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Tony Nino: On “Putting Value Back into People” and the Personal Touch

This is one of the only cars in my collection that has doubled in value since I bought it. We bought this GT brand new in 2006 and it’s in pristine condition. Ford only made about 4,000 of these in the two years that they were in production. This car will probably go up to about half a million dollars in value over the next few years. I have a few other favorite cars in my collection, but this is my son’s favorite, so we love to take it out on the weekends together.

As a kid, I would wonder about whether I would ever be able to own some of these cars, but those dreams seemed unattainable. Today, I can tell you that dreams do come true. In my case, they came true not just through my own hard work, but as a result of the people that I’m blessed to have in my life. There were people early on who saw value in me and gave me opportunities that changed the course of my life. Without those people, I wouldn't have these things.

As a business owner, I recognize that people that are the most important part of the equation. Honesty and transparency are the values that our company is based on, but people are what make the business valuable. It's the people you have on your team who are promoting the business, using and interacting with your business, putting value into the business. Without those people, no business would work.

I think in this digital age, the auto industry has lost a lot of the personal touch that is so often talked about. Even as a parent, I see that we're not teaching that to our kids. That’s one of the reasons I like to take my son out with me to car meets and spend time with him. I want to teach him the value that comes from having a community. That’s our new family motto: “People are what make people successful.”

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