Become Unified

A Message from Michael Brown, President of the Empire Automotive Group

“My automotive career began almost 40 years ago, when I was just a kid pulling weeds at a local car dealership. Ironically, our Empire Automotive Group’s corporate headquarters is situated less than a mile from that location. Since that first job, I have had the opportunity to learn about the car business from some of the industry’s best, including Roger Penske and John Staluppi. Four decades later, I have been able to utilize that experience to build my own automotive enterprise with a 10-store dealership group that we call the Empire Automotive Group.

EAG has a clear and distinct culture and mission. It is uncomplicated but quite focused. I want our employees to repeatedly ask themselves this question – “What will it take to ensure that this customer will return to our dealership?”

In a world where it has become more and more difficult to gain customer trust and loyalty, it is important for our employees to develop new ways for customer care to become customer loyalty. Again, simple but focused: at Empire we use a combination of people, processes, and innovative technology to win over our clientele so that they become ‘customers for life.’”

The Empire Automotive Group Corporate Headquarters

The EAG corporate headquarters located on the Empire Toyota of Huntington campus.

The mural on that north wall of the Empire Automotive Group corporate conference room represents one of Michael Brown’s heart-felt visions for the teamwork that is at the very core of all successful businesses.

Michael Brown grew up in the car business, left Huntington to play college and pro football, worked for and with some powerful automotive executives, and then returned to Huntington in 2019 to establish his own company—the Empire Automotive Group. Last year a video was produced to document that journey. Please click on the link copied below to learn more about Michael Brown and his life-long journey toward excellence. 

Empire Sales Training—Bringing out the best in you​

The Empire University provides sales training for those without automotive or selling experience as well as process refinement for experienced sales staff. From the “greeting” to the “close,” instructor Frank Gauci shares his extensive automotive sales experience with students looking to take their selling careers to the next level. 

Empire Automotive Group offers its sales staff continuous training to find new and better methods for connecting with customers. ​

The Empire Automotive Group has retained legendary automotive sales trainer Jen Suzuki to help prepare our sales teams for the marketing changes that lie ahead. Jen has a unique curriculum in which she teaches her students how to interact with a customer in such a way to develop a strong relationship and to gain trust.  In addition to teaching sales staff how to “keep it real” with customers, she provides insight into how to better use video, social media, and DealerSocket to achieve those goals.

How to find your next position at the Empire Automotive Group​

Empire Automotive Group is dedicated to assisting employees in managing their careers and helping them reach their professional goals through promotion and transfer opportunities. The EAG job board can be accessed via this URL link:

If employees find a position of interest on the job posting website and they meet the eligibility requirements, please first discuss that new opportunity with your General Manager. An on-line job posting application can be completed in order to be considered for the position. Transfers within the company must be approved by your GM and Michael Brown and transfers may be delayed until a suitable replacement is found for the prior position. Empire employees who refer candidates for employment are eligible for a $500 referral fee.

For more specific information, please email

Empire Automotive Group Dealership Locations

Empire Automotive Group Growth, Expansion, and Renovation​

Rendering Empire Cadillac of LIC​

Rendering Empire Mazda of Huntington​

Site plan Empire Subaru of Huntington​

Growth and acquisition in the retail automobile industry invariably leads to construction and renovation, and that is certainly the case with the Empire Automotive Group. Empire Mazda of Huntington, Empire Subaru of Huntington, and Empire Buick GMC of Long Island City will all get new homes within the next twelve months. 

Empire Automotive Group Dealership Locations​

Empire Subaru of Huntington continued its long-term partnership with Subaru of America and its “Share the Love” event with another major contribution to Huntington Hospital. The total contribution over the past three years has reached beyond $100,000 for Dr. Robert Kerr and his miraculous neurological surgery team.  Photo (Left to right) Dr. Kerr, HH CEO Dr. Nick Fitterman, Empire Subaru GM Chris Pompeo, Empire CIO Thomas Lederer, Tricia Reisig, District Sales Manager, Subaru of America, Inc.; Joseph Volavka, HH COO. 

Empire Automotive Group CIO Thomas Lederer presents to Huntington Hospital Dolan Family Health Center Director of Nursing Kathy Giffuni a check on behalf of Empire President Michael Brown. The money will be used to purchase a non-invasive device to measure bilirubin levels in infants at 36 hours of life. 

This past December, members of the Huntington High School boys and girl’s basketballs teams wrap Christmas presents for some needy Huntington area families. The gifts were donated by the Empire Automotive Group.

Island Harvest was created in 1992 “to end hunger and reduce food waste on Long Island.” Since those early days, Island Harvest has become Long Island’s largest hunger-relief organization. Volunteers and staff now deliver millions of pounds of good, surplus food to a network of 570 Long Island-based food pantries, soup kitchens and other non-profit organizations that offer feeding services for those in need.  

Empire Automotive Group dedicated its “Empire Days of Giving” to helping to feed the hungry within its community. A portion of all proceeds from vehicle sales were donated to Island Harvest, this year approaching $17,000.  Left to right, Chris Pompeo, Kyle Cadolino, Marc Suntup from Island Harvest, Frank Gauci, Michael Brown, Judy Soldo, Keith Drago, Thomas Lederer, George Papantoniou. 

The Marty Lyons Foundation has announced that it raised over $67K from a car raffle over the weekend, in support of its mission to fulfill the wishes of seriously ill children. The Foundation partnered with local athletic groups and clubs to organize the raffle of a 2022 Toyota Corolla donated by the Empire Automotive Group. 

In November of last year Empire Fixed Operations Director Tom Scarpaci started a contest in which the hours of our group’s non-flat rate) technicians would be measured for the rest of the year. Congratulations to Nick Soldo from Empire Toyota who produced 255.8 hours Nick wins the grand prize of the Snap On Blue Point starter tool kit and box (see below left.) The second-place finisher was Alex Chuchuca from Hyundai of New Rochelle who produced 209.3 hours.  Alex wins a $500.00 gift card from Snap On Tools.  The third-place winner was Gustavo Cuya from White Plains Buick GMC produced 188.9 hours.  Gustavo wins a $250.00 gift card from Snap On Tools.

Left to right, Nick Soldo, Empire Toyota Service and Parts Manager Romeo Mejia, and Empire Fixed Operations Director Tom Scarpaci.

Faces in New Places at the Empire Automotive Group​

Chris Casatelli, GM Empire NJ Used Cars​

Dean Ciccarelli, GM Empire Hyundai Genesis of New Rochelle​

Allison Doyle, GM Empire Buick GMC Cadillac of LIC​

Frank Fardette, GM Empire Volvo Cars of Smithtown​

Joseph Gentile, Esq. Empire in-house counsel​

Lisa Lomenzo, Empire Group Finance Director​

Nasir Uddin, Empire VP Pre-Owned Vehicle Operations​

As the Empire Automotive Group has grown exponentially in such a short period of time, finding the right people for right positions has been critical in achieving  that level of growth. Chris Casatelli brings to the Empire NJ used car point his years of automotive experience with the Atlantic and Major auto groups. Dean Ciccarelli has almost four decades of experience with Toyota stores in NJ, Texas, and Maryland and was VP of his class at the NADA Dealer Academy. Allison Doyle has worked her way up the ladder in her 20+ years at the GMC Cadillac store in LIC, from sales, to F&I, to GSM, and now GM.  Previously a GSM at Empire Ford, Frank Fardette has returned to Empire from his stint as GM of Babylon Honda to run Empire’s newly-acquired Volvo store.  Joe Gentile came to Empire last year as in-house counsel after previously working for several law firms that cater to both independent and franchised automobile dealers. Over her 30+ years of automotive experience Lisa Lomenzo has taken her finely honed F&I skill set to such a high level that she now trains others in F&I process and compliance.  Nasir Uddin has quickly carved a reputation as an innovative pre-owned used car director with his exceptional work at the Atlantic and Prime automotive groups. 

The Empire Automotive Centralization​

The concept for the automotive business development center (“BDC”) has come a long way over the past 20 years. Earlier this year, EAG built a centralized call center (photo above) in which BDC/call center reps from all Empire brands work together under one roof, responding to customer telephone and Internet inquiries. EAG Call Center Director Adam Smith has created a state-of-the-art business model that is way ahead of the curve in retail automotive. 

Empire office managers, bookkeepers, human resource and payroll staffing all work in the new state-of-the art corporate headquarters building.

The Empire “Blue Chip” Training Class for the General Managers of the Future​

Dr. Nick Fitterman​

Rob Leary​

Ed French​

Joe Quitoni​

David Macholz​

Dave Anderson​

As part of his long-held belief that developing talent from within his company is the best strategy for the future, Michael Brown continues to spare no expense for bringing in the top experts to share their knowledge with his “Blue Chip” general management training class. Last year, internationally renown motivational speaker Dave Anderson addressed the class about focusing energy on the most important aspects of our lives and careers. Joe Quitoni from Ritz Carlton lectured the class about the need for a company mission statement to cultivate relationships with customers as well as employees. David Macholz dean of the Suffolk Community College Automotive School spoke about developing auto technicians for the future. Fixed operations expert Rob Leary spoke about optimal best practices for service and parts operations. Automotive retail expert Ed French highlighted how general managers must hold themselves and those around them accountable for success. And during the height of the COVID, Northwell executive Dr. Nick Fitterman came and spoke about the best ways to protect the health and safety of employees, families, and customers.

Brown Names Drago and Montalvo as EAG Managing Partners

Empire Automotive Group Executive Team ​

Leonard Cafarelli, Operations Director​

Lenny Cafarelli spent ten years in automotive financial service with Northeast Dealer Services and Toyota/Lexus Financial Services before taking on a retail career with the Atlantic Automotive Group. He served as the general manager for several Atlantic dealerships before becoming the managing partner/general manager at Smithtown Kia.  He resumed his working relationship with Michael Brown in 2019 when he became the general manager of Empire Honda of Manhasset and, earlier this year, he took on a new role as Operations Director for Empire. He presently oversees training, recruitment, CSI, and assists Michael with a variety of other tasks.

Frank Gauci, Sales Trainer

Over the past 25 years, Frank Gauci has worked with several major  automotive groups in the Northeast, starting out as a salesperson, ascending to sales manager, and to his current position as sales training director for EAG.  He has trained hundreds if not thousands of new salespeople with a renowned, contagious enthusiasm while establishing professional sales norms which lend themselves to store to store consistency and accountability. 

Thomas Lederer, Chief Information Officer

After spending 20+ years with Sportique Jaguar Porsche in fixed operations, IT, and marketing, Tom Lederer became the Chief Information Officer for the Long Island Automotive Group, now known as Jaguar-Land Rover Long Island. He spent another eight years as CIO for the Atlantic Automotive Group, overseeing human resources and IT, until 2020 when he took a similar position with Empire. Tom has a master’s degree in theology, wrote for the NY Times, and is a trustee with the Northwell Health System.

Cathy Liguori, Corporate Controller

Cathy Liguori is a results-oriented automotive accounting professional with broad knowledge of business and financial management. Cathy has enjoyed a successful career in the automotive industry for over 35 years as Corporate Controller, VP of Automotive Accounting and Director of Internal Auditing, in both the private and public sector.  As a process-driven, team leader and analytical thinker, Cathy has contributed to the development of automotive strategy, policy and procedure and corporate structure.

Arthur Pell, Used Car Director

Working for his father, Art Pell at Art Pell Dodge, AJ grew up in the car business.  In 1984, he went to work for John Staluppi and the Atlantic Automotive Group as a General Manager at Bayview Nissan. Because of his love and affinity for preowned vehicles, AJ began focusing on used cars in 2006 and has worked as a used car director ever since. He is currently the used car director for the Empire Automotive Group and is focused on developing the digital side of the preowned auto business.

Thomas Scarpaci, Fixed Operations Director

Tom Scarpaci has held various fixed operations positions for over 20 years in the automotive industry. He served as a technician with ASE certification for 5 years and then as a service advisor for 3 years.  With his experience in the automotive service field and his drive to succeed, he went on to serve as a service manager for large Nissan and Toyota stores, then went on to become the service director for Lexus, Hyundai, Nissan and Audi. After consecutive years of growth, in 2019 he was appointed the Fixed Operations Director of the Empire Automotive Group.

Adam Smith, Call Center Director

With over 20 years of retail automotive experience, Adam Smith offers strong leadership and retail business knowledge that supports the ever-changing environment of retail sales.  Starting his career as a salesperson, Adam has held numerous positions in sales management, and is currently serving as the Call Center Manager for the Empire Automotive Group.

Joseph Gentile, In House Counsel

Joe Gentile grew up on LI before attending  Ithaca College,  where he studied journalism and played football for the Ithaca College Bombers.  Upon graduation, he inducted into the National Collegiate Athletic Honor Society.  After graduating from St. John’s Law School,  Joe represented the Empire Automotive Group for approximately two years while working for an outside law firm before joining Empire as its General Counsel.  Joe Gentile’s primary focus at Empire will be orchestrate the legal details for new acquisitions and construction.

Lisa Lomenzo, Group Finance Director

Lisa Lomenzo began her career in automotive finance almost 30 years ago and has taken her finely honed F&I skill set to such a high level that she now trains others in F&I process and compliance.  She has served as the finance director for Huntington Honda, Sunrise Toyota and Chevrolet, and more recently at Empire Mazda, Hyundai, and Chevrolet. Now, newly appointed as the Finance Director for all Empire locations, she sees her as her most satisfying accomplishments being able to develop and mentor other F&I managers to improve their lives and their careers. 

Nasir Uddin, VP Pre-Owned Vehicle Operations

Nasir Uddin began his automotive career back in 2006 as a technician with Hassel BMW.  He moved on to become the at the regional preowned manager for Group 1 Automotive, where he spent three years until he took on similar positions with Atlantic and Prime.  With each career move, Nasir has taken the processes of used car projection, evaluation, and inventory controls to new levels, using state of the art computer technology and analysis. In his 15+ years in the automotive industry, Nasir Uddin has quickly carved himself a reputation as an innovative pre-owned used car director.