Our Founder and President Ray Ciccolo was recently honored as one of the inaugural members of the Massachusetts Auto Dealers Hall of Fame. The new Hall of Fame was established by MSADA: the Massachusetts State Auto Dealers Association.

Over the course of the last 100+ years, thousands of individuals and their families have contributed to build the automotive retail industry in the Commonwealth. By MSADA’s numbers, economic activity at franchised dealerships represents almost 20% of the retail economy in our state, while employing over 25,000 people.

Success in business is decidedly not preordained. It takes smarts, creativity, vision and commitment, quality employees, as well as a helping of good fortune. Ray has all of those things and more, starting out from the lower rungs in Cambridge, through Rindge Tech High School and Suffolk University, the Marine Corps, working as a bottle breaker at the Ritz-Carlton and on the ‘dead-shift’ at the Ward Baking Company in Cambridge, as an owner of Laundromats, and then buying a failing dealership in Newton Corner and realizing that the potential of his small and unknown Volvo brand was the key to  his success. Through boom times and recessions, Ray has used his smarts and savvy to succeed and provide quality jobs for the area, while becoming one of the more respected and knowledgeable dealers in New England and the nation.

Ray’s most pronounced trait – his heart – has always been an integral ingredient in his story. Through the charities he sponsors, through the family environment he fosters at his stores, through the foundation he established, Ray is always looking to lend a hand and give back. It was saying something when the National Automobile Dealers Association – an organization with thousands of members and many distinguished business people – invited Ray to give the Inspirational Message at their annual convention in 2011. Ray has that kind of gravitas and respect in an industry he has been a part of since 1963.

Congrats to the other inaugural honorees: Paul Balise, Ernie Boch (Sr.), Herb Connolly and Alvin Fuller. And congrats to Ray on a life and career well done!