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Toyota of Scranton
“The most rewarding experience for me in my career is having the ability to give back.”
“The most rewarding experience for me in my career is having the ability to give back,” nominee Gagorik said. “Mentoring exceptional employees and watching them grow into tomorrow’s managers has been inspiring. And having the capacity to share our success by giving funds back into the community and making a real difference in the lives of so many has changed my life.”
Gagorik is 1989 graduate of Bowie High School in Bowie, Maryland. He received a B.A. in criminology and criminal justice from the University of Maryland in College Park in 1993, where he was on the dean’s list and earned membership in Alpha Phi Sigma, the national criminal justice honor society, and the Golden Key National Honor Society. He was also a member of Sigma Tau Gamma fraternity.
While he originally planned a career in criminal law, Gagorik entered the automobile business after attending a job fair and being recruited by the Saturn Corporation to sell cars, even though he thought he was interviewing for a corporate job at the company. “As a young man, I had a lot to learn in the business but the dealership and Saturn provided me with skills and training that have served me well over the years,” he said.
Gagorik later worked in finance and sales for a Land Rover dealership in Rockville, Maryland, before becoming a general manager for a Jaguar and Land Rover store in Annapolis, Maryland, where he eventually became dealer principal and partner until 2013.
In 2007, Gagorik and his business partner purchased a Toyota dealership in Scranton, constructed a new facility and relocated the business. Today, Toyota of Scranton has grown to be one of the largest new vehicle dealerships in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. His wife, Meghan, joined the business in 2014 and serves as marketing and communications director.
Having lost both of his parents to cancer, Gagorik is committed to supporting organizations that fight the disease and provide assistance to patients. He is particularly proud of his association with Coaches vs. Cancer of Northeast Pennsylvania, a group that empowers coaches, their teams and communities to raise money and awareness. “I learned of the program through our 42 area high schools that participated,” Gagorik said. “In 2011, my wife and I joined the board and together, we created the BasketBALL gala to enhance the program. We have been the presenting sponsor of the event ever since and the campaign now raises $250,000 a year.”
Gagorik is also a member of the Northeast Regional Cancer Institute Board of Ambassadors and sponsors their annual Spirit of Hope Celebration to support the institute’s programs. He has also been a volunteer and fundraiser for numerous American Cancer Society events, including Relay for Life, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, Endure Ride and Road to Recovery, which offers transportation to patients for treatments.
“To help someone with an open heart and without any expectation of return is by far one of life’s most gratifying experiences,” he said.
A huge supporter of law enforcement and first responders, Gagorik has donated vehicles and other financial support to families whose loved ones were killed in the line of duty. He has also provided fully outfitted vehicles to the Scranton Police Department and Scranton Fire Department, as well as mountain bikes for local police departments.
In addition, Gagorik supports numerous local and national organizations, including the American Red Cross; American Heart Association; Dress for Success Lackawanna; Marley’s Mission in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania, which provides equine therapy to children and their families who have experienced trauma; and the Broadway Theatre League of Northeastern Pennsylvania, to name a few.
“Toyota of Scranton gives to more than 200 community groups, organizations and charities in northeast Pennsylvania each year,” Gagorik said. “In 2017, we have committed over $400,000 to charitable contributions. Our employees donate more than 1,500 community service hours, and we provide product and giveaway donations, and vehicle support for numerous community events.”
He is most proud of receiving the Sam and Jane Cali Star Award from the Broadway Theatre League of Northeastern Pennsylvania. “Supporting the arts at all levels is a real passion for our entire family,” he said, noting that his two children have performed in multiple theater shows. “My wife and I were beyond humbled by receiving this prestigious award, whose past recipients are icons in the arts community.”
Gagorik was nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year award by John Devlin, president of the Pennsylvania Automotive Association. He and his wife, Meghan, have two children.