fix It!” Event Urges Residents to Salvage Stuff

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Orange County's Environmental Protection Division is celebrating National Pollution Prevention…

Pulse Survivor Brandon Wolf, FL Leaders Slam Trump’s Broken Promises On Gun Violence

ORLANDO, F.L. — On a press call Thursday afternoon, the Florida Democratic Party and the…

Governor Ron DeSantis Meets with Financial Industry Leaders in Chicago

Chicago, IL. – This week, Governor Ron DeSantis met with Chicago leaders in the financial…

Orlando Mayor Dyer, Commissioner Ortiz Launch Hispanic Heritage Month at City Hall

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - To celebrate the commencement of Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September…

FNN POLITICS & POWER SERIES

FNN SPORTS

MORE SPORTS NEWS

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Panthers QB Newton ruled out for Sunday’s game vs Arizona

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Panthers will be counting on second-year quarterback Kyle Allen to…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

NHL: Penalties Kill Tampa Bay Lightning in 3-0 Shutout Loss to Carolina Hurricanes

TAMPA BAY, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) - Although our Florida National News fans voted in the…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

NHL Preseason Prediction: Lightning vs. Hurricanes

TAMPA BAY, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) - Hockey is back, which means fall is in full…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

NFL Week 2 Recap: History Repeats Itself in Browns Win Against Jets

NEW YORK, N.Y. (FNN SPORTS) - Monday night's bittersweet Cleveland Browns 23-3 win against the…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Walt Disney World Resort Sponsors the UCF Knights

ORLANDO, Fla. –  With a new sponsorship agreement, Walt Disney World Resort hopes to spread some…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

NFL Week 2 Recap: Buccaneers Resurgent Against Panthers on the Road

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FNN SPORTS) - The Buccaneers knew Thursday night’s game against the Carolina Panthers…

BUSINESS NEWS

  • Apple's new emojis offer greater representation for those with disabilities, LGBTQ+ and an even greater variety of funny emoticons. Image: Apple.
    CUPERTINO, Ca. (FNN NEWS) - Apple Announces New Batch of Emojis on World Emoji Day (Image: Apple.)

MORE BUSINESS NEWS

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Mass Shootings Give Rise to Bullet-Resistant Backpacks

NEW YORK (AP) — Companies like Guard Dog Security, TuffyPacks and Bullet Blocker are peddling…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Universal Orlando Resort Reveals Passholder Appreciation Days Perks

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Source: Universal // Universal Orlando Resort revealed that for the…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Orlando Continues to Support Small Businesses

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Small businesses play such an important role in the economies…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

S&P 500 posts its worst week of 2019 as trade tensions flare

Investors rattled by President Donald Trump’s latest escalation in his trade war with China drove…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

ID theft stings, but it’s hard to pin on specific data hacks

NEW YORK (AP) — Equifax 2017. Marriott 2018. Capital One 2019. Data breaches through hacking attacks…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Apple Announces New Batch of Emojis on World Emoji Day

Cupertino, CA (FNN NEWS) — July 17th is National Emoji Day! What better way to celebrate…

ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

MORE ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Judge won’t return R. Kelly bond money to woman who paid it

CHICAGO (AP) — A judge in R. Kelly’s Illinois sexual assault case has refused to…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Halloween in Orlando Starts in September

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - It may only be September, but Halloween is already in…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

“Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle” Now Open at Universal Orlando Resort

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – Source: Universal Orlando Resort // The darker side of the…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Jordan, Foxx debut injustice drama ‘Just Mercy’ at film fest

TORONTO (AP) — The starry based-on-a-true-story social-justice tale “Just Mercy” made a powerful impression in…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Ariana Grande Accused of Stealing a Drag Queen’s Likeness After Suing Forever 21 for Trademark Infringement

Arianna Grande recently sued fashion retailer Forever 21 for $10 million claiming the brand launched…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Ariana Grande Sues Forever 21 for $10 Million Over Trademark Infringement

TMZ reports that Pop singer Ariana Grande has filed a lawsuit against Forever 21 over…

LIFESTYLE: TRAVEL, TOURISM, THEME PARKS

  • An African American family has fun flexing for the camera at Universal Orlando Resort.
    ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Universal Orlando Resort Reveals Passholder Appreciation Days Perks

MORE LIFESTYLE NEWS

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Orange County’s “Don’t Pitch It-Fix It!” Event Urges Residents to Salvage Stuff

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Orange County's Environmental Protection Division is celebrating National Pollution Prevention…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Halloween in Orlando Starts in September

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - It may only be September, but Halloween is already in…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

“Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle” Now Open at Universal Orlando Resort

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – Source: Universal Orlando Resort // The darker side of the…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Universal Orlando Resort Rolls Out New Year’s Eve Celebrations Across the Entire Destination

ORLANDO, Fla. – At Universal Orlando Resort, New Year’s Eve isn’t just another holiday – it’s…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Orlando Mayor Dyer, Commissioner Ortiz Launch Hispanic Heritage Month at City Hall

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - To celebrate the commencement of Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Disney: Arnold Palmer’s 90th Birthday

Walt Disney World Resort joined other golf courses and the Arnold & Winnie Palmer Foundation…