See what makes us different ...
|Baby Boomer||Generation Y|
Bill Sampognaro, Baby Boomer
Who do you trust the most? My wife of 31 years, Tracy.
What is the best decision you have ever made? Besides marrying my high school sweetheart, the purchase of our first repair shop when I was 26 years old and the second shop 10 years later..
Best book you’ve ever read? Phil Jackson’s “Sacred Hoops.”
How did you get into the automotive service business? My dad owned a car wash/carburetor and ignition repair shop on the east side of Chicago from 1961-1978. I spent a lot of time there with my dad and family, and learned a lot by watching, listening and working, starting out in the car wash. Looking back, I guess that is where the foundation for my work ethics was formed.
Is there a professional goal you’re striving for that you’d like to share with us? My professional goal has always been to maintain quality workmanship and excellence in service.
What do you drive? My daily driver is a Jeep Cherokee and Chrysler Aspen SUV Hybrid. At the track, I race a Dodge/SRT Viper.
If you had a free weekend by yourself, what would you do? Take a nice drive in one of my cars on a beautiful summer day or spend a cold winter day cleaning/waxing one of the cars or washing my garage floor.
What piece of advice would you give a young person who is graduating from high school today? Follow your dreams ... but whatever you do, keep striving to do your best even when it gets tough. My dad always told me: “The difficult we do right away, the impossible takes a little longer.”
If you could change one thing about the field in which you work, what would it be? How automotive manufacturers design and build some vehicles without keeping in mind future mechanical service, repairs and maintenance.*
What is one electronic gadget that you cannot live without? My iPhone. The one app I absolutely depend on most is a voice mail app from AT&T. When a customer calls the shop after hours and leaves an urgent message, that message is then transferred to my cell. I am then able to return the call within moments to help them with their problem or concern. It gives them peace of mind.
Speaking on behalf of your generation, how do you see the future of the industry? Great and exciting! With the wave of more electronic devices, apps and gadgets, people feel better connected and more informed when it comes to their vehicles. They love their cars and they want to take good care of them. They will always need someone they can depend on and trust for the service of their cars.
Douglas Sampognaro, Y/Millennium
Who do you trust the most? I can always count on my dad to steer me in the right direction.
What is the best decision you have ever made? Having a child; my wife and I made the decision. I take my job more seriously now that I have additional responsibilities and a little girl to provide for.
Best book you’ve ever read? I prefer to read magazines. My favorite is Mopar Muscle magazine because of my love for muscle cars.
How did you get into the automotive service business? I grew up watching my dad tinkering with his cars in our garage, and when I was old enough I helped out at our shop. My earliest memory was when I was 5 or 6 helping my dad and grandpa prep our 1937 Plymouth Coupe for paint. By the way, the engine that was in that Coupe is now in my Duster. It has come a long way, and so have I.
Is there a professional goal you’re striving for that you’d like to share with us? I would like to run my own shop or business someday.
What do you drive? 1974 Duster, 1989 Dodge Truck, 2012 Charger.
If you had a free weekend by yourself, what would you do? I recently bought a 1989 Dodge truck as my restoration project. My goal is to put a 1974 Chrysler 225 Slant 6 engine in and add a Turbo. This is unusual for a restoration. Most people want to put the big V8 engine in. I am putting in a V6 for better gas mileage and adding the turbo for more power. I am so excited to make this truck my own.
What piece of advice would you give a young person who is graduating from high school today? I think it would be helpful for high school students to get more hands-on training in whatever field they are interested in.
If you could change one thing about the field in which you work, what would it be? I would like to change the way we gain more customers. I find it difficult because of the area our shop is located in.
What is one electronic gadget that you cannot live without? I cannot live without my iPhone or the ebay app.
Speaking on behalf of your generation, how do you see the future of the industry? I think our industry is going to continue to become more technology-based.
In future issues, we are inviting different generations from each shop (you don’t have to be related) to participate in the “Generationally Speaking” department. If you are interested, please send AutoInc. Editor Leona Dalavai Scott a quick note at firstname.lastname@example.org.