Pascarella earned a B.A. in economics from Northern Illinois University in Dekalb in 1977. At age 13, he spent the summer and weekends working at the used-car lot owned by his father, Philip. And when his dad purchased a Chevrolet store in Frankfort in 1968, which became Phillips Chevrolet, Pascarella continued his education at the dealership part-time during high school and college, then full-time upon graduation.
“I am fortunate to be a second-generation dealer with an outstanding teacher – my father,” he said. “He came from nothing and had to quit school to support his family. I saw how his hard work and persistence made him successful, and I carry those traits with me. I truly love this business and its challenges.”
Pascarella held various positions within the organization and was named dealer in 1990. Since taking over, he has significantly grown the business. “My team and I have built this business to where we are today, the #1 Selling Chevrolet Dealer in Illinois for retail sales for the past 15 consecutive years”, he said. The dealership has achieved numerous awards for outstanding sales and customer satisfaction, “GM Dealer of the Year”, “JD Power Dealer of Excellence”, Better Business Bureau Torch Award”, “DealerRater Dealer of the Year” and many others.
He also owns two other Illinois dealerships: Phillips Chevrolet in Lansing and Phillips Auto Group of Bradley in Bourbonnais, which sells Chevrolets, Hyundais and RVs.
Pascarella added, “I could not be successful without the strong support of my wife and family,” noting that his wife, Donna, daughter, Lesley Wilson, and son-in-law, Adam Wilson, all work for the dealership group. He is also committed to promoting from within and is proud to see his team members advance in their careers.
Pascarella has been on the Board of Directors for the Illinois Auto Dealers Association since 2015, and is a member of the Frankfort Lions Club. His success has allowed him to give back to his surrounding communities in many different ways. He is proud to supply nine driver’s education vehicles to Lincoln-Way Community High School District 210 in Lenox, Illinois.
He supports a wide range of fundraising efforts and organizations, including the Children’s Heart Foundation; American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer; Toys for Tots; National FFA (Future Farmers of America) scholarships; Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation; to name a few. Pascarella also holds food drives, blood drives and coat drives at his dealerships.
Pascarella was nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year award by Pete Sander, president of the Illinois Automobile Dealers Association. He and his wife, Donna, have three children.