Employee Spotlight - October 2010
Reg Howard - Finance Manger
What do you think about when you think of a bearded man decked out in leather apparel and riding a Harley Davidson 65 miles per hour along the freeway? Further, what do you think when you see that same man radioing his wife who rides alongside on her own "Hog," equally trimmed and equally grinned? Does the term Finance Manager come to mind? If not, then you've never met the likes of Reg Howard, Handy Chevrolet's Finance Manager extraordinaire.
In April of 2008, Handy Chevrolet's new facility was picking up steam and business had followed suit. With dozens of customers coming in daily to test drive the latest 2008 - 2009 Chevrolet cars, trucks, and SUVs as well as the ever-changing makes and models in the Handy Cars pre-owned vehicle lot, there were countless financial applications coming through the proverbial door. And with HandyCars.com on the rise, still more applications flooded in daily. Handy Chevrolet was at a crossroad: we needed a Finance Manager capable of handling these daily tasks, of which only a portion are mentioned. Answering the call and riding into Handy-town on a silver steed of American muscle, Reg Howard officially took up the mantle.
Reg Howard is quite the unique individual, boasting accomplishments in his life some would consider dream-like--perhaps even borderline absurd due to the simply extraordinary nature therein. The Vermont native has lived here his whole life, less a three-year stint in Pennsylvania, and attended Burlington High School and Jonson State College in his youth. Outside of helping to grant Chevy-fans the perfect vehicle, Reg's main interests lie in motorcycling, driving high-powered vehicles of all types (bikes, boats, cars, etc.), training his eight year old German Sheppard Mia, spending time with Mia at the dog park so she can to mingle with her cohorts, doing wood work around his house, playing a variety of instruments, and spending time with his wife of 25 years, Debbie.
"Speaking of my wife," Reg begins after mentioning his beloved partner, "we had a pretty distinctive first date. I picked her up and we went four-wheeling!" he exclaims, followed by a deep, guttural laugh that's filled to the brim with memories of their first date. "Yes, we went four-wheeling and then to the movies. I had a 1973 Ford Bronco I'd borrowed from my Dad. He begged me not to take it, but of course we did. It turned out to be a good choice! From there it's history."
Another interesting fact about Howard regards his love for automobiles of all sorts--or in his words "cars, boats; anything with a motor!" Most fans of NASCAR or any other racing syndicate at some point think to themselves it would be so cool to do that! A large portion of these folks treat it as a passing fancy, but not Reg; he took action. "I've attended the 'Richard Petty Driving School' in Loudon, NH at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS) twice," he starts. "Debbie has actually taken it once as well. NHMS is great to drive--it can be a bit boring to watch on television, even as a fan of the sport, because it doesn't have the banks of a bigger track which means you can't really reach the higher speeds. But for someone like me that isn't a professional it's a whole lot of fun to drive!" Reg also got the chance in 2006 to test drive the then-unreleased Chevrolet Corvette when it was redesigned, an event which also took place in Loudon, NH's NHMS. "This is a good story," Reg says with a smirk. "There was a man driving a 'Vette that I was supposed to follow, which I did; for the first lap; at 25 miles per hour. But, come on, this was the new Corvette--that's kind of lame! On the second lap I let it loose, and scared him half to death because I ended up on the wrong side of the [guiding] cone! It was a great time--I was in control the whole time" he finishes with a shrug.
To get back to Reg's current job as the Finance Manager at Handy Chevrolet, you might expect him to have a long resume filled exclusively with office jobs or employment settings wherein his fingers were glued to a keyboard, typewriter, or calculator; but you would be mistaken. "I worked as a technician through high school at BHS [Burlington High School] and through college at Jonson State," he explains. "My father owned a car business in Essex [Vermont] and I worked on cars part time through school." Learning of this past experience, it is hardly surprising that Reg has surrounded himself with vehicles throughout both his personal and professional life.
Again, Mr. Howard's love for vehicles doesn't adhere to a single location along the spectrum. For instance, Reg used to own a boat which he loved to take all along Lake Champlain here in Vermont. He's also voyaged to the Laconia Motorcycle Rally for over ten years along with his mate, and he's participated in the Americade Rally for ten or more years as well. Considering all this vehicular adoration, which would he take overall? When you ask Reg Howard this exact question you can tell he's torn between his many loves, but his choice was decisive nonetheless. "I guess I'd have to go with the 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 with a DZ302 engine, which is a 302 cubic inch engine that is only available for the Z28 Camaro. Now that would be a sweet ride!"
Anyone who truly enjoys their hobbies will have great stories to tell, and Reg has two that are particularly neat. In one instance, he traveled to the Harley Davidson plant in York, Pennsylvania where Harley Davidson Motorcycles are assembled. Here he was able to see how they were put together from start to finish, giving him an inside look at one of his favorite pastimes. "It was really cool," Reg says, "because you got to see everything: the entire process, you know, even how they bend the steel from scratch. Simply amazing." Another excellent adventure was at one time a yearly endeavor for Mr. Howard, as he used to have Speedway Passes at Charlotte Speedway (now Lowe's Speedway), allowing him to attend twice a year. "These were great [seats]," he explains, clearly envious of his own memories. "We're talking about 100% full service, lush comfort, and you're so close you feel the glass rattle! That's how racing was meant to be viewed!"
But Reg's life isn't all about motors, folks: he's also quite a skilled musician who plays the drums, a bit of guitar, and some piano. "Well I can make noise come out of the guitar anyway!" Reg jokingly corrects himself. As a self-described multifaceted hobbyist, this is exemplified perfectly in his outings with a jazz band while in college. Every week Reg's band would "play for a pittance"as he says at location called Sister Kate's on the Mountain Road in Stowe, Vermont. Those of you in your young adulthood may also know this building as it's currently named: Perry's.
Aside from his personal hobbies and those he shares with his wife, Reg Howard is quite the family man. "Well I've mentioned my wife, Debbie, who I married in 1988, but I also have a stepson who is 33. He lives right next door to us which is great. And he's quite a character--I like to think I gave him my sense of humor." Reg also has a niece and two nephews to whom he's close, as well as a father and sister living in Burlington, VT and South Burlington, VT, respectively.
So what vehicle would Reg Howard be if he were one? The question was relayed, and his rationale is perfect, as evidenced above: "I'd say the 2011 Chevrolet Silverado Extended Cab. Like I said: I'm multi-faceted and so is the Silverado--it can do a lot of different things and it does them well. I can take a large load to the dump, get lumber for my woodworking projects, go deer hunting, haul a boat or my bike... and perhaps most importantly it's my Mia's favorite ride!" he says with an affectionate smile.
All in all, Reg Howard is an extremely fascinating person with whom to speak. If ever you need anything financial information or assistance, some help selecting a new Harley Davidson, directions to New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Louden, NH, a tip on how to train your new puppy, or any of the other amazing things in which Mr. Howard has taken part, feel free to contact him. Reg can be found week in and week out at Handy Chevrolet, located at 699 Highgate Road in St. Albans, VT, and you can email at email@example.com or by calling 888-295-5380.