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September 2005

Michael (Mike) Ricatto began life on December 4, 1956 in Doctors Hospital Manhattan. He is the only child of Michael and Mary Ricatto. He is the proud father of 4 boys Mike, John, Vincenzo and Santino.

Mike exhibited unusual entrepreneurial skills early on. At eight years old the competition in his neighborhood of Jackson Heights Queens for snow shoveling jobs was fierce. Little Mike borrowed some money from his paternal Grandmother, who lived downstairs, bought a shovel, salt and a sleigh with which to carry it all. The next time it snowed Mike attended the usual reverse auction of kids cutting their price to get the job of shoveling. He waited till the end then bellowed "hey lady I charge a quarter more, but with me you get salt." From that point forward he got most of the work. He repaid his Grandmother, with interest, and learned a life lesson. Give the customer value and they will beat a path to your door. Mike honed his skills while working at the family farm on Long Island . At the same time as working on and with the farm's machinery by day he would buy, fix and then sell used cars to the local college students at night always trying to give a little extra After a while Mike got a reputation for having great cars at a good price and whenever the college students needed a car they flocked to "the kid on the farm" after all, they were several years older than Mike who wasn't even out of high school.

Mike worked at his Father and Uncle's export company and country club for years all the while investing in and purchasing apartment buildings in Manhattan . He later purchased both companies from his Father and Uncle. When asked what are three things you would attribute to your success he answered "always give a little extra, always give more value than your competitor, and always give a little better than expected" and you will keep the customer forever.

Mike joined forces with his long time friends Frank "Cheech" and Tommy "T-ball" Almona and is now the C.F.O. of Advanced Fleet Maintenance. Together with Vanessa Mercado they have built the largest engine remanufacturing plant and installation shop in the five boroughs and have become Allison transmission dealers. Mike, Cheech and Tommy have been able to put together inarguably the most knowledgeable crew in the five boroughs to work on and install transmissions. Michael (Mickey) Schuler, Loucas Mastros and Carl Orza among them are all seasoned professionals in their field. Advanced Fleet Maintenance was fortunate in also being able to solicit Daniel Cardone, one of the most experienced parts men on the eastern seaboard. This team together with John LaMotta who helps Tommy run the engine remanufacturing portion of the Advanced Fleet Maintenance makes a group which is unbeatable. Advanced Fleet Maintenance is looking forward to forging overseas alliances and manufacturing their own engine parts within the next 24 months. Mike says "I am tired of living under the tyrannical rule of the current major engine parts suppliers and I bet others are tired as well. Let's manufacture for ourselves and also sell to our competitor's better quality parts and for less money so that in the end everybody will benefit." Together Mike, Cheech and Tommy have quadrupled the gross sales at Advanced Fleet Maintenance in their first twelve months and expect to do it again this year. Mike anticipates taking Advanced Fleet Maintenance public before the end of the decade.


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