Can-Do Guy: Tony Mattiacio is the 2023 Single Brand Leadership MVP
Name: Tony Mattiacio
Title: President and CEO
Company: The Mattiacio Group
Years in franchising: 40
Tony Mattiacio is the 2023 Single Brand Leadership MVP (Most Valuable Performer), awarded for achieving leadership with a single brand.
When Tony Mattiacio became a father at an early age, he knew cobbling together a living from a pair of part-time jobs wasn’t going to work. He needed a full-time position. That’s when he connected with Ziebart. Today, the brand has 400 locations with 1,300 service centers in 37 countries. But in the 1980s it wasn’t nearly as big.
Ziebart turned out to be the kind of place where a young person who showed some promise and worked hard could get ahead. Mattiacio began working at a Ziebart franchise in Syracuse, New York, where he detailed cars and applied rust protection. Four years later, he was recognized for his work ethic and offered part ownership of a Ziebart location in Rochester.
In addition to the value of plain hard work, it’s important to be “the guy people could count on to get the job done, whatever it was,” says Mattiacio, owner of 10 Ziebart locations and now grandfather of 10. He recently opened his first Ziebart outside of New York and plans to open more in southwestern Florida. Even with his eyes on the future, he still looks back with gratitude. “I couldn’t be able to do any of it without the right people.”
Why do you think you were recognized with this award? I think it would be because of almost 40 years of personal consistency, trust, and hustle, as well as my clear dedication to the brand.
How have you raised the bar in your own company? We’ve grown from a 4-person operation to employing more than 200 people through continuous growth and opening multiple locations.
What core values do you think helped you win this award? My work ethic, integrity, and never-give-up attitude and having a clear vision and not allowing distractions. I’m always willing to help other franchisees and develop the Ziebart brand in any ways I can.
How important is community involvement to you and your company? We put our community on a pedestal. We’ve contributed to organizations such as Make-A-Wish Foundation, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and local churches.
What leadership qualities are most important to you and your company? Lead by example. Give everyone the tools they need to continue to grow. Trying to help people become successful not just with Ziebart but in life as well.
Formative influences/events: My parents are my biggest influences. I grew up in a blue-collar family where my parents worked two to three jobs six days a week to support our family. My work ethic began as a child after witnessing their hard work and hustling, never having a day off, and trying to make it in life.
Key accomplishments: My original key accomplishment was taking the work ethic and integrity instilled in me as a child and applying that to my first real, full-time job, which was at Ziebart in Syracuse, New York, as a rustproofer and detailer. I was recognized for my work ethic and four years later was offered part ownership of Ziebart in Rochester. This was in the late 1980s.
Next big goal: My next big goal is to develop our new territory in Fort Myers, Florida. For the first time ever, our group is venturing outside of New York to open its 10th location. Our goal is to develop southwest Florida with the Ziebart brand.
Best advice you ever got: The best advice I ever got is to work hard and never give up. I saw that in practice growing up with my parents’ never-ending work ethic, and it’s something I value every day.
Favorite book: Other than the Bible, my favorite book is Every Family’s Business by Thomas William Deans.
What’s your passion in business? I enjoy giving the same opportunities to our employees that were given to me along the way and seeing them take advantage of it.
Business philosophy: Ensure an industry-leading experience.
Management method or style: It’s key to have systems in place so that you can manage the system and easily train people. I think it’s also important to be open to new ideas and ways of doing things.
Greatest challenge: The biggest challenge I’ve seen with ownership is juggling work and life to find that perfect balance.
How close are you to operations? Operations is always at the top of my mind every day because I got my start in operations with Ziebart.
What have been the biggest impacts of Covid-19 on your business? We learned a lot about safety so that it’s on the forefront of our day-to-day operations. Today, safety awareness is better than it ever was. Additionally, the chip shortage and unavailability of vehicles has led to people putting a priority on protecting their vehicles so that they can last longer.
Growth meter: How do you measure your growth? So many different ways, but the obvious positive growth would be opening multiple stores. ?
Vision meter: Where do you want to be in 5 years? 10 years? The group hopes to continue expanding our presence in New York and Florida as we work to keep opening more locations.?
What are you doing to take care of your employees? We offer?great benefits for the employees and provide a clear path for growth through training and career opportunities. We want to be able to give our people the same opportunity that was given to me all those years ago.
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