More recently, it’s possible you’ve even seen the face of Frank Galeana on television commercials and in features like this one, a role he reluctantly took on at the urging of his staff.
The Vice President of the Galeana Family of Dealerships says, “I like to fly under the radar, walk in and no one knows who I am.” However, his manager felt it would provide a kind of community equity if the owner of the family business went before the public, assuring them he could help with all of their automotive needs.
The good-humored family man not only grew up in the car business but in the car capitol of the nation, explaining, “Growing up in Michigan I had motor oil running through my veins.”
Galeana’s father worked for Ford then Chrysler before being offered his own dealership in Michigan. The family vacationed in Naples every year, so it seemed like a good fit to corporate executives when they approached Galeana’s father about taking over a Southwest Florida Chrysler dealership that was under performing.
His father originally turned down the offer, as he did not want to mix his vacation spot with work. Galeana says, “It’s a good thing he finally said yes because this has been the star performer ever since.” Not to mention the fact that he loves living here, rather than merely vacationing here.
The family also has dealerships in North Carolina and Michigan; operational duties are shared with his brother and sister.
Galeana says he knew as a child he wanted to follow in his father’s successful footsteps. He recalls, “My dad would go into dealership on weekends, it was closed then, and I’d go in with him. I got the bug right there, it was in my blood.”
With so many players in the competitive car business, what sets Galeana apart, according to its leader is, “We are family owned and there is great pride from everyone who works here.”
Galeana also gives back, a big supporter of Hispanic charities and the Catholic Charities of Venice, an organization that has a low overhead and not only helps people get back on their feet, but also helps integrate them into the community.
As the business has grown, he spends more time supervising, but personal interaction with local residents is Galeana’s favorite part about the job he is still passionate about. He says, “I love hearing stories and being able to help them out with a vehicle.”
And while profits pay the bills, Galeana is not a dealership that as he says, “tries to make a killing on everyone,” he laughs, “I might not make a lot but I sell a lot in order to make a little bit.“