Friday, July 18, 2014

The first time I met John Marazzi

The first time I met John Marazzi had to be in late 2005 or most likely 2006. I was a "young car guy" LOL (not as young now as when I started this blog, har-har) and a vender friend had offered to take one of my favorite car guys Ross Bauer (our then GM at Toyota of Tampa Bay) and myself to Fort Myers Toyota to meet what we already knew was one heck of an operation.

I was low on sleep in my then role as a Floor Manager at Toyota of Tampa Bay but lucky for me Ross drove all the way down. Operationally John had some things going on I'd never seen before. The bottom line was that each step he found a way to maximize efficiency and get his most capable people in front of the customer every time. He was finding ways (and still is) of getting to what he felt consumers wanted and at the same time breaking sales volume records left and right (with happy customers too).

While my colleague ventured around the store I found myself alone with John in his office. He opened a long file drawer in his desk and asked me to come around to look. "Do you see that Brett," he said with a small trace of his New Jersey roots, "these are all the people who would love to come to work for me here in Fort Myers." As I looked down I saw, neatly organized, near a thousand filed job applications locked away below his desk. I believed John. Anyone with the drive, charisma, excitement and competitive spirit of a John Marazzi doesn't have to tell tales. He's going to just show you sooner than later.

Fast forward to 2014 and John has been partners with my father and I for nearly 2 + years. Everyday I learn from John Marazzi and I still see the very same instincts and energy I found in John some 8 years ago. Is he confident? Sure. Does he run in a million different directions each day? Sure, many successful business leaders do (He's a tough man to keep up with sure). He tries things others in his industry are unwilling to try. Is he perfect? Heck no, John can be fickle and change directions so quickly if he thinks something isn't working, sometimes maybe too quickly but hey, he's impatient. AGAIN --- many great people are. So when you meet John, do me one favor, just don't ever tell him NOT to do something. He'll just work all the harder to prove you wrong.

Brandon Honda is a place today unlike it has ever been. I'm proud to call John my partner and I am proud of what we are able to do as a team. John Marazzi's team is one I'd send my application to any day of the week.



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