60 years, S-I-X-T-Y, 1963-2023.
Sixty years young, Six decades, The big 6-0.
Any way you denote it, the milestone is impressive. In 1963 a young man from Cambridge started down the path that would not only change his own life, but the lives of his family and the thousands of employees who would work for him. Sixty years later, we celebrate the success, the longevity and the future of Ray Ciccolo and the Village Automotive Group.
Let’s first talk about the reason we do this: our customers. How many people have walked through our doors since 1963? It is easily upwards of SIX figures. Not only can we thank a few hundred-thousand people for their patronage, we also think about the impact of Village Automotive on their lives. Yes we helped them get around town, take vacations, commute to work, carpool to school, etc.… But think about the types of cars we sell. How many people can thank the Volvos we sold to them for ultimately keeping them alive and well? How many people were able to achieve success in their life because that old Honda dependably started every single morning? That’s pretty gratifying.
Ray’s story is stereotypically American rags-to-riches, yet so unique as well. A poor kid with a big, loving family who puts himself through the Marine Corps Reserve and then through college, and who happens upon a company which needed an entrepreneur’s perspective to thrive. Success ensues and a great, local business empire is created. But… how many of these success stories have a protagonist who secretly harbors ambitions to be a song-and-dance man? Who can fix a washing machine in his sleep? Who in the midst of building up his main business takes a tangent on owning a professional team tennis franchise? Who is so respected in the automobile business that he is asked to give an inspirational speech on philanthropy at the annual NADA (National Automobile Dealers Association) Convention? Who decides on a summer, cross-country vacation with his family to take a detour and help out an old friend who was in need of a fill-in summer camp counselor? Or who hikes the entire 500 miles of the Camino de Santiago with his brothers? Ray’s success is more than about creating a great business – he’s shown us how to lead a pretty amazing life as well.
Leading the way.
1963 was quite a year. Vietnam. MLK’s Letter from Birmingham Jail. Lawrence of Arabia wins best picture. The final Mercury mission. The Equal Pay Act of 1963. The Cobra makes its debut at 24 Hours of Le Mans. Pope Paul VI succeeds Pope John XXIII. Ich bin ein Berliner. Zip codes are introduced. The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom/I Have a Dream. The 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham. Lamborghini is founded. Instant Reply debuts. And of course, President Kennedy’s life is tragically cut short.
Fast forward to 2023. Apple and Google and Instagram and Netflix, global warming, electric cars, pandemics and recovery. While our world seems to be represented with a wholly different palette of colors, we celebrate what has stayed the same: Village Automotive will be here, serving our customers with respect and decency, helping them get where they need to go. We’ll treat our employees like family, give back to our community, grow methodically, and we’ll laugh a lot as we do so.
And of course, Ray will lead the way.