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FRANKLIN, Tenn – Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA) is celebrating dealer partners who go above and beyond for their communities. They provide more than just a great place to buy a car – they help their hometowns thrive in the good times and heal in the challenging times. They rise to the occasion in support of the community, whatever the occasion may be. This month, we are proud to feature Mike Dorazio, owner of Platinum Mitsubishi in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania and Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
FIVE QUESTIONS WITH MIKE DORAZIO
Owner and Dealer Principal, Platinum Mitsubishi
We are so excited about our early success with Mitsubishi. We love the company culture from top to bottom – side to side. Immediately after opening our first store, I knew I would jump at the chance to open a second store. That opportunity presented itself just prior to COVID, at a rather scary time, when the stores in Pennsylvania were mandated to close. When this happened, I took a different approach than some dealers would: I hit the gas. I knew that the only way my company would fail during the pandemic was if the whole country failed. I am a patriotic guy – I did not see that happening. So, I doubled down, chased the right property in Lancaster, and secured it. After that, we opened a business development/customer care center, and we hired a local news anchor to take our marketing and video content to the next level. We came out of COVID restrictions stronger. You have to risk it… to get the biscuit!
We build relationships with our customers by building empathy. We put ourselves in their shoes. We give them the same level of respect and service that we would expect – no matter their situation. We focus on human interaction, which is an element of sales that gets lost so much in our industry. Our customers know that I am a hometown kid that has their interests at heart. They are our community – our family, and we treat them like it. I never see myself as the smartest guy in the room… I strive to be approachable and be open to everyone. That is also the persona we've developed on social media: honest, approachable, local, and people are drawn to that. They are part of our success and we are part of theirs.
I am proof that, with hard work, determination and grit, anyone can succeed in this life. I had a very rough childhood. My father died when I was 4 years old, and I was just angry at the world. I wound up in a detention home, and at 18, was released with no real opportunities in front of me and definitely no chance at college. Not a lot of people had any faith that I would amount to much. Then, I joined the U.S. Marine Corps, and it was one of the best decisions I ever made. I am forever indebted to the Marines for teaching me discipline, integrity, work ethic, leadership and many other skills that I still use every day. For a kid like me to become a dealer principal and reach the level of success that I have… I just feel blessed. I strive to be a little bit better every day – for myself, my business and my family. My service taught me empathy, which as I said, is important. It taught me to recognize talent and surround myself with people a lot smarter than me. It taught me to take care of the people that take care of me and inspire the people in my life to achieve their dreams. That is what it is all about.
As someone who didn't grow up with much, it means the world to me to know that I am building a legacy for my four children. I am giving them something I did not have, but desperately wanted. It is the primary thing that gets me up in the morning, and pushes me throughout the day. Sometimes, I look at my kids, and I just smile… thinking to myself that they have no idea how much I love them and that they are the reason I work so hard. I smile, because I am thinking about the future that I am creating for them, and that I am so lucky to still be here with them. My goal is to have 10 rooftops by the time I retire. 10 rooftops – 10 places of empathy and inspiration – to pass on to them and to my employees.
Whenever you achieve success, I believe it is your obligation to help those around you achieve success. Because of my story, I work most closely with Veteran charities and events. We are a proud, annual sponsor of the "Freedom Ride"in Tyrone, PA every July 4 that supports veterans in our community. We plan an annual "Gold Star Family 5k" in Carlisle, PA on Memorial Day, from which 100 percent of proceeds go to Gold Star families and children of service members killed in action. One of my close childhood friends was killed in Iraq in 2004, and he left behind three children. We grew up together and joined the Marines together. Knowing what it means to lose a parent at a very young age, and knowing the sacrifice our service members make for this country, is important for me to give back in that way. As I said, family is important – to our business, to our community and in my life.