March 23, 2017
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  • At Brown’s Toyota of Glen Burnie, giving back to the community is as important as selling vehicles. In October, the team wore pink shirts in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
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    At Brown’s Toyota of Glen Burnie, giving back to the community is as important as selling vehicles. In October, the team wore pink shirts in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Brown’s Toyota Offers Longevity To Customers, Generosity To Everyone

Zach Sparks
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February 21, 2017

At Brown’s Toyota of Glen Burnie, hardworking employees are often promoted from within, a concept that is familiar to John Stefero, who ascended the ranks both in baseball as a former Orioles catcher and in the automotive industry, all the way from salesperson to general manager.

Stefero oversees a dealership that services 100 to 150 cars a day and sells an average of 150 new cars a month and 60 to 70 pre-owned cars a month. And behind most of the sales are employees who worked their way up through the system, buying into a selfless goal.

“Anybody in sales has an A-type personality, aggressive and outgoing,” Stefero said. “I try to preach a team concept here. Coming from a baseball background, adopting the ultimate team concept to running a business, there are no differences and everyone must do their part for us to be successful.”

Brown’s Toyota of Glen Burnie has three times been named by Baltimore Business Journal as one of largest automotive dealerships in the Baltimore area and was named by DealerRater a 2017 Consumer Satisfaction Award winner. Stefero said the awards are “not as satisfying as being on the 1983 World Champion Orioles team, but very satisfying in their own way.”

The general manager emphasized that his team has profound support from ownership and a reliable product.

“I’ll get in a car that has 300,000 miles on it, and I’ll ask, ‘Why are these people trading it in, other than the way it looks?’” Stefero said. “Toyotas have a good track record of reliability.”

With a good track record for philanthropy, the dealership’s owner, William Schuiling, places as much emphasis on civic service as he does sales. Stefero shared one story in particular about Schuiling’s kindness.

“He went walking with his dogs and found homeless people in the woods, and he paid for those people to live in a hotel for a year,” Stefero said. “… He’s just a giving, caring person who wants to give back to the community. I’m proud to be working for him.”

That generosity is consistently on display at Brown’s Toyota in Glen Burnie, which last year donated about $100,000 to charities and nonprofits like Hospice of the Chesapeake, the Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS), and Hope For All, which provides basic necessities like furniture and clothing to families and individuals without sufficient economic resources.

On April 23, the dealership will host BARCS for an animal adoption event from noon to 4:00pm with face painters and balloon specialist Randy “Bam Bam” Ward.

“Most of the time when a dealership has an event like this, it’s for the benefit of selling cars,” Stefero said. “We’re doing this on a Sunday when the dealership is normally closed, so none of us will be concerned with selling cars. This is for the community.”

The business also sponsors youth sports teams and Rise for Autism events. Around Christmas, Brown’s Toyota participates in the Salvation Army’s AngelTree program, ensuring that 30 kids get everything on their wish list.

“[William Schuiling] makes sure that they get good gifts, expensive gifts, nothing cheap,” Stefero said. “It’s sad because some of these kids are 7, 8, 9 years old, and they’re asking for gifts for their brothers and sisters.”

At the dealership, Stefero estimated that $4,000 to $5,000 a month is spent on coffee and doughnuts for customers, many of whom enjoy the waiting area, which provides convenience as they wait for repairs. The location offers a shuttle service that transports people within 10 miles, which falls into the range of the light rail’s Cromwell Station stop.

“This is a blue-collar area, I believe,” Stefero said. “A lot of customers are strapped for time and they have a list of things they need to do. We do our best to meet our promise times.”

They also strive to meet expectations. “We have a Brown’s checklist, and we go over and above,” he said. “I want customers to have a good peace of mind that, even though cars do sometimes need repairs, we fix them up and make sure everything is in order.”

Brown’s Toyota of Glen Burnie is located at 7167 Ritchie Highway. Sales hours are 9:00am-9:00pm Monday through Friday and 9:00am-6:00pm on Saturday. Service hours are 7:00am-7:00pm Monday through Friday and 7:00am-4:00pm on Saturday. For more information, call 855-424-4897 or visit www.brownstoyota.com.

“It’s great to be the head guy for one of the largest dealerships on the East Coast, Brown’s Automotive Group, and representing the best brand, Toyota,” Stefero said. “We offer good products and longevity.”


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