Retail/Wholesale: DREW PARKER
CEO, CARTER MACHINERY, SALEM
In Salem, parents regularly entertain their toddlers driving past the gargantuan heavy equipment — dump trucks, dozers and excavators — on display at Carter Machinery.
The Caterpillar dealership operates more than 30 locations in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and Washington, D.C., and has about 2,300 employees.
For a time, Caterpillar Inc. owned Carter Machinery, making it the only Caterpillar dealership in the United States not independently owned. Then, in 2011, former Caterpillar executive Jim Parker became the dealership’s principal owner and CEO. His eldest son, Drew, has held the top job since 2018. In 2020, Carter purchased Baltimore-based Alban Tractor Co. Inc. for an undisclosed amount, expanding its territory.
Drew Parker graduated in 2000 from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with a degree in finance. In 2018, Parker and his wife, Kate, accepted a Community Impact Award on behalf of Carter Machinery, which made a $300,000 gift to Virginia Western Community College to support its community college access program, which provides up to three years of tuition to Roanoke Valley high school graduates.
Carter Machinery’s roots trace back to 1928, when Robert Hill Carter founded Virginia Tractor Co., the state’s first Caterpillar dealership, in Richmond. In the early 1930s, the company established a second location in Roanoke, which later became a separate operation called Carter Machinery. The company moved its headquarters to Salem in 1962.