By Frank Cucca
Vince Valente has been part of the car business for over 35 years now, always at the ready to help out a customer; he is consistently putting others before himself. The warmest man with the biggest heart we have ever known. Vince is generous beyond measure, and cares deeply for his family, especially his three grandkids. Everyone knows that he has a solution for everything, and will go the extra mile for anything and everyone. Vince is always willing to help, or find you someone that can. Vince’s dedication not only to his family but to the Italian/Canadian Community over the years has been incredible! He was often the first one to ask, What do you need, I will get it for you!
When you’re in the car business and 70 percent of your sales come from repeat customers and referrals, you’re doing something right. For the 560 employees of the Carter Automotive Family, that something is treating people with fairness and respect. Founded in 1963, the Carter Automotive Family sells and services tens of thousands of automobiles and motorcycles every year. Today, the Carter Automotive Family is comprised of 7 dealerships, as well as mobile glass repair and vehicle insurance that have enhanced the level of service that Carter can provide its customers. From the very beginning we have listened to people’s needs, and given good service at a fair price. That has brought our customers back, time after time.
Marco Polo: Vincenzo Valente where were you born? Where did you grow up, family (mother, father, siblings), schools, jobs?
Vincenzo Valente: I was born in Cassino, Province of Frosinone Italy and immigrated to Canada in 1966. I was eight years old when I moved with my Mom Bettina, my Dad Alfredo, and my sister Lina. I attended Hastings Elementary and Templeton High School. My first job was at KFC located on Hastings Street.
Marco Polo: Did you end up marrying your High School sweetheart?
Vincenzo Valente: Yes, I met my wife Rita in 1966 when I moved here from Italy. I met my Elementary and High School sweetheart!
Marco Polo: You have three boys and your boys have been involved in sports in various levels with great success; give us some of your personal highlights for each one?
Vincenzo Valente: Alfredo being the oldest played out of Metro Ford Soccer Club in youth soccer. He went on to play with the Provincial BC teams, National team, Edmonton Drillers, and the Vancouver Whitecaps. Personal highlight was when they won their first USL championship. Adriano my second son also played for Metro Ford. He played for the Metro Ford Grasshoppers and they went on to win back to back National Championships. Giovanni, my youngest son played at Metro Ford also and with Simon Fraser University. I am very proud of their achievements!
Marco Polo: You’ve always had an interest in sports over the years and have been involved in various ways, tell us some of your memorable experiences?
Vincenzo Valente: The I.C.S.F.’s Italian Interregional Soccer Tournament was definitely a highlight for me. Not only did we see lots of talented soccer players, but I met some lifelong friends from there which I still see and talk to. It definitely was a different era and good times!
Marco Polo: You’re known and respected in the Italian/Canadian Community and have always helped out, tell us some of the Charities and Fundraisers that you have supported and helped out over the years?
Vincenzo Valente: I have been able to give back to the Michael Cuccione Foundation, the Domenic Mobilio Heart and Stroke, and most if not all of the Italian Societies and multiple Elementary and High Schools for their fundraising causes.
Marco Polo: How did you get started with your career and how many years have you been doing it for?
Vincenzo Valente: I have worked in the car business for 39 years and it started at Wolfe Chevrolet in the Body shop on Boundary and First Ave.
Marco Polo: Have you always been in Sales? Did you do anything else prior to getting into sales?
Vincenzo Valente: Yes, I first started in the Body Shop, and after 4 years of that I moved into sales and have been doing this now for over 35 years.
Marco Polo: Whom did you work for when you started out?
Vincenzo Valente: Wolfe Chevrolet on Boundary Road in Vancouver.
Marco Polo: Has this business changed over the years and if yes, how so?
Vincenzo Valente: Yes, business has really changed with technology inside vehicles and also computers.
Marco Polo: You must get great satisfaction when you complete a sale and helpe a client choose a vehicle, do you have a specific story that you would share with us?
Vincenzo Valente: I love being able to assist people and help them get into the vehicle they want. I always get the same satisfaction when completing a sale.
Marco Polo: What are some of your favorite vehicles? Give me your thoughts on the Fiat?
Vincenzo Valente: My favorite vehicle is the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Crew Cab. I am a big truck guy. The Fiat is a great reliable car which is fantastic on fuel and city driving.
Marco Polo: What’s the highest price vehicle that you sold?
Vincenzo Valente: I once sold a Corvette for roughly $125,000.
Marco Polo: Would you recommend this career to a new young male/female? What are some of the benefits?
Vincenzo Valente: Yes, I strongly recommend this career. The benefit to this is you control your own paycheck. The harder you work, the more money you can make and you meet a lot of great people along the way.
Marco Polo: What do you dislike about your career? Have you had the support from the Italian/Canadians?
Vincenzo Valente: I had and continue to have fantastic support from the Italian Community and I can’t say there is anything I dislike about what I do.
Marco Polo: Would you do it all over again? If no, what else would you have been interested in doing?
Vincenzo Valente: Yes, I would do it all over again and stick to being a Salesman as I love what I do.
Marco Polo: With all your expertise and experience are you mentoring some of the new employees?
Vincenzo Valente: Yes, I currently have my Nephew Giovanni Carida working at Carter GM and a close friend of mine Marcello Salvino.
Marco Polo: You and your wife Rita have always enjoyed entertaining friends and family at your home over the years, what were some of the memorable times and what food did you enjoy preparing?
Vincenzo Valente: Christmas Eve, it is my most memorable time of entertaining and will always be! My son Adriano and I are in charge of cooking all the fish on that day and I enjoy the company of my family.
Marco Polo: What’s your favorite meal? Do you cook? If yes, what do you like to cook?
Vincenzo Valente: I love to cook!! My favorite meal to cook is pasta con vongole/clams (pasta with mussels and clams with some hot spice in it). My favorite meal to eat is crab, prawns, and any type of seafood/fish.
Marco Polo: Do you have any hobbies, if yes what are some of them? Do you make your own wine? Do you make your own Italian Salsiccia and prosciutto?
Vincenzo Valente: My main hobby I like to do is to watch football on Sundays and some soccer. Yes, I make my own wine and I unfortunately don’t make my own Italian salsiccia and prosciutto.
Marco Polo: What lies ahead Vinnie? Any short term plans? Are you doing any travelling? What’s your favorite vacation spot?
Vincenzo Valente: I am taking one step at a time; life is good as it is right now! My favorite vacation spot is Osoyoos, BC!
Marco Polo: How is life with Grandchildren?
Fantastic, I currently have three grandkids named Noah, Vincenzo Valente: Anabelle, and Lucas who I love graciously.
Vinnie, on behalf of the Marco Polo I would like to thank you for your continues support for our community and wishing you and your family the very best!