W. Marvin Rush is the founder and chairman of Rush Enterprises, a publically traded $2.4-billion collection of commercial truck and equipment sales and service centers spread throughout the U.S., but he's “Marvin” to everyone — technicians, salesmen, secretaries, anyone who walks into one of his facilities — and doesn't stand on a lot of ceremony.

“My daddy gave me two pieces of advice when I started this business in 1965,” Marvin said during the company's second annual technician skills rodeo. “First, surround yourself with smart people — the kind of people who really know their stuff. And second, most importantly, if you end up making money, make damn sure all of your people do well, too.”

In the rodeo, 60 technicians from across Rush's network vie for nearly $100,000 worth of prize money. Expensive, perhaps, to some, but more than worth it in Marvin's eyes. The rodeo is just one of the latest and most creative ways the company has found to follow through on that advice.

“As I tell everyone, this company is nothing without our people — they do all the work,” he says. “In my view, we in corporate serve them. We're here to help them do their jobs better, so we can all then serve the customer better.”