Junior Achievement | Central Illinois Business Hall of Fame

John Bearce

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Vice President
John Bearce Companies

After spending 10 years in the Marines and Reserves, John came back to Central Illinois. He worked as a lineman for a short time before earning a job at a Ford dealership in Peoria, working his way up to management, and deciding he wanted to be a Ford dealer.

Through hard work and risk John became part owner of a Ford dealership in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. After a time there, he and his wife Nancy eventually moved back to Washington, Illinois in 1969. Six months after purchasing the franchise in Washington, they increased sales from 30 cars per month to 120 cars per month. Thanks to faith, health, and the support of those around him, John Bearce Companies has grown to great success and notability throughout Central Illinois.

Beginning as a salesperson in 1953 at Peoria Motors, John Bearce spent 59 years in the automobile business. He found success in turning around failing dealerships, buying and selling 12 franchises throughout his career. John has served as a Dale Carnegie instructor and a mentor to many other auto dealers. He received the Ford’s Chairman’s Award for customer satisfaction seven years in a row, and has served many community organizations.

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