Meet Don Ripoli – December Employee Spotlight

Friendly Ford is happy to have Don Ripoli in Sales at Friendly Ford for our December Employee Spotlight! We sat down with Don to hear more about his family, his current responsibilities at the dealership, and some of his favorite things to do outside of work!

Don Ripoli

Please tell me a little bit of background information – some of your previous jobs, how you got into your current sales position at Friendly Ford?

I started here in 2015 when I found out I was going to be a dad. Was here 1 year & 6 months left, and worked for a couple different places then after getting married in June I came back.

Don and his family

Don and his family

Have you always lived in the Roselle area?

No, I actually live in Rockford Illinois.

What are your current job responsibilities as a Product Specialist? What is a typical day like for you?

Prospect and talk to everyone I can. A typical day is on the phone and then talking with customers and going out in the community to spread my name along with Friendly Ford’s name.

What are your goals and what do you hope to accomplish at Friendly Ford as you move forward?

I hope to become the best salesman I can be and eventually move into management.

What do you like most about your job and what makes you passionate about your line of work?

I love being able to help people and talk to new people every day. I am passionate because I like what I do and love talking to new people and learning their story.

What would you consider to be your dream car?

Oh without a doubt F-350 King Ranch

What are some of your hobbies outside of work?

I like to hunt and go fishing. Also, love spending time with my son and wife.

Don and his son

Don and his son

What are some fun or interesting facts about yourself?

I am a very outdoors type of guy and never saw myself as a car salesman until I became one and realized that I am good at it!

If someone made a movie about your life, who would you want to play you and why?

Blake Shelton. Because I am a guy who has worked hard for all I have and he seems to be the same way.

Different Hot Chocolate Recipes To Try This Winter

If you want a fun and tasty way to stay warm in the winter, add some fresh flavors to your trusty mug with any of these great hot chocolate recipes. All of us at Friendly Ford love sharing our favorites!

Hot Chocolate Recipes

Cinnamon Hot Chocolate
This one’s at the top because it’s an oldie but a goodie. While not necessarily original, cinnamon in your hot chocolate is a traditionally awesome way of spicing up your drink.

 

French Vanilla Hot Chocolate
This one’s pretty simple; make your usual cup of hot chocolate, complete with marshmallows, whipped cream, or whatever else you enjoy, then add a container of French Vanilla creamer to the mix.

 

“Black Bottom” Hot Chocolate
When we say black bottom, we mean that the bottom of your mug is going to be coated with a thick layer of fudge that you can then eat like a decadent dessert. Top it with whipped cream for even more indulgence.

 

Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate
Do you know what that mysteriously delectable “pumpkin spice” is? It’s cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice (sometimes with ginger and clove in the mix). Throw it into this yummy white chocolate recipe for a new taste sensation.

 

Red Velvet Hot Chocolate with Cream Cheese
If that name didn’t make your mouth water, we don’t know what to tell you. Top off this deliciously unique concoction with a dollop of cream cheese instead of marshmallows.

 

Try one of these hot chocolate recipes for a tasty holiday season.

November Employee Spotlight – Randy Yockey

Friendly Ford is excited to tell you more about our co-owner, Randy Yockey, for November’s employee spotlight! If you’ve met Randy, you know what this dealership means to him and how deeply he cares for his family, employees, and customers. He has truly personified what it means to be a great leader throughout his time here at Friendly Ford. We sat down with him to learn more about his background, current responsibilities, and some of his favorite things to do outside of work!

Friendly Ford Co-Owner – Randy Yockey

Please tell me a little bit of background information – some of your previous jobs, how you got into your current position at Friendly Ford (Co-Owner).

I started as a porter when I was 14 years old, then worked my way through all departments and was fortunate enough to become an owner of a high profile Ford franchise dealer.

Have you always lived in the Roselle area?

I moved to the Wheaton area when I was 9 years old from Iowa. Now I’ve been living in St. Charles since around 1984.

What are your current job responsibilities as Co-Owner. What is a typical day like for you?

As an owner my typical day is basically managing our overall organization and helping our employees with challenging decisions,direction, and guidance.

What are your goals and what do you hope to accomplish at Friendly Ford as you move forward?

I think I’ve accomplished most of my goals. What I would like to end with is a financially sound, stable business that my children would have the opportunity to move to the next generation.

What do you like most about your job and what makes you passionate about your line of work?

I think what I like most about my job are the relationships between the employees and our customers. It’s humbling when I see that our current employees and customers’ children now either work for us or have been loyal to our dealership – while bringing us their parts, service, and vehicle purchases.

What would you consider to be your dream car?

Obviously I like all vehicles however I am partial to the classic car industry. My favorite car at this point would be our 1940 Ford Super Deluxe Convertible!

What are some of your hobbies outside of work?

Some of my favorite hobbies would include classic car restoration, fishing, outdoor landscaping design, and spending time with my wife, children and grandchildren.

The Yockey Family

What are some fun or interesting facts about yourself?

Nothing overly interesting about me other than that my entire career has been devoted to the automotive industry while holding only one job in my entire life.
This goes hand-in-hand with my wife Debbie of 38+ years whom I am so grateful for.

If someone made a movie about your life, who would you want to play you and why ?

If someone were to make a movie about me I think it would be interesting to see how an automotive dealership operates from the inside out. Most people have no clue what this industry is like, and having lived in it my whole life, I think people would be interested in knowing the automotive evolution over the last 40 years.

 

Ford’s Seat Comfort Tested by ‘Robutt’

Ford's Seat Comfort

There are a lot of things that go into creating the perfect car, from engine performance to interior materials. What many people never think about, however, is seat comfort. Creating a comfortable seat isn’t as easy as it sounds, but one manufacturer is looking to change that. As it turns out, Ford’s seat comfort is no laughing matter and to prove it, the American automaker recently added a new robot to its arsenal.

Well, maybe there is a little laughter, as the seat-testing robot has been dubbed ‘Robutt.’ Robutt plays a crucial role in developing a seat that’s both comfortable and durable.

German automation firm Kuka created the robot to determine how comfortable a seat would be years down the road, as while the average driver will sit down in the driver’s seat around 25,000 times in a decade, Robutt can match that in just three weeks.

In doing so, Robutt effectively tests the seat’s structure and material after the equivalent of 10 years of use. It isn’t the only robot helping out—another piece of hardware measures the seat’s softness and deflection, two factors that help engineers improve the design, although it doesn’t come with an entertaining name.

We here at Friendly Ford are happy to see Ford continuing to improve the quality of its vehicles by any means necessary, including bionic butts!

New Ford Resource and Engagement Center is $5 Million Investment in Detroit

The Ford Motor Company Fund recently announced that it would be creating a Ford Resource and Engagement Center in Detroit, MI, the second of its kind. This center will provide essential needs and services to east-side residents in Detroit, concentrating on education, job training, and business development. Overall, the new community center is a $5 million investment.

According to Ford, the new community center will be located at a middle school named Fisher Magnet Upper Academy, part of the Detroit Public Schools Foundation. There are up to 18 nonprofit community groups that will be helping with services, including things like food distribution, legal assistance, workforce development, and more.

“The decision made by Ford Fund to create the Ford Resource and Engagement Center in a traditional public school reflects the reality that there are few, if any, stronger investments to ensure impact, scale and sustainability within a neighborhood or community,” said Nikolai Vitti, superintendent of Detroit Public Schools.

The new community center represents Ford’s long-term investment in the future of Detroit, a city that’s suffered financially in recent years. At Friendly Ford, we’re proud to be associated with an automaker that isn’t just interested in pure profit, but that strives to become an integral part of the communities with which it’s involved. This new community center is just one of many exciting new projects on the horizon.

Meet Laura Gersch – October Employee Spotlight

Friendly Ford is happy to recognize our very own, Laura Gersch, for October’s employee spotlight! Laura is the Comptroller/Office Manager at our dealership and has been in the car industry for many years. Her hard work does not go unnoticed as she is an integral part of our Friendly Ford staff. We sat down with Laura to learn a little bit more about her background, interests, and goals for the dealership.

Please tell me a little bit of background information – some of your previous jobs, how you got into your current position at Friendly Ford (Comptroller/Office Manager).

I started working in the automobile business during high school.  My dad was the service manager at a Lincoln Mercury dealership and he got me my first job.  I worked there through H.S. and college.  After graduation they offered me a full time job and I was there for 28 years.  After they were sold I worked at a couple other dealerships until a former coworker told me about the position here at Friendly Ford.  The rest is history!

Have you always lived in the Roselle area?

No, I have always lived in La Grange Park.

What are your current job responsibilities as Comptroller/Office Manager. What is a typical day like for you?

My main duty is to manage the finances on a daily basis and to ensure the accuracy of the accounting throughout all departments.

What are your goals and what do you hope to accomplish at Friendly Ford as you move forward?

I want to work with my coworkers to ensure Friendly Ford is a successful and viable business for many years to come.

What do you like most about your job and what makes you passionate about your line of work?

I enjoy the people I work with.  They make it fun to come to work.   It truly is like a family.

What would you consider to be your dream car?

I don’t think I have one.

What are some of your hobbies outside of work?

Gardening and quilting

What are some fun or interesting facts about yourself?

I played the clarinet through grade school, high school and college.

If someone made a movie about your life, who would you want to play you and why ?

Carol Burnette because people tell me we look similar.  ( I guess you have to be of a certain age to know who she is)

Now that you’ve gotten to know a little more about Laura, stop by Friendly Ford today to say hello! She makes sure our dealership is running properly but always makes time for others around.

 

Ford Hurricane Relief Totals $3.5M, Including Donations, Packages for Ford Owners

Ford is making massive donations to Hurricane Harvey Relief and to individuals affected by the storm. The brand’s hurricane relief donations total $3.5 million, with various donations going to the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, Team Rubicon, and many more organizations that are assisting with hurricane relief.

Ford has also started the “Texas Is Family” assistance package for Ford owners whose vehicles were damaged or lost during the flooding. The package will give buyers the same deals offered to Ford employees, with payments deferred until 2018. The bundle will also include Low Ford Credit interest rates or lease rates.

Ford hurricane reliefExisting Ford customers whose vehicles weren’t lost or destroyed can also apply to have their monthly payments deferred for up to two months by contacting Ford Credit or Lincoln Automotive Financial Services. Additionally, first responders are eligible for a $1,000 discount toward the purchase of any Ford or Lincoln vehicle.

At Friendly Ford, we’re proud to be part of a company that does so much to help its customers and employees, the brave first responders who put themselves in danger to help others, and every American affected by these storms. You can find more information on Ford’s hurricane relief donations here.

Meet Paul Licitra, CARSTAR Friendly of Roselle

Friendly Ford is thrilled to have Paul Licitra as a Body Shop Estimator for our CARSTAR Friendly of Roselle at the dealership. Paul has been with the company for some time and has really grown to be a passionate part of Friendly Ford’s family. We sat down with Paul to learn a little bit about his background, interests, and goals for the dealership.

 

Paul Licitra

Body Shop Estimator – Paul Lucitra

 

Please tell me a little bit of background information – some of your previous jobs, how you got into your current position at Friendly Ford which is Body Shop Estimator?

I was an electrician before I got into this industry. Always having a passion for cars, I am beyond lucky to have been granted an opportunity to get into this industry and I love it!

Have you always lived in the Roselle area?

I am actually not from this area. I grew up in River Grove Illinois and moved out to St. Charles, where I currently still am.

What are your current job responsibilities as Estimator? What is a typical day like for you?

I oversee the whole process of a customer’s vehicle. Starting when you call/come in after an accident. I go over your vehicle and put together an estimate of what it will cost to repair. I deal with insurance companies on a daily basis.  I make sure that when your vehicle is done that you not only leave happy, but that you leave with safe/quality repair.

What are your goals and what do you hope to accomplish at Friendly Ford as you move forward?

I hope to build the Body Shop big enough and strong enough to be able to expand to a second location.

What do you like most about your job and what makes you passionate about your line of work?

I love the challenge of estimating a variety of vehicles, because each and every vehicle is so different. We work on all makes and models and it is exciting because I never know what’s going to come in! What makes me so passionate is the end result and our customers leaving satisfied.

What would you consider to be your dream car?

Oh with out a doubt… Ford Raptor!

What are some of your hobbies outside of work?

Paul Licitra Snowboarding

Paul snowboarding

I love being outside.. R/C Cars & Boats, Biking, Boating, Snowboarding, taking my wife and 3 daughters on a walk to the park! I just love anything outdoors!

What are some fun or interesting facts about yourself?

I can always put a smile on someone’s face!

If someone made a movie about your life, who would you want to play you and why?

Robert DeNiro! His on screen charisma of being serious and funny at the same time. Plus I respect him as an actor

Now that you’ve gotten to know a little of Paul Lucitra, come by Friendly Ford today and give him a friendly hello! He’s always looking to brighten everyone’s day.

Tips to Have a Healthy Summer

Have a Healthy Summer at Friendly Ford

Summertime has long been considered a time of relaxation, sunshine, fun, and indulgence. However, with a little preparation, you can have a healthy summer while still having fun. Read our tips below to find out how.

 

  • Use sunscreen. While you might want to head to the beach to soak up the rays, you still need to apply a sunscreen with a least a rating of SPF 30. Reapply every two to three hours, especially if swimming.
  • Drink water. The summer sun can easily lead to a hot, sweaty day. This, in turn, can leave you dehydrated. Drink plenty of water or try other healthy alternatives like green tea, coconut water, or even a juicy piece of fruit.
  • Keep exercising. If the high temperatures make you avoid outdoor exercise, considering joining a gym, watching and following along with exercise videos at home, or switching your exercise routine to early in the morning or later in the evening when it is cooler outside.
  • Bring healthy snacks. For your next family outing, plan ahead and pack a cooler full of healthy snacks like yogurt, veggies and hummus, peanut butter wraps, and fruit. This can help you avoid relying on fast food.

What are your favorite ways to stay healthy in the summer? If you need a new summer vehicle, come visit us at Friendly Ford.

Meet Matt Yockey, Our Friendly Ford General Manager

Friendly Ford is thrilled that Matt Yockey has been promoted to the role of General Manager here at the dealership. Matt has been with the company for quite a while and all his hard work has definitely paid off. We sat down with Matt to learn a little bit about his background, interests, and goals for the dealership.

Are you from the Roselle, IL area?

I live in St. Charles, IL, which is about 25 minutes away. I was born and raised there.

How did you come to work at Friendly Ford?

Friendly Ford

Friendly Ford GM – Matt Yockey

In High School I got into a program where I could work for half of the day, and so, I went to Friendly Ford and I asked for a job. They started me off washing cars and sweeping floors. Soon after that I worked my way up to becoming a Lube Tech/ Mechanic. I liked it so much I decided to attend UTI (Universal Technical Institute) and graduate Ford FACT, which is basically becoming an authorized Ford Motor Company Technician. From there I became a Master Diesel Mechanic, Service Manager, and then finally became the GM of this great dealership and team.

What are your future goals for Friendly Ford?

I would really like to see Friendly Ford grow into a larger business. Right now, we are a “small fish in a big sea”, and I want to become the standard for building great relationships with customers and customer service itself in Roselle. We really care about our customers, and I want to show each one that we appreciate them stopping by to see us.

What are you most passionate about when it comes to your job?

I love the variety this job offers. Each day is different from the customers I help and employees I work with to the cars that come to our lot and service team. I cannot guess what my day will be like. There is never a dull moment, and I am excited for what the day will bring.

If you could have your dream car, what would it be?

That is a tough question! I have more than one. Can I just have them all? Half of me wants to go towards the supercar, the Ford GT. Everyone likes that. I also have a little part of me that wants an old Ford Mustang retrofitted to the new body style and engine, but the hillbilly part of me wants a monster, jacked diesel engine truck. In the end, I guess I don’t just have one. I have like six.

Outside of work, what do you do for fun?

Matt Yockey - Friendly Ford

Matt with his wife and daughter.

I love to boat and go boating, and wake surfing is a lot of fun. Other than that, snowmobiles and ATVs take up most of my time. I have a little girl now, so I end up hanging out with her and my wife a lot as well, which is amazing.

If they made a movie about your life, what famous actor would you like to play you?

The Rock! I love The Rock. He makes everything better and he’s a Ford guy!

Now that you’ve learned a little bit about Matt Yockey, stop by Friendly Ford today and say hello! Whether you’re looking to buy a vehicle or get it serviced, Matt will make sure you’re in good hands.