BRISTOL – After not knowing what career path he wanted to take when he was younger, Operations Manager & Vice President, Tom Modeen, celebrated 50 years with Crowley Nissan in Bristol.
Modeen first started working at Crowley on May 23, 1972. The Crowley Bristol location has been in business since Jan. 1971, when it was located on Broad Street. Modeen said in the beginning of his career he started out sweeping, and cleaning, and then at the age of 24, he began selling cars part-time, and then transferred to sales from there. Then in 1975, Modeen became a sales manager, and then a general manager in 1982.
“Mr. Crowley sold my father cars in the 60’s, when I was young. My father owned a gas station in Waterbury, and he used to send customers to Mr. Crowley,” said Modeen. “I graduated from Western Connecticut, and I taught school for four or five months, and didn’t like it, and didn’t know what I was going to do with my future, and my father called Mr. Crowley and asked him to find me a job. He had just opened his business in January of ’71 here in Bristol, and he said, ‘Can you give my son a job? He doesn’t know what he wants to do with his life.’ ”
Modeen said he has stayed with the company for so long because he enjoys it, and he has a good schedule that works for him.
“I’m pretty proud of it; it’s a good accomplishment. How many people get to work for the same owner – especially in the car business? There’s so much turnover in our business. I never really thought about leaving,” said Modeen. “My wife and I have a place in Florida, and I’m able to go. I have the time to spend a couple of times in the winter there. With the remote now, I’m able to do things from home early in the morning. I’m mostly administrative now.”
Modeen said his advice to anyone looking to buy a car is to buy from people you can look in the eye.
“The legal responsibilities today are very well-defined, but we also have a moral responsibility,” said Modeen.