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The 2020 FenderBender Awards: Ron Zappetillo

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With more than 20 nominations and several glowing reviews, it’s clear that Ron Zappetillo is an exceptional industry leader. As an area manager for CARSTAR, Zappetillo coaches and consults for roughly 40 independent franchises in the midwest and North Carolina.

“I’ve always had a passion for cars,” Zappetillo says. “I love them and I love people, too, so it’s great to have a job that really connects them.” 

Having enthusiasm for the automotive industry is how many people enter the business, but finding a true passion for people is how Zappetillo stays enthusiastic about his work day after day. Zappetillo spends his time helping people realize their potential and the possibilities that are open to them for growth within their businesses. He says it is great to be able to help others by sharing his extensive knowledge of the industry.

Many of Zappetillo’s nominators credit him with helping them gain significant growth within their businesses, which includes increased efficiency and profits. Others have been able to open second and third locations because of that.

Even in the tough times of the COVID-19 pandemic, Zappetillo found ways to communicate with his franchisees. 

Many “people have more than survived,” Zappetillo says. “They’ve excelled in their profits, excelled in their business, excelled in owning more than one store, and have continually improved upon themselves, as well.”

Despite those turbulent times, Zappetillo never lost touch with his clients. He used technology to check in with many shops to see how they were operating in the midst of the crisis and helped them navigate changes as they came.

“Repairing cars and coaching a shop is difficult when you’re not there to see what’s going on,” he says. “But I will say, the virtual environment is great in some respects because you can reach a lot of people quickly and get the information out faster…. We’re able to touch a lot more shops virtually than if we had to drive to their location.”

Regardless of all the changes due to the coronavirus, Zapetillo’s love for cars and business has not wavered.

“When you have something that’s broken and you’re able to work with your own two hands to fix it, it gives you such a great sense of accomplishment,” Zappetillo says. “It’s the same with business. Being able to work with someone and help them, and then see them grow, it’s great.”

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