Veterans at Berman’s Auto Group Reflect on Time Served


While Mike Betancourt was at a job fair at his college nearly a year ago, representatives from Berman’s Auto Group approached him to ask if he’d ever thought about selling cars. When Mike responded that he hadn’t since he’d been in the Marines for the last 81/2 years, Berman’s representatives told him he was hired-on the spot.

Berman’s Auto Group doesn’t just welcome active members and veterans into their dealerships with military discounts, but they happily employ many of them too. On this Memorial Day, 2013 not only do we salute those soldiers who served here and abroad, but we salute the ones who now work under our own roof.

A few weeks after Berman’s Auto Group spoke to Mike, he arrived for his first day of work. Since then, he’s excelled at his job, attributing his success to the military training he received years before.

Military veterans of all ages are working through the ranks at the Berman Auto Group doing everything from selling cars like Mike to managing whole departments like Joon Choi who has been with the auto group for nearly 10 years. Before he got into the car industry, sales manager Joon Choi experienced life in the Marines for three years.

Working in avionics, Joon traveled the world, gaining the skills he would later use in civilian life. Joon agrees that serving in the Marines helped him to excel at his chosen career path in the auto industry.“We encounter different people every day in this business and my military time really helped me to learn how communicate with people from all walks of life,” says Choi.

Joon Choi

Today, as the active captain of his sales crew he works hard to ensure that every customer leaves his dealership with their questions answered and their concerns eliminated.

“Different opinions, different people. That’s what America is and we worked to ensure that that’s what it will always be,” said Joe Fasanella, used car director at Berman’s Auto Group.

Joe Facanella

Joe served 5 years in the Marine Corps Special Forces where he says he learned the value of being able to relate to people, following up and even just staying in contact. According to Joe, once you live the military life, it’s ingrained permanently.

“It changes everything. Before it was only me. After I had a new family and we did everything as a unit. It really teaches you how to work as a group, and you need those skills in everything you do after,” he said.

According to Milton Stewart, it’s not just the way you see yourself that changes with time in the military, but the way you see others.  Stewart, a sales consultant at Mid City Subaru who served in the Army for 8 ½ years in their telecommunications department says that life’s priorities change with the experience.

“You see the worst that can happen to people and you have to survive through it. And I hope that on this day, people recognize and respect anyone who put a uniform on for this country,” he says.
The men and women who devoted countless minutes, thousands of hours and many years to the country, like Mike, Joon, Miton and Joe only hope that Americans appreciate their effort on this day.
Milton Stewart
“Appreciation. I hope they appreciate for a moment. Devote just one day to those who have fought and died for our county, ” said Betancourt.
Steve Waldrop, of Berman’s Infiniti of Chicago who served 4 years in the Army Nation Guard says he’s thankful for those who came before him and paved the way for him to serve. An even greater gift the Army provided him with? The value of life and how to live it.

Steve Waldrop

“The Military taught me courtesy, leadership and to never take my life for granted. I’ll never forget that.” he said.

Although they all worked separately for different branches, in different years, and locations, they all worked towards the same goal. They worked to ensure the safety of this country and the freedoms within. Today, while their surroundings have changed, our military staff at Berman’s Auto Group work just as hard to serve their customers with the values, work ethics and discipline they learned while serving in the military.

Rachel Lemieux
Social Media Director, Berman’s Auto Group
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Berman’s Auto Group owns four premiere new and used car dealerships in Chicago: Mid City NissanStar NissanMid City Subaru and Berman’s Infiniti of Chicago. 

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