The Markel Automotive Group, located at 716 N. 102nd Street in Omaha, is an auto dealership that offers a wide variety of luxury vehicles from BMW, Land Rover, Jaguar, and MINI Cooper. Tony Caputo is the Vice President of the Markel Automotive Group.
How did you get started in the business? – I started selling cars in 1980 at Boston Datsun (Nissan). I moved to Nebraska in 1984, which was when I began working for the Markel family.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? – In 2008 when the market crashed, the automobile industry was negatively impacted along with many other businesses. We had to make some cutbacks; the biggest challenge was cutting staff. Taking away someone’s opportunity to provide for their family is something we never take lightly. I’m happy to report that we made it through those tough times and were able to grow back to where we were by 2010, and now beyond.
What has been your most important achievement professionally? – I’ve been fortunate over the last several years to receive many accolades from our manufacturers as well as community awards. Having said that, my biggest achievement is the tenure of my department heads–some have been working for me for over 20 years.
Tell me a little about your family. – I’ve been married to my wife MaryAnn for 33 years, my daughter Nicole is 29 and recently married, and my son Mike is 24. We are extremely close and I enjoy spending time with them more than anything else I do.
What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? – Losing my dad when I was only 7 years old. It made me look at life a little differently than most 7 year olds. I had to mature a little sooner, and I also became really close in my relationship with God. When someone close to you dies it reminds you, even at a young age, of our own mortality. Thus you get close to your maker and stay close.
What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? – Play golf, then play golf, then play more golf.
What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know? – I love to sing and sing at weddings, in addition to playing the piano and guitar.
What are you the most proud of? – My family for sure. In the end they’re all that really matters!!!
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? – Spend more time on the improvement of yourself than on criticizing others.
If you could choose only one descriptive word to be remembered as, what would it be? – Generous
If you had a theme song, what would it be? – “I Did It My Way” by Frank Sinatra
What is your greatest talent that you don’t utilize in your daily work life? – I use them all; I need every gift God has blessed me with!
What is your favorite book or the last good book you read? – The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon
What is your favorite movie? – All of the Rocky movies.
What is your favorite TV show? – Anything on the Golf Channel, otherwise I don’t watch TV.
What is your favorite local restaurant? – It’s a toss-up between Stokes and Lo Sole Mio.
If you could have dinner with one famous person from the past or present, who would it be? – Tiger Woods. I have some important questions for him.