When it comes to running a highly successful automotive service business, experience counts. Just ask Steve Rozansky. The president and CEO of Family Auto Service, Baldwin, Rozansky started working in the industry in his teens, learning the ins and outs of automotive care at the hands of some of the best mechanics in the business.
"Like a lot of teens, one of my first part-time jobs was as a gas station attendant," says Rozansky, a Long Island native, born and raised in North Bellmore. "But to me, it wasn't just a way to earn a few dollars. I really liked everything about the business and was lucky, because the owner of the station took me under his wing and taught me every aspect of the operation." A graduate of Calhoun High School in Merrick where he majored in electronics and auto mechanics, Rozansky eventually went on to other shops, gaining from each, experience in the maintenance and repair of a variety of vehicles. For the past 24 years, he has been a certified automotive technician, an industry designation from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence that recognizes excellence in the field.
By 1994, Rozansky was ready to go into business for himself. Committed to the community in which he grew up, he found the perfect site in a 3,000 square foot service center on Grand Avenue, Baldwin that had been shuttered for several years. "It was the perfect location." Although business built quickly, experience taught Rozansky that if he wanted to stay competitive. "That's where my affiliation with key industry organizations came in."
Under Rozansky's leadership, Family Auto Service became part of the NAPA AutoCare Centers system, a network of more than 9,600 affiliated parts and repair companies committed to providing customers with quality parts and repairs. As a NAPA affiliate, Rozansky can offer customers a broad range of parts and services including nationwide six month/6,000 mile warranties on qualifying parts and labor and extended warranties on 14 major car components. This coverage ranges from 12 months/12,000 miles up to seven years/100,000 miles, depending on the vehicle. In addition, Family Auto Service has direct access to NAPA's 200,000 quality parts and accessories in stock, every day - including more than 33,000 parts for imports and
Hard to find parts, too. "This brought us to a totally new level of business,"says Rozansky, reflecting on his decision to become part of the NAPA network.
He also affiliated with the Car Care Council, the most widely respected source of automotive maintenance information in North America. "Its mission is to provide information to vehicle owners in order to increase performance of preventive maintenance and needed repairs while improving safety, fuel conservation and air quality," he points out. Its goals fit nicely with Rozansky's, who joined the Council in 1998 and in doing so, has provided his customers with information and a level of service previously unavailable here. "We were the only designated Car Care Council affiliate in New York State for the first three years, before I recruited others," says the auto service industry exec who is committed to improving the industry here and nationwide.
As a Council affiliate, Rozansky's customers directly benefit from its broad educational efforts that include a variety of automotive care pamphlets, the popular Car Care Quiz Book and nationwide informational programs. But Rozansky doesn't stop there. He is also part of the 12,000 member Automotive Service Association, the leading organization for owners and managers of automotive service businesses committed to excellence in service and repairs to consumers.
Rozansky also sought and won accreditation from the Motorist Assurance Program, a nationwide program that requires the Family Service Center to adhere to national service and warrantee standards. He is also a member of the Automotive Undercar Trade Organization. Rozansky is also the incoming president of the NAPA Marketing Ad Council.
His experience in the automotive service industry has spawned a side career for the affable exec. He hosts "About Your Car," a radio call in show each Tuesday on radio station WLUX. The half-hour show features special guests from the auto industry and allows Long Islanders to ask Rozansky's advice on a myriad of car questions. "I really enjoy fielding the questions. It's a challenging assignment."
Rozansky also believes in supporting the local community. Along those lines, he sponsors a Little League team in Baldwin and sponsors and serves as an assistant coach for the North Bellmore Little League team on which his six-year-old son, Daniel, plays. He also sponsors the Baldwin Bombers Midget Football Team. Rozansky and his wife of eight years, Felecia, have two other children, Eric, age four, and Isabelle, eight months.
When he's not at Family Auto Service, speaking at an industry meeting, fielding radio show questions or coaching a Little League game, Rozansky can be found in the kitchen. "I'm a bit of a gourmet cook," he says, modestly. "And I also practice ju jitsu."