Rudy Caiazza, co-owner of Exit5 Auto Group, is not the first member of his family to make a living by selling a mode of transportation. His father, who bears the same name, owned Rudy’s Schwinn Bike Shop in Lansingburgh for 40 years.
“We lived above the store, so when I was little I used to run down and play with all the bikes,” said Caiazza with a laugh. “They were lined up like dominoes, so if I hit one and it kind of leaned over I would knock over the whole row. My dad spent most of his time chasing me back up the stairs.”
That is, until his father decided to put Caiazza to work in the back of the shop doing repairs. Somehow, the then-12-year-old boy always found himself making his way up front to talk to customers. “That’s how it started,” said Caiazza, “my interaction with people, trying to help solve their needs and fit a customer to the right bike.
Caiazza says that experience set the tone for the rest of his career, as he went on to work for several local car dealerships, and eventually open Exit5 Auto Group with his partner, Bob Gaito. “About 10 years ago it dawned on me, wouldn’t it be really neat if I could have my own dealership like my dad had his own place. Through working with Bob, we got to the point where we could fulfill our dreams.”
Caiazza strives every day to provide customers at Exit5 Auto Group the same level of courtesy, respect and top notch service that his father did.
“I took the same principles that I had learned from just observing my father—without
necessarily realizing it—as a kid,” said Caiazza. “That’s where it started, how to treat people and listen to people. I had a lot of great mentors in the car business, but it all started with my dad.”
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