For longtime customers who have known my brother and me from childhood, I think the fact that we’re involved in our family business is both surprising – and the most natural thing in the world . It’s no secret that our parents believed strongly in the idea of us getting experience elsewhere and establishing our professional credibility on our own, but having done that, I know we’re both delighted and honored to be taking Otto’s BMW/MINI into the next generation.
I was born in Woodlyn. We moved to Concordville five years later, where I attended Garnet Valley grammar school, switching in seventh grade to Westtown School. Then came the College of Wooster in Ohio, where I graduated with an AB in political science and a minor in German. I was fortunate enough to spend a semester of my junior year in Vienna, which was a great learning experience and deepened my appreciation for travel and seeing other cultures.
I took a year off before entering law school, and got my first taste of working here at Otto’s – mostly in service reception, but also filling in wherever I was needed. I then went to Franklin Pierce Law Center, which is now part of the University of New Hampshire, where I specialized in intellectual property. I also took a lot of courses on licensing, which turned out to be very useful when I found my real niche as an attorney, which was setting up Delaware holding companies for a law firm in Wilmington.
I got married in 2000 and left the firm two years later to be at home for our first – and then second – child. But by 2009, with the kids in school, I was glad for the opportunity to work here part-time on several projects, including the oversight of our corporate sponsorships.
My involvement accelerated when I went through the BMW-sponsored Six Sigma course and got my black belt certification. This is a great program that emphasizes continuous improvement, the reduction of inefficiencies, and getting the most out of your process without sacrificing quality, customer satisfaction, profitability, or workplace morale.
Here at the dealership, it’s helped us build an operational approach that emphasizes the importance of consistency and objectivity, rather than relying on assumptions, guesswork, or just the old ways of doing things. Our goal is to achieve measurable and predictable positive outcomes using the program’s statistically-based analysis of key quality indicators. It’s a work in progress, but the results have been encouraging.
One aspect of my personality that definitely comes into play here is that as soon as I see something amiss, I feel the need to address it immediately. I don’t like to let things languish. I jump in, roll up my sleeves, and try to get to the bottom of it. We believe in owning up to mistakes when they happen – and moving quickly and fairly to resolve them. We try very hard to make sure everyone’s pleased.
I run with friends most mornings of the week. It gives me an opportunity to stay connected, and it also means I don’t have to deprive myself of things I love, like ice cream. My husband and I enjoy traveling, and we’re active members of the community. We feel very invested – and love living here.
I was born and raised in Puerto Rico, and moved here in 1985 looking for a better life. My first job was doing landscaping and lawn maintenance for Radley Run, a local country club. A year later, I was hired by Scott Honda to work in the vehicle prep area, where I washed customers’ cars that had been in for service and also detailed new cars for delivery.
I was laid off in December 1992, but within two weeks had gotten a job here at Otto’s doing the same sorts of things. After a couple of years, however, the dealership volume had increased to the point that it was no longer possible for our Sales Advisors to inspect and process the incoming vehicles on their own. It was at that point that I transferred to the sales department and became our “lot tender,” checking over the cars as they came in from BMW, organizing them by model, and making sure they were nicely displayed on the lot.
In May 2007, my responsibilities evolved once more when I was chosen for this position. As Pre-Owned Manager, I deal directly with customers who simply want to sell us their vehicle without purchasing another, plus I support our Sales Manager by preparing appraisals on trade-ins and getting those cars into the shop for reconditioning and certification.
This is by far the best place I’ve ever worked. I love the people and I love my job. When I do have time off, my wife and I work on our house, cheer for our daughter at her soccer or basketball games, and on Sundays, spend time in church. It’s a wonderful life and we really feel blessed.
Customer Experience Center Manager
Financial Services Advisor
One of the nice opportunities available to those of us who’ve reached a certain age is being able to see the pattern created through the years by the various strands of our lives. In my case, the details today are somewhat different from what I imagined as a young man, but I’m happy to say all the important elements are there, and it’s pretty much a perfect picture.
I was born right here in West Chester, went to St. Agnes grade school, and graduated from Henderson High. It was there that an early interest in music took shape in the form my band, Sir Gregory and the Lords. I played keyboard, sax, and was the lead singer. We recorded a couple of originals at Sigma Sound Studios in Philadelphia that never went anywhere, but we had a lot of fun.
The group split up after graduation as we all went off to college. I started at Cheney, and after a year, transferred to West Chester University with the intention of majoring in music. As sometimes happens, life intervened: I got married and took a job as an account executive with McCormick & Company. I was with them for 13 years, until they decided to outsource their sales force.
My brother had a best friend who worked for a local auto group, and he suggested I give it a try. After about a year selling, I realized it was not the right environment for me, and somehow found my way to Otto’s, where I was a Client Advisor from 1996 to 1998. I left here for another BMW Center, where I stayed for 14 years, broadening my experience to include sales, used car manager, and finance manager. I returned to Otto’s in 2013, no doubt the best professional decision of my life to date.
I truly like people, and just as it was when I was in sales, I’m dealing with the public, which is a definite strength of mine. I have always been a direct and truthful person, and as a result, our clients seem to trust me and look to me as their advisor, a position I honor and never exploit. When they’re in my office finalizing the paperwork, I help them relax and enjoy the fact that they just acquired one of the world’s finest automobiles. It’s a fun moment for all of us.
At this point, my personal life seems configured in threes. Starting with the rock of my life, my wife. We have three sons, three grandkids, and three dogs. We’re in our forth decade of marriage. I’m happy to say music made it into the second generation, as one of my sons now has his own band. And just as I had him on stage singing at the age of eight, he now invites me to sit in with his group. Yes, he’s better than I ever was.
There's a very nice symmetry to my long association with Otto's. I began my career at our BMW dealership in 1987, and except for a short hiatus, I have been part of the Otto's family ever since. My current position as Service Manager for BMW is perfectly aligned with my training, my personality, and my automotive passion. I have a great team of Advisors and technicians, and I can't imagine working in a more constructive, congenial environment.
Cars have been at the center of my universe as far back as I can remember. My longtime dream was to build racing engines, but when I discovered the economic realities associated with that, I adjusted my goals and pursued extensive training in automotive and machine shop classes. After I graduated, I was referred to Otto's by a friend, and got my first fulltime job as a shop technician.
In the years since, I have served in a number of different positions within the company, and always appreciated being able to combine my enthusiasm for our cars with my innate desire to help people. I have an empathetic nature, so even now as a manager, I'm always motivated to apply my mechanic's understanding of a customer's car to making sure we resolve whatever it is that needs attention. And because our clients are legendary in their attachment to their BMWs, they seem particularly appreciative of our efforts.
I was born and raised in Wayne, Pennsylvania and graduated from Radnor High School. I lived in Devon for awhile but moved back to Wayne, where I spend most of my free time sharing my passion for all things automotive with my two sons. The older one is now driving ' hard to believe ' and enjoys working with me on my old cars. Like me, they both love sports and are really into lacrosse.
I grew up in Baltimore and got my first job at 13 in a Buffalo wings restaurant where I started out doing food prep, and over the next five years, moved up the ladder to cook and then manager. I left in 1989 to enroll in Drexel University’s film and video production program, but that experience didn’t really match my expectations, so I left after a year.
I wanted to stay in the Philadelphia area, and since cooking was something I enjoyed, I was happy to accept an invitation to help open the Central Bar & Grill in Bryn Mawr and serve as chef for three years. Ultimately, however, the long hours got to me, and that’s when I turned to a field that had interested me since I was a kid: cars – especially fast cars.
I had been reading about – and lusting over – exotic, high performance vehicles as far back as I can remember, so when a friend of mine at Devon Hill BMW encouraged me to apply there, I took his advice, was hired, and after about six months, found myself in the parts department.
Over the next 18 years, I worked my way through virtually every position in that department, and in the process, got to know Ed Danser, the parts manager at the time here at Otto’s. When the moment came for me to make a move in early 2009, I was happy to accept his offer to join his team.
I knew from a variety of sources that the management here is very forward-thinking and hands-on, always ready to try new initiatives and take on various BMW pilot programs. That kind of engaged, pro-active approach appealed to me and, as I’ve now seen first-hand, produces an efficient, well-run organization.
At this point, my responsibilities range from waiting on customers at the front counter to handling more of the logistical, managerial matters like overseeing our inventory.
On the personal front, I’m a single parent with two children. It’s a challenge to mentor and mold them, but fantastic to have them around. There’s nothing like unconditional love, especially from my young daughter. My hope is that the things I learned raising my son, who’s now an adult, will be helpful the second time around.
As far as unfulfilled dreams, I’d love to be involved with NASCAR at some point. Those drivers are amazing, my favorite being Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
For vacations, we enjoy Cape Cod, and make it a point to get up there with the whole family once a summer. It’s a great spot.