Eric Schmit – Friendly Ford Employee Spotlight

Body Shop Director Eric Schmit is our employee spotlight for April at Friendly Ford

  1. Please tell me a little bit of background information – some of your previous jobs, how you got into your Body Shop Director position at Friendly Ford?

I have been with Friendly Ford for my entire working career. I started almost immediately out of college and graduated from Illinois State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education. I was looking for a teaching job and could not find one in the middle of a school year. I had worked part-time as a service porter at another dealership. I was lucky enough to have been turned onto this opportunity at Friendly Ford, and received a job as a Service Advisor. To be honest, it was my intention to continue to look for teaching jobs and go into the field I had gone to school for. At first, I was a little intimidated at the fast-paced automobile service industry. But as the weeks, months, and years went by I felt a special connection to my working family: owners, employees and customers. The job really wasn’t a job anymore. I developed such strong relationships with customers that they would put the keys in my hand and state, “Just do whatever the vehicle needs, I trust you.” It was these relationships that made my job so enjoyable. I continued on like this for about eight years until one day my boss, Randy Yockey, called me into his office and told me he wanted to make me a Body Shop Manager. To be honest I was a little apprehensive. I knew nothing about that side of the business but, “sure boss I will give it my best try.” Now nine years later we have grown the business into something really special and have partnered with a nationally recognized body shop franchise with CARSTAR. I could not have done all of this without the daily support of everyone I work with. I also could not have succeeded without the support of my loving wife Kelly and two kids Jacob and Chloe.

  1. Have you always lived in the Roselle area?

I have always lived in the western suburbs and I currently live in Glen Ellyn

  1. What are your current job responsibilities as Body Shop Director? What is a typical day like for you?

I oversee all aspects of our body shop franchise. A typical day is managing the flow of the body shop and stay in constant communications with customers, employees, insurance partners, and vendors.

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

My goal is continue to grow the business and continue the outstanding relationships with everyone I have met through the years. Not a lot of people truly love their jobs, but this isn’t just a job, it’s being a part of the “Friendly Family”. Moving forward I want to strengthen the body shop we already have and possibly expand our footprint to other areas.

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

The one thing I love the most about my job is simply working with people, taking an unfortunate situation and making it into a positive experience.

Friendly Ford Body Shop Director Eric Schmit

  1. What would you consider to be your dream car?

My dream car is a Ford GT.

 

 

  1. What are some of your hobbies outside of work?

I love to watch my kids play sports, such as baseball and cheerleading.

  1. What are some fun or interesting facts about yourself?

I am a lifelong Chicago Cubs fan who cried like a baby when the Cubs finally won the World Series.

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

The actor I would love to portray me is Joe Pesci, because he is short like me but makes up for his shortcomings with a fiery personality.

March Employee Spotlight – Kiara Marsico

Kiara Marsico, the Friendly Ford Employee Spotlight for March 20181. Please tell us a little bit of background information – some of your previous jobs, how you got into your current Cashier position at Friendly Ford?

I played soccer with a previous employee who referred me here.

2. Have you always lived in the Roselle area?

Yes! I grew up in Bloomingdale, which is the next town over!

3. What are your current job responsibilities as Cashier? What is a typical day like for you?

I assist customers with any questions they have. I also collect money from all different departments. If you call in at night you will probably talk to me!

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

I hope to earn a bachelors degree in Human Resources with a minor in marketing and apply that to my career at Friendly Ford.

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

I like helping people with any problems that they have.Kiara Marsico, the Friendly Ford Employee Spotlight for March 2018

6. What would you consider to be your dream car?

Jeep Wrangler!

7. What are some of your hobbies outside of work?

Baking, photography and doing puzzles

8. What are some fun or interesting facts about yourself?

I have never traveled outside of the U.S. I am 100% Italian with green eyes and blonde hair which is rare! I played soccer for 10 years. All of my grandparents are from the same region of Italy.

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

Jennifer Aniston! Because she is family oriented and has a good sense of humor!

February Employee Spotlight: Eric Veverka

Meet Eric Veverka!

Meet Eric Veverka, Service Advisor and February spotlight employee at Friendly Ford

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

I was a technician at a different Ford dealership for a few years before becoming an advisor. I heard about Friendly Ford & the Yockey family through a family friend and decided to apply!

 

2. Have you always lived in the Roselle area?

I actually don’t live in Roselle. I grew up in Buffalo Grove & currently live in Montgomery.

3. What are your current job responsibilities as Service Advisor? What is a typical day like for you?

My day to day responsibilities include greeting customers, writing vehicles up for service & updating them throughout the day. Also getting vehicles ready to be re-delivered.

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

My main goal is to excel in my position 7 one day to become a Service Director.

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

I enjoy the relationships I get to build with my customers. I have been around the auto industry all my life, through family & holds my passion

Eric Veverka, Service Advisor at Friendly Ford in Roselle, IL

6. What would you consider to be your dream car?

I have many dream cars, but I would have to say out of all, I’d like to own a 2002 Nissan GTR R34 V-Spec II NCIR in Millenium Jade

7. What are some of your hobbies outside of work?

I coach kids club wrestling outside of work

8. What are some fun or interesting facts about yourself?

I have never been out of the country. I was born left handed, but naturally switched to right handed.

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

Will Ferrell! We can be mature and serious when the time calls, but both have a goofy personality.

January Employee Spotlight – Greg Schellerer

Meet Greg Schellerer!

Greg Schellerer has our Employee Spotlight for January

1. 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 in Car Sales in 1987 at a Pontiac Dealer. Also worked at the current dealer before it was Friendly Ford! It was Roselle Ford in 1988.

2. Have you always lived in the Roselle area?

I have lived in Carol Stream since 1989 and own a duplex

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

I talk to prospects about buying a new vehicle, and I stay up to date on new & used inventory and also current incentives.

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

I hope to increase my customer base and one day retire!

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

I enjoy working with customers on what we can add to the vehicle to make it their own!

6. What would you consider to be your dream car?

A fully loaded Lincoln Continental

7. What are some of your hobbies outside of work?

Playing Chess and tennis

Greg Schellerer and his wife

8. What are some fun or interesting facts about yourself?

I play pinochle with friends 2x a week and I love to travel with my wife!

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

Bruce Willis, he’s an action hero!

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.

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.

 

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.