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Manchester’s Team Nissan Buys Lebanon Miller Auto Dealership

Lebanon — The new Nissan dealership in Lebanon is looking for people to sell cars. In fact, the company is looking for a room full of them, the executive manager said last week.

When the potential buyers from Manchester’s Team Nissan inspected the Miller Auto Nissan dealership in Lebanon prior to last month’s purchase, they met a friendly, seemingly efficient sales staff, Ralph Fast said.

However, after the purchase closed on Nov. 15, the new buyers stopped by the dealership and found the showroom empty, he said. “We got there, and there was nobody. We’ve got a great service department and support staff, but we have no sales force. For the last month, we’ve been working 12-hour days, doing everything, except washing the cars. We have excellent opportunities there, if someone wants a sales job.”

“We feel like Nissan has been ignored in the Lebanon area, and we’re planning to change that,” Fast said. The dealership now has 12 employees, and Eric Campbell is the new sales manager, Fast said.

Team Nissan has been in business in Manchester for 21 years. The company also owns the Kia dealership in Concord, which it purchased recently, Fast said.

In 2008, Miller Auto had consolidated its Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge, Cadillac-Chevrolet, Volkswagen-Volvo, Buick-Pontiac-GMC and Nissan brands under five lots in Lebanon, according to the company’s website. The Nissan dealership, which is a standalone operation at 51 Evans Drive, off of Route 120, had been located in White River Junction and was part of the failed Dean Hill Group.

Miller Auto Group owner Jo Ciotte couldn’t be reached for comment last week.

Company News

Business New Hampshire Magazine has named Olympus Biotech, of West Lebanon, as the No. 1 best large company to work for in New Hampshire. The publication annually evaluates large companies and small businesses on such criteria as corporate culture, employee development, mission statements, employee statements and benefits offered. Judges conduct site visits of 20 semi-finalists before the final ranking is made, a news release said.

Olympus Biotech was established in December 2010 as a wholly owned company of Olympus Corp. The business was formerly known as Stryker Biotech.

Hanover’s Hypertherm, which is a regular winner of the annual award, was tapped as the fourth-best large company in the state to work for.

Hanover contractor Trumbull-Nelson and Banwell Architects, of Lebanon, have been honored for their work on the new Lebanon Middle School.

The New Hampshire-Vermont Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors presented the firms with the awards for Construction Excellence, Community Service and Sustainable Building in October. The criteria for the awards are based on execution of design, craftsmanship, attention to detail, safety and other considerations.

The school opened in the fall for 454 students on time and under budget, a news release from the Lebanon School District said.

Jeff North, of Newport, has leased the former site of One Clean Place on Mascoma Street in downtown Lebanon and is reopening a laundry in the location, Lang McLaughry Commercial broker Bruce Waters said in a news release last week.

North, who also owns and operates a laundromat and other businesses in Newport, plans to remodel and to install new equipment in the 3,000-square-foot space, which is located below the Lebanon Market Place grocery store. The building is owned by Caro Properties.

Waters also announced that AVADA Hearing Care Center plans to open an office in March in West Lebanon at 8 Interchange Drive in a free-standing building behind McDonald’s.

The new center will be owned and operated by John and Mike Bartolucci, who also have offices in Barre, Vt., and Springfield, Mass. The 1,000-square-foot building is being renovated by Lowery Builders of Lebanon. The building is owned by The Napoli Group.

Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice has signed a long-term lease on 3,300 square feet with building owner Hanover Equity Group at 2 Buck Road in Hanover, Waters said in a news release.

The research office is expected to open this month.

Waters, who represented the landlord, also said that the Hanover Food Co-op has signed a long-term lease on 10,000 square feet in the building for its administrative offices. The Co-op is expected to move in early next year.

Items of interest to the local business community are published every Sunday. Submissions may be mailed to: Business Notes, c/o Sunday Valley News, P.O. Box 877, White River Junction, Vt. 05001. You may also send your items by fax to 603-298-0212, or by e-mail to biznotes@vnews.com. All items are subject to editing for clarity or space. Warren Johnston can be reached at wjohnston@vnews.com or at 603-727-3216.