April 2004

Our Member of the Month, Michael Natoli was born in 1958 and raised in Valley Stream, NY. He graduated from Valley Stream High School South in 1976. Mike continued his education and received an Associates degree in Vocational Education from the Community College of New York in 1982. He is currently working on his Bachelor's degree in Automotive Management from Farmingdale State University.

Mike is the Senior Training Specialist for Fleet Services at KeySpan. His duties include researching new components and equipment, troubleshooting various problems that occur in KeySpan's fleet of over 6,000 pieces of equipment. He assists the Engineering Division, for the Department's Alternative Fuels program, where Research and Development of different alternative fuels, i.e., natural gas and electric vehicles, are carried out. He investigates new products to see if they can be applied to KeySpan's fleet to save money, increase reliability or to improve fleet safety.

Mike started in the industry at ALTO Automotive in Lynbrook, NY after school and on Saturdays at the age of 14. Upon graduating high school, he worked for Holman Motors Dodge in Bellerose. In 1980, Mike stopped by his old high school to visit his Auto Mechanic's teacher, Mr. Mike Trotta, who advised him to enroll in college to become an automotive teacher to possibly fill an upcoming teaching position. Mike applied and started teaching that year and was grateful for the opportunity. He was able to take his passion for the automotive industry and share his knowledge and experiences with others. He feels he is one of the lucky ones who is able to enjoy his life and his job at the same time. In 1983, while attending Farmingdale State University, Mike was offered a position as an Adjunct Professor during the evening. He was honored and accepted the position even though he knew how difficult it was to work two jobs and try to complete his education. Mike is currently the training supervisor for the evening program at the New York Automotive and Diesel Institute on Liberty Ave. in Jamaica, NY. He also co-authored the workbook entitled "Heavy Advanced Brake Systems" published by Delmar Publishers that is used for the New York State Technician Training program by the New York State Motor Truck Association.

Married to his wife, Karen, since 1982, they have two sons, Anthony, 18 and Nicholas, 16. The Natolis currently reside in Valley Stream, NY. Another household member is their big fat, black cat, Lunar, who will take on any mid size dog in the neighborhood.

Mike and Karen purchased what Mike calls the original "THIS OLD HOUSE" and has totally remodeled it. He enjoys watching Karen decorate the house and making it look like something out of Country Living. Mike and his sons also restore old Schwinn Stingrays, the bicycles with the banana seas, big, fat rear slick tire, ape hanger handlebars and stick shifts. Drag racing is another of his passions and he races his 1971 Plymouth Duster Orange Crush that is equipped with a 340 engine against Anthony's 1973 Plymouth Duster. Mike does all his own work including blueprinting the engines and accessories alike. He also enjoys fishing, watching the Yankees and a round of golf with good friends.

Mike has been a Member of the Society of Fleet Supervisors since 1994 and has been a great asset to the Society. He has presented a couple of programs on ABS shop management, NYS DMV inspection program and CDL issues for the Membership.

 


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