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Car Dealer Looks to the Future

STAMFORD, Conn. — Dominic Franchella wanted to be a history teacher when he attended State University of New York . But it turned out that history was not in his future.

“I really wanted to be a teacher, but I got out of school in 1981 and there just weren't any jobs,” Franchella says in one of the offices at Stamford Ford Lincoln . It isn't specifically his office, but it is his dealership so he's right at home. He also earned another degree in accounting and that led Franchella to help tend the books at Stamford Ford in 1982 for the Kelly family.

By 2009, Franchella held the title of general manager. When the Kellys decided to get out of the car business after six decades, Franchella bought the dealership. Since then, he has grown the business and has become the No. 1 Ford and Lincoln dealership in the state.

Success for Franchella means being a part of the community. He has donated vehicles to causes and offers scholarships at both Stamford high schools from the dealership. “If I am going to be a business in the community I want to give back to that community, and I want to make sure we are helping people with something they need,” Franchella says.

In the evenings, Franchella returns home to Norwalk where he has lived for 22 years. He's a family man and proud of his wife, Michele, and daughters Alexandra and Nicole.

Inside the dealership, Franchella admits he wonders at times how life as a teacher would have worked out. He's doesn't regret going to work at the dealership, and in fact, calls it one of the best decisions of his life. “There are days, though, where I think about teaching. I really enjoy being around children and helping them learn. That's one of the reasons I wanted to be a teacher. It's always in the back of mind,” he says. But Franchella says that is all history, and he plans to expand the dealership in the next few years. He's focused on the future.

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