It was late 2003 when Allen Montalvo, who had just left the U.S. Marine Corps, saw an ad looking for a car salesmen at a local dealership.
Now the sales manager with Findlay Acura in the Valley Automall, the native of New York City is a long way from home and having the time of his life.
"I had been a security guard with Bigelow Aerospace in North Las Vegas. There had been some cuts (among those) that had been hired and I was on the chopping block. I had just bought a house and had a family, so I was a little panicky and decided to apply for a sales position with a local car dealership," he said.
"I will never forget my first car deal. It was a late night deal in which a lady wanted a car that got good fuel mileage. We concluded the transaction and it actually started my career in the car business."
Montalvo's entry into the car business is a prime example of the old adage that when one door closes another one opens.
"I learned in the military that you have to deal with certain situations when they are dealt you and that's what I did when I decided to go into the car business. I have never looked back. I was a closer in three months and was a sales manager before I hit the two-year mark.
"(Findlay Acura General Manager) Kevin Hicks told me that Findlay Acura would be a good home for me and that certainly proved true," Montalvo said. "Acura really is one of the most reliable brands on the market now and I never have to worry about my customers when selling them an Acura."
Montalvo praises Hicks, adding that the man sincerely cares about the dealership's customers.
"I have seen him many times do whatever it takes to keep a customer happy. He has an open-door policy with every single customer. He is really engaged with the sales people, the management staff and the customers."
While the work is intense and consists of long hours, Montalvo can't imagine doing anything else.
"In the car business you are always working. I can't wait to tell someone what I'm doing," he said. "Our strategy here is to instantly network with customers and go above and beyond. Our customers love us and know that they get a little extra when they purchase from us. At this dealership, they get free car washes, free smog checks and free nitrogen for their tires - all for life."
Findlay Automotive Group was founded more than 50 years ago by the late Pete Findlay, whose son, Cliff Findlay, now oversees new- and used vehicle dealerships in Nevada, Idaho, Utah and Arizona.
Further information regarding Findlay Acura can be found by calling 982-4200 or by visiting www.findlayacura.com.