Jim started his career in the car business in his hometown of Streator when he was in high school. After holding various positions from detailing, parts assistant, and service writer; the business was in his blood and he moved to selling cars. Jim enjoys selling in a “small town” atmosphere where your word is your bond and in the end, your reputation is all that matters. As his wife Mary says, Jim enjoys “punching numbers” and helping customers and sales people find the right vehicle and fit it into their budget. When not at work he enjoys spending time with Mary and their three daughters, getting the Harley out, and watching sports in the man cave.
Greg has held nearly every position at Heller Ford. In high school, he worked on the lot, parking cars. He has worked his way up from there - spending time in the service department, parts department, detail, Quick Lane, and sales. Greg enjoys exceeding the expectations of Heller Ford's loyal customers. In his spare time, he watches his daughter play travel softball and cheers for the ISU Redbirds. It should also be noted that Greg is a perennial middle-of-the-road finisher in the Heller Stores fantasy football league. Greg would like to mention that he loves Thin Mints, in case anyone reading this needs a gift idea.
Who knows more about a place that works so well than it's Sales Managers? At Heller Ford, you'll find Ron Kizer with more than 20 years experience. If you sit and talk to Ron, you'll notice immediately the twinkle in his eyes and the pride in his voice as he describes the people and the effort he's been proud to be a part of. He knows a dealership, much like the vehicles we sell, has hundreds of moving parts, all working together. Members of the team all encourage one another to ensure they stay on the right track. The result is a a great car buying and service experience unlike any other. Stop in and ask Ron... he'll be more than happy to tell you all about it!
With over 27 years of experience in the industry, Mike Masterson is eager to help make buying your next vehicle an easy experience. He came to Heller Ford because he was drawn to the family-owned business environment and the company's sterling reputation. You can be confident that Mike will put his years of experience to work for you. When he isn't working, he enjoys golfing, fishing, and the great outdoors.
Danny Wickman has been with Heller Ford for 17 years. A big part of his job is helping the sales staff value customer trades at top dollar, and he’s very good at it. Dan is proud to be a Vietnam veteran. When he’s not spending time with his five grandchildren or his pit bull, he likes to fish and work on remodeling his house.
Mike has been in the car business selling vehicles for over 20 years. He loves to help people by listening to their needs and fitting them into their dream car. In his free time, Mike spends the majority of it with his family and friends. Most often around a campfire telling stories and just spending quality time together with his wife and two girls (aged 25 and 20).
When he gets some time to himself, Mike loves to watch sports, especially Football, although his favorite team, Chicago Bears, are not very fun to watch right now!!
John Brown is an exceptional addition to Heller Ford because he is very family oriented, which the Heller Stores are built upon. He joined the Heller team for the opportunity to thrive and help others find the car of their dreams. In the summer when he is not serving his customers, he is spending time with his wife and three children either cooking out or in the pool! He is a fan of Chicago sports including the Cubs, Blackhawks, Bulls, and Bears! One day he wishes he could get his first car back, which was a 1964 Chevelle Malibu!
Raef is new to the car business. In the past, he has been a History Teacher and Business to Business Salesman. When thinking about selling cars he remembered the great experience he had buying a car at Heller Ford. He wants every customer to have a great experience buying a car from him. Raef is a dedicated family man that loves going on adventures with his wife and 2 daughters. He also loves to play golf. Raef is an avid sports fan and loves to watch movies. He will work very hard for his customers and is dedicated to helping find the right vehicle for them.
Mike joined the car business 6 years ago after careers in the US Army, Illinois National Guard and Law Enforcement. The military afforded him the opportunity to complete his AAS at Richland Community College and his BA at the U of I. He is married to his wife Laura of 26 years, has 3 children, Breanna, Eric, Ryan and one grand daughter, Emma. He enjoys working with and serving the public and is dedicated to customer service. He enjoys weight lifting, basketball and traveling with his family.
Ross is eager to help his customers with his easy going personality. When not helping finding the car for his clients, he is often found enjoying many sports, like golf, fishing and softball. He cherishes the time he gets to spend with his new daughter. He loves to cook and someday hopes to own his own restaurant.
Noah moved to Bloomington in 2001 from the St. Louis area. He came from a mechanical background as a machinist. Finally landing in the automotive business where after working at three separate dealerships, he finally found a home at Heller Ford in El Paso. On his own time, Noah loves spending time in the great outdoors; hunting deer & bass fishing. He also loves to do remodeling projects around the house and spending time with his family.
For all your automotive shopping needs, Noah is here to listen to your needs and help you find that perfect vehicle!
Pete is a well-rounded car salesman who has experience working on cars as well as selling them. He’s easy to talk to and is confident that he can find the right vehicle for you. He loves motorsports and high performance vehicles of all kinds. When he’s not working, he’s spending the day at the lake with friends or hanging out with his pit bull, Flex.
Craig’s service-focused attitude makes him a great fit for Heller Ford’s sales team. As his customers will tell you, he’s willing to go out of his way to ensure that their needs are met. He just had a baby girl, so he doesn’t have too much free time, but when he does, he spends it on the golf course or in the kitchen. He says his best dish is his chili, but he can cook just about anything.
Ask Cliff’s customers, and they’ll tell you that he does absolutely everything in his power to give them the best deal and make sure they’re satisfied. Cliff came to Heller Ford after having a great buying experience here, and he wants to ensure that all his customers receive the same great treatment he did. He’s no Hollywood chef, but he enjoys grilling and makes a mean rack of ribs.
Nathan has 20 years of experience in the customer service industry in various job positions. So, he is very inclined to providing good service and taking care of his customers.
However, this will be his first foray into the car industry, but he is excited to take on this new challenge and use customer service skills to help his customers find that perfect vehicle!
In his own time, Nathan is a huge sports fan and he plays pool competitively. If you are a pool player, ask him to play! When not at work or watching/playing sports, most of his time is spent with his wife and dog.
Come see Nathan for all your vehicle needs!
Jimmie Dean Taylor (yes, that’s his real name) is a retired Air Force mechanic known for his knowledge of Ford trucks. He likes to have fun with his customers and maintain a low-pressure environment. He has five children and is a huge Notre Dame football fan. During the season, you can probably spot him on the sidelines of his kids’ sporting events. Even if you don’t see him, you’ll definitely hear him.
As his customers will tell you, Rich makes the car buying process easy and fun and always follows up after the sale. He loves working for a family business like Heller Ford that rewards hard work. Though he was born in Chicago, Rich is an enthusiastic outdoorsman who enjoys spending his spare time fishing and hunting, as well as with his wife and family. According to Rich, Jamaica is nice, but he’d rather be in a tree stand or a duck blind.
Jody has spent over two decades in sales at Heller Ford and brings that experience to every customer interaction. Great with follow-up, he has many repeat customers and believes that customer referrals are the best compliment he can receive. When he isn’t working, he enjoys spending time at the lake with his family and racing his pristine Pontiacs in the Pure Stock Muscle Car Drags!
DJ grew up in central Illinois and has worked at both Heller locations. He enjoys meeting new people every day and prides himself on his honesty and fairness. In his spare time, he enjoys reading (he’s a bit of a history buff), video games, and vintage collectibles. If you need a ride to the next Comic Con, there’s a good chance you can hop in with DJ.
Mike enjoys working for a family oriented company like Heller Ford because they take care of everyone who comes through the doors - both employees and customers alike. Mike loves that he gets to meet so many people as part of his job. In his spare time, Mike enjoys spending time with his wife and his dachshund. Mike maintains a perfectly manicured lawn and is always ready to start a new landscaping project!
Kris graduated from ISU and started his professional life in central Illinois. With 13 years of industry experience and a knack for making things easy on customers, Kris is happy to help customers get the vehicles they need. On a nice day, it’s tough for him to choose between the golf course and his Harley, but if you ask him, neither hobby compares to spending time with his daughter.
Jake knew from a young age that he wanted to be in the car business when he would “sell” cars to his parents at the kitchen table. The most rewarding part of his job is helping people make the right decisions on their vehicle purchases, which is exciting for the customers and himself every time! He graduated from Illinois Wesleyan with a Business Administration degree in May of 2015. He’s passionate about being active, especially in CrossFit. When he’s not here, he is most likely spending time with his dog Wrangler or enjoying the outdoors! He’d love to have dinner with his coaching heroes Tom Izzo or Coach K.
Jason grew up in Cropsey Illinois and graduated from Prairie Central High School. He started his automotive career in sales in 2006. Jason reminisces that he found great joy helping customers with their transportation needs, and enjoyed seeing the smiles on their faces as they drove off the lot in their new cars. Jason loves that he gets to meet all kinds of new and interesting people daily. Jason married his wife Kimberly in April of 2000. Along with his children, Jason counts Kimberly as the biggest blessing in his life. They have four children together, 3 boys and 1 girl. Jason relates that “over the years I have been in this business I have learned a few very important things - Always be honest. Always give accurate information to the customer - if you don’t know then ask someone who does. And most importantly, always smile. Buying a vehicle is a big, stressful, confusing process for most people. My job is to make the process easier – and even fun!”
Greg Heiken has over 27 years of experience in the automotive industry, with more than 7 of that at Heller Ford. He enjoys the Heller attitude of treating customers like people instead of numbers. When he isn't behind the parts counter, you can probably find him hunting, watching his son play sports, or in his garage with his 2010 Camaro RS/SS or his 1983 Thunderbird Pro Street. Greg is too humble to mention it, but you should know that he is the unofficial El Paso Corn Festival ski ball champion.
Kyle has been at Heller Ford for three years, and he’s here to make sure your car looks like new. Reconditioning vehicles is what he and his detail crew do best, and his customers will tell you that their car never looks as good as when Kyle details it. When he’s not spending time with his grandson, you can probably find him enjoying the great outdoors or cruising on his Road King.
Mike is no stranger to the automotive industry, having spent over 7 years as a manager and/or technician, where he often enjoyed helping others and making someone’s bad day better. As a big believer in family values as well, Mike has found his perfect match as a Service Advisor with Heller Ford, where we are all a big family. Mike is here to help you with all of your maintenance and service needs. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family and friends, tinkering around in the garage, and traveling.
Billie Joe is a mother of two kids, ages 10 and 5. She has spent the last 4 years at home with them. Before being a stay at home mother, she worked at Central Illinois Trucks in Normal for over 7 years. She started as a service writer and was a contract maintenance manager for the final year. Billie Joe grew up in El Paso, but have lived in Normal for the last 12 years. My weekends are spent at soccer and volleyball games watching my kids.
Billie Joe is looking forward to helping you with all of your service needs on your vehicle. Just call in today and ask for her!
You’ll find Bob Wertz behind the desk in Service at Heller Ford. He prides himself on being thorough and ensuring that his customers’ needs are met. When he’s not spending him with his family, you can probably find him watching NASCAR or at the dirt track for some racing. True to form, he loves Days of Thunder and dreams of cruising around in a 1969 Ford Mustang Fastback.
My main goal is to treat every customer with the best care possible here at Heller Ford and look forward to doing that. My wife and I recently purchased our first home. You can catch me working on the house or in the yard when not at Heller Ford. I also enjoy watching football and spending time with my family.
After graduating from El Paso High School in 1947, Gene worked side by side with his father until he joined the service in January 1952. Gene was deployed to Korea where he worked as a halftrack mechanic in the U.S. Army.
When his young family returned to El Paso, Gene took over the day-to-day operations of Heller’s Garage (the old Sweeney’s Garage) from his father, Bud. A few years later, in February of 1956, Gene borrowed $10,000 from a Secor farmer to purchase the Foltz Motor Company and opened his new Ford garage in downtown El Paso near the theatre.
In the years to come, Gene, his sons, and now grandsons have turned that small garage into one of the largest Ford dealers in the state of Illinois. The Heller Stores now employ over 150 people. At 85 years of age, Gene is still here to open the “garage” every morning at 6:30. Gene’s guidance and desire to treat all of his customers as if they were family has enabled his business to thrive for nearly 60 years.
Gene doesn’t have email, so you’ll have to stop in if you’d like to say hello!
Dan’s genuine love for both people and cars has set the tone at The Heller Stores for the past 40 plus years. Dan’s passion for his employees and customers earned him the honor of Time Magazine’s Illinois Automobile Dealer of the Year in 2009. Dan and his amazing wife Karen have two boys, and if there is anything Dan is better at than cars, it’s being a father. Although Dan has passed the responsibility of day-to-day operations to his boys, he remains active as the Co-Chairman of the Illinois FDAF and serves his fellow Ford dealers as their representative on the National Dealer Council. An avid collector of vintage Ford’s, Dan always has time to talk cars with friends and visitors.
It’s impossible to say when Neil officially started working at Heller Ford, considering that he nearly grew up on the showroom floor. Having spent time in various departments in the dealership, Neil assumed a managerial role in 2005 after graduating from the University of Illinois. Neil earned his position through hard work and because he has a knack for knowing his customers, finding the perfect car for them, and remembering them for years to come. He’s married to the woman of his dreams and if you’re lucky, you might spot them riding around on their tandem bicycle. Don’t be afraid to say hello! When he’s not working hard to put a smile on his customers’ and employees’ faces, Neil enjoys remodeling and furnishing older homes. He’s proud to carry on his father and grandfather’s legacy and lead Heller Ford into the future.
Karen has been with the Hellers since the time Bud Heller was selling John Deere - that’s 40 years, if you’re counting (Karen isn’t). Karen’s levelheaded approach to problem solving has made her an integral part of our success. Karen is a proud mother and grandmother who used to joke about “those crazy dog people,” but two border collies have since turned her world upside down.
Mary Wilkey is the lady behind all the numbers at Heller Ford. She’s been here for 17 years and runs a tight ship behind the scenes. In her spare time, she focuses on faith and family. She has five kids of her own and five grandchildren. As a grandmother, it’s her duty to spoil them, and she’s pretty good at it!
Jeanine likes to joke that she flew to Heller Ford on her broomstick, but the truth is that she’s as nice as can be. She brings 20+ years of experience to her role as BDC Manager and knows the business through and through. An animal lover, she’d enjoy meeting your dog if you’d like to bring him along!
Chris started at Heller Ford over 16 years ago in the sales department. His aptitude for all things digital became apparent when he built the dealership's first website. As the business began to rely more and more on computers, Chris seamlessly transitioned into his current role maintaining all things that go beep. When not thinking in 1s and 0s, Chris helps his wife raise their four agility dogs (3 shih-tzus and a border collie). Just don't bring up fantasy football, because then he'll never shut up.