Damon Cartelli

Damon Cartelli: 39

President, Owner, and General Manager, Fathers & Sons Inc.

When he’s not managing auto dealerships, Damon Cartelli likes to take his family out fishing on his boat.

“It’s great to get out there … it’s relaxing, a great way to relieve some stress,” said Cartelli, who acknowledged that there have been quite a few stress-inducers recently for all those in auto sales, including the team at Fathers & Sons, the business his father, Bob, started and that he acquired in September 2008.

“That was just as the economy was collapsing; everyone blamed me for the meltdown,” joked Cartelli, adding that the Great Recession has been a long, ongoing headache for car dealers, but just one of many. For Fathers & Sons, the demise and recent rebirth of Saab, one of several luxury brands the dealership handles, has been a significant issue. Meanwhile, Cash for Clunkers, while it stimulated some sales, also induced considerable red tape and heartburn.

But Cartelli says the family business has steered its way through much of the trouble, and has high expectations for 2010, especially as Saab makes its returns (the first models should be in the showroom in a few weeks) and Audi continues to grow market share. Meanwhile, Cartelli continues the maturation process that is part and parcel to taking on the titles ‘owner’ and ‘president.’

Beyond his time spent on the water fishing, Cartelli also enjoys skiing, another family affair: his son, Jack, is 3 and just getting started, while his daughter, Brynn, 6, is already keeping up with her parents on black-diamond runs at resorts like Stowe.

And, yes, as one might expect, as owner of a dealership that sells high-performance luxury cars, he does get to try out some nice rides for months at a time. Recently, that includes an Audi A-8 and a Porche Cayan, an SUV.

For the next several months, though, his vehicle of choice will be a Ford F-350 pickup, which he needs to tow his boat.

“I don’t have to feel guilty about that, though,” he laughed. “The family owns a Ford store in Greenfield.”—George O’Brien

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