FINALIST – Retail and Consumer Products
president and CEO
Sun State International Trucks LLC
Oscar Horton’s strong work ethic led to his rapid ascension within International Truck and Engine. Wanting to more directly impact people’s lives, however, he resigned from his comfortable executive position to set out on his own and take on a challenge.
Horton bought the Tampa and Sarasota dealerships now known as Sun State International Trucks LLC, from International 11 years ago.
When he acquired the dealerships, Horton, the president and CEO, was faced with recurring losses, poor employee morale and a lack of technological infrastructure.
To turn the company around, he took on an aggressive growth strategy in the following years — bringing the current number of locations owned to ?ve — and prioritized investment in his team of employees.
The full-service truck dealership ensures employees understand the business by offering ?nancial literacy courses to educate on items such as the income statement, balance sheet, statement of cash ?ows, and operations and planning.
Quarterly meetings keep all employees informed on operating results and gives associates at all levels the chance to give input.
This successful turnaround has made Sarasotabased Sun State International Trucks an ef?cient, pro?table and quality-driven dealership delivering great customer service, but Horton isn’t resting on his laurels.
He plans to continue a focus on developing his staff, deepening existing customer relationships and investing in technology.
In addition to a commitment to his associates, Horton is dedicated to his community.
He serves on several boards including Academy Prep Center, the University of South Florida, Boys and Girls Club of Tampa Bay, Goodwill Industries-Suncoast, the Bank of Tampa, Federal Reserve of Atlanta, and Navistar Diversity and Inclusion Board.
HOW TO REACH: Sun State International Trucks LLC, www.sunstateintl.com