Manager | C & G Auto Center Inc. | Age: 29
What was your first job in the industry?
My first job in the industry was as an apprentice. I did it all from cleaning bathrooms to observing techs while they worked. I greeted clients and assisted at the gas station.
What attracted you to the industry?
I was attracted to this industry by my father. I am a second-generation owner. My father initially dragged me to his small shop that he had back in New York when I was just a young teenager. I started sweeping floors, cleaning windows, pumping gas, and filling air in tires. I hated it at first but it became my career of choice. I started by tinkering on my own vehicle with no assistance from my father and slowly I was fascinated by it all. This industry is full of huge possibilities; you can go from changing oil one day to being a top executive if you work for it, all the while enjoying what you do.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career?
My biggest challenge was deciding on whether to continue my college education and leave this industry or take the knowledge I had and take over the family business. I received my associate’s degree and was at a crossroad. I decided I'd risk it all and do what I love.
Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
My father by far is the biggest influence in my career. He has always supported me in the crazy endeavors I take and am grateful to him for it. He instilled in me an excellent work ethic that has allowed me to achieve things that I thought were unattainable.
What is your biggest accomplishment in the industry?
My biggest accomplishment is yet to come. I believe that what I have contributed is small compared to the impact I hope to one day achieve. The few things I have done are to build our shop to more of a top shop than the regular shops around. I have been able to help out the community by assisting families in need who can’t afford repairs. Creating a professional atmosphere not only has helped me out but also those around me.
What do you expect to be doing 20 years from now?
Mentoring minority business owners on how to develop a proper corporate automotive business structure that allows them to succeed in their neighborhoods.
What’s the biggest issue facing the industry today?
The lack of technology that is being developed is behind schedule compared to other technology. Millennials are getting used to and it will seem outdated to them when new products are released.
What’s the one thing you wish someone would have told you before you entered the industry?
That the possibility for growth is tremendous and how to get started on the path earlier
Tell us about your family.
I immigrated here with my family from the Dominican Republic in 1989, and I am at this point in life thanks to the great work ethic they instilled in me. My family has been essential to my development.
What’s your favorite weekend activity?
Oddly enough, it’s going to home decor stores with my wife and young daughter to buy things to decorate our home. The bond we have and the fun we have is some of the best weekends I have ever had.
What keeps you up at night?
Tell us something about yourself others might not know.
I love to decorate and garden.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Chocolate. Who can resist?
Name a talent you wish you had.
The ability to sing, I always find myself singing when no one is around but my current vocals are nothing to show off.
What’s your favorite food?
If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
Warren Buffet, the knowledge he possesses on business and just life in general would be life changing for anyone fortunate to talk to him.
If we took your cell phone away and said it would cost you $1,000 to get it back, how long would you survive until you paid the ransom?
An hour, simply because my daughter watches her Sesame Street on my phone and that's some valuable quiet time for me.