2017 Manchester Educator Leadership Summit

Sarah Britton Amanda Grappone Osmer, Community, Grappone, Voices of Grappone Leave a Comment

September 19th was not a typical day at Manchester Community College, located in the Queen City of our Granite State. Over 300 middle school faculty members gathered together for the 2017 Educator Leadership Summit, organized by the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce (GMCC). The leadership summit provides valuable insights for educators in the Manchester School District. A primary focus is the importance of developing soft skills early-on, to provide students with a competitive advantage when entering the workforce. Welcoming remarks were delivered by the New Hampshire Department of Education Commissioner, Frank Edelblut and Manchester Superintendent, Dr. Bolgen Vargas. Next, business professionals were welcomed to the stage for the “Skills Needed for Success” panel discussion- moderated by Mike Skelton, President and CEO of GMCC. Panelists included Sarah Currier, Director of Workforce Development at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, Amanda Osmer, 4th Generation Steward of Grappone Automotive Group, and Brian Giguere, Vice President at BAO. A common theme was expressed for skill sets across the panel; attention to detail, organization, solid communication skills (both written and verbal), problem-solving, critical thinking, and prioritizing the way authority, process, and policy are perceived. “It’s becoming increasingly uncommon to see applicants who meet each of these skill sets. We set our hiring standards at a high level to ensure we’re able to carry out our mission of building lifelong relationships” states Osmer.  Mr. Rich, National Touring Rock Drummer, Founder and Director of Youth Beatz cranked-up the volume during his keynote presentation. “Let’s have fun …

Well at Work

Amanda Osmer Amanda Grappone Osmer, Uncategorized, Voices of Grappone

How long do you sit every day? By now you likely know that sitting for too long seems to fly in the face of what your body was designed to do. I’m not a trained professional but I do have personal experience in a lifestyle that involves lots of sitting or being still, and one that includes daily movement….lots of movement.  As with anything in life, I believe you should follow what inspires you but fact check along the way.  The chart featured here may bring up questions which can lead you down your own path of discovery, which is a gift in itself.  But I did not write it, so I can’t vouch for 100% accuracy; it simply led me to wanting to tell you about an event that changed the way I look at the role of fitness in my life. I feel strongly as a wife, mom, and business leader that we should all make the time each day to move if we are able.  This last statement hits me deeply, as I’ve just watched for three years as my brother Greg‘s body suffered the worst that cancer and its treatments had to offer, breaking him down to the point where he literally couldn’t take a deep breath or move beyond a severely limited range of motion.  He died on May 1 due to complications from a stem cell transplant in which I was his donor. Flash …

Go Team

Amanda Osmer Amanda Grappone Osmer, Community, Voices of Grappone

You know what I love about sports like soccer (go Team USA!!)? That they bring out the best in us as individuals, but also as members of something larger than ourselves. I am so proud of Team Grappone. Every day we face the normal challenges of retail, and some days we are hit with bigger waves like natural disasters that cause inventory shortages, recalls that cause general panic amongst the public, or global recessions that challenge the wallets and psyches of ourselves, our friends and our neighbors. With a strong mission statement and a solid 90+ year history in NH, Team Grappone is poised to face the next challenge by serving with integrity, kindness, and respect. Thank you, Team. I appreciate you. Amanda

Chris Pappas retires from the Grappone Automotive Group

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At 71 years of age, Chris Pappas is retiring from The Grappone Automotive Group. Chris will be missed not only by all the team members at Grappone, but by all the individuals he has built relationships with throughout his 37 year long journey. It is incredible how he has impacted municipalities and organizations all throughout the state with his relaxed charisma and character. Grappone’s mission is to build lifelong relationships with their guests and community by serving them with integrity kindness and respect. If Grappone’s mission was a walking, talking, breathing physical life-form; Chris Pappas would be its avatar. Chris started his journey with Grappone on November 15th, 1971, working at their Pontiac dealership in a hybrid position as General Store Manager and Fleet Sales Representative. After 12 years at the Pontiac dealership, Chris decided he wanted to try something new and left Pontiac. Shortly after Chris left, John Grappone called him several times asking him to come back and work for Grappone once again. Chris took sometime to think about it and ultimately accepted the job. He continued his career at the Ford store for the remaining 25 years of his career. Chris has had an amazing and successful career at Grappone as their Fleet and Commercial Sales Representative. Throughout the course of his career, Chris has sold more than 10,000 vehicles. That is an average of 270 vehicles per year. Chris has worked with nearly 75% of all …

Grappone Automotive Group Receives President’s Award From Toyota

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The Grappone Automotive Group in Bow has earned the 2013 President’s Award from Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. for the 20th time. “Your dedication to operational excellence and exceptional customer care has earned your dealership this distinguisehd honor and set the standard for your fellow Toyota Dealers,” Toyota President and CEO Kazuo Ohara wrote in a letter announcing the award. “For us, it’s not about the cars, it’s about the people,” said Amanda Grappone Osmer, 4th generation owner of the dealer group that is celebrating its 90th year in operation. “This award really validates the dedication our team shows, day in and day out, to building lifelong relationships and taking care of our guests and community.” Grappone Toyota consistently ranks ahead of the New England region and nation in its retention of guests. Auto shoppers at Grappone experience an upfront pricing, negotiation free sales model with non-commissioned product specialists, free coffee and pop corn, and an owner who may serenade them on the banjo while they purchase their car. Service guests may find healthy wraps, fruit and salad available, and an occasional farmer’s market taking place in the waiting area. All guests experience Grappone’s LEED (leadership in energy and environmental design) certified building, designed to take adavantage of the natural beauty of Merrimack river valley. The facility is heated by geothermal wells, has solar-powered electric charging stations, and has a “green wall” with an interactive touch screen showing how the …

Grappone Does Business Differently

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Grappone’s Mission Statement is: The Mission of Grappone Automotive is dedication to building lifelong relationships with our team members, guests and community by serving with integrity, kindness and respect. In order to live by our mission statement, we knew we had to do business differently. The car business has earned a negative reputation of not being fair or honest. We have restructured how we do business in order to be fair and honest with every guest that visits our website or walks through our doors. Amanda Grappone Osmer has made a video series to discuss each aspect of how Grappone Automotive Group does business differently. From how we value your trade vehicle, price our inventory, and all the free things we offer our guests, Grappone is not your typical dealership, and we are proud of that! Amanda provides some tricks of the trade that will help you when you are shopping for a vehicle in New Hampshire, whether you are coming from Manchester, NH to buy a car or right here in Concord. Watch all of Amanda’s videos or click through to the one’s that you want to learn more about! If you have any questions feel free to leave us a comment below. To see all of the slides visit our Pinterest Board. To read more about how we do business here at Grappone please visit our website.

NH Historical Society Sneak Peek

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On Friday I was privileged to get a sneak peek at the NH Historical Society’s pre-1800 collection, where they house letters written by George Washington, Ben Franklin, Civil War nurse Sarah Low and many others. What a gem of a building and collection right here in downtown Concord.  Haven’t been?  Check out their web site to see more. The Society is in the process of digitizing millions of pages of their collection so it’s more readily accessible to all of us. Thanks to the team who is dedicated to keeping NH’s special history alive and well! I’m anxious to see what Grappone related items they may have in their collection; brings out the fourth grader in me! I encourage you all to stop by some time and peruse the fantastic and priceless collection (make sure to take note of the two NH Regimen Civil War flags on the staircase – unbelievable). On returning to work from my visit I discovered that it was Benjamin Franklin’s birthday that day.  What a unique thing to be able to hold a letter written by the birthday boy himself.  And on this Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend I should mention that the nature of Franklin’s letter was to request that the State of NH abolish slavery. Be well, Amanda Grappone Osmer, 4th Generation Owner     To learn more about Grappone Automotive Group, located in Concord NH and near Manchester NH, click here.

Sales Training 101 Graduation Ceremony

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On March 20 of this year I announced to my team of senior sales leaders that I would be challenging them all to complete a half marathon in October.  Well, on Sunday we joined about 5,000 other people at the start line of the Hampton Rockfest in Hampton, NH  for a windy and wet 13.1 miles.  Another Grappone Team Member, Sean Snow, ran the full marathon (at a smoking pace, if I may add), bringing the total number of Grappone participants to 9. Since March each of us has worked toward our individual goals, which ranged from wanting to walk the whole distance to wanting to set a new personal record (PR) at the half marathon distance.  Along the way we worked with Chi Running coach Ryan Miller, health coach Kelly Lang, and mindfulness meditation instructor Margaret Fletcher. The changes I’ve seen in our group have been humbling and inspiring.  We’ve lost weight, changed the way we fuel our bodies, broke old thought patterns about what we “knew” we could and couldn’t do, and formed a support team for one another (we all know just how hard it is to work in retail, spend enough time with your family, entirely change the way you’ve sold cars for the last 89 years, and lead your teams with grace and good humor day in and day out).  And we had a bunch of fun in the process. If you’ve never challenged yourself to complete an athletic event that …

One Minute Vacations

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Today’s thought, inspired by a morning run in the woods with my dogs, is that we live in one of the most beautiful places in the world.  I found myself thinking that it would be great to have more time for a vacation so I could enjoy our beautiful surroundings.  Then I caught myself and realized that if I think only in terms of either “I’m at work” or “I’m on vacation” then I’m REALLY missing out. So I decided that I am going to take a series of one minute vacations to appreciate all the wonder and beauty that surrounds us each and every day.  Today I’ve already seen three orange leaves slowly making their way from the top of a maple tree to the ground where they’ll stay until they turn back into the earth that will make a new maple tree. This vacation required no planning, was free, and provides me a memory for at least as long as it will take for me to find another vacation destination 🙂 Where have you gone on vacation today? And now for the request: are any of you involved in your community’s Rotary or other similar clubs?  I’ve asked Vickie to schedule me at as many area breakfast/lunch meetings as possible so I can start to spread the word about what makes Grappone so very different.  If you think your local club wouldn’t mind having me come talk to …

Grappone Goes to Google

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So it’s been the kind of two days that will continue to teach and resonate for some time to come.  I feel very fortunate to have been involved in the two-day Wisdom 2.0 Business conference in New York City this week.  I’m on the train home (great way to get to NYC for anyone who needs to make the trip – free wireless!) and have some time to reflect. In fact, the topic of reflection was a main theme for just about all the speakers over the last two days.  The essential message of the conference was this: without practicing mindfulness in our workplaces, we are limiting our own potential, and the potential of our teams. Well, what is mindfulness anyway?  In a nutshell, it is the ability to remain “in the moment” and to observe your thoughts and reactions without judgment.  Imagine how differently we would interact with one another if we all practiced mindfulness. At the conference we heard from several very interesting speakers.  The ones you may have heard of are actress Goldie Hawn, Congressman Tim Ryan, and Arianna Huffington. The founders of Kickstarter and Meet Up were there, as well as the CEOs of Aetna and Etsy.  For me as an owner, it was great to hear them speaking from the heart about the challenges of leading mindfully.  It also inspired me to commit to a more regular practice; I know that a commitment to being …