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Paul Masse

Paul Masse

Paul Masse Chevrolet
East Providence, Rhode Island

"Watching my team grow over the past 26 years — and seeing team members start in sales or on the service counter and now run departments as true leaders — is extremely gratifying."

“Watching my team grow over the past 26 years — and seeing team members start in sales or on the service counter and now run departments as true leaders — is extremely gratifying,” nominee Masse said. “It’s also been very rewarding to have my family work by my side and contribute to the company.”

Masse, a 1977 graduate of Saint Raphael Academy in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, began his retail automotive career as a lot attendant at E.P. Fournier AMC Jeep in Pawtucket in 1974. He would also help out at auto shows for the dealership in local malls, and when customers he met showed up at the store to purchase vehicles, the owner made him a salesperson.

“I very quickly became excited about the car business and dreamed of owning my own dealership,” Masse said. He worked as a sales manager and general manager at other stores, learning the ins and outs of running a successful enterprise. And in 1991, with the help of his family and General Motors, he opened his first store in Woonsocket, Rhode Island.

Today, Paul Masse Automotive Group encompasses three Rhode Island dealerships: Paul Masse Chevrolet in East Providence, Paul Masse Chevrolet South in Wakefield and Paul Masse Buick GMC South in South Kingstown. His wife, Donna; son, Bob; oldest daughter, Michelle; brother, Guy Masse; sister, Nicole Higginbotham; and nephew, Rick Mignanelli, all work for the dealerships, and his youngest daughter, Julie, plans to join the family business upon graduating from college.

Masse is committed to creating a positive working environment for his employees. “We have always had a diverse and ever-expanding benefits portfolio that has included wellness programs that reward for fitness and smoking cessation, in-dealership gyms, and we have recently offered tuition reimbursement for our service technicians,” he said. “Our programs have helped six team members stop smoking, lowered our team’s collective cholesterol by 600 points, and assisted in helping our team lose more than 500 pounds in total through exercise and better nutrition.”

He is also devoted to improving the well-being of his community by supporting area schools and local and national charities. Masse contributes annually to the United Way; American Cancer Society; Saint Raphael Academy; Villanova University in Villanova, Pennsylvania; Bishop Hendricken High School in Warwick, Rhode Island; Rhode Island World War II Memorial in Providence; and the Rhode Island Community Food Bank in Providence.

“My family and I believe that the most important and meaningful way we can help our community is by devoting time and resources to local schools, food banks and hospitals that help Rhode Islanders,” Masse said. “I am blessed to be able to give back to my high school, my children's schools, and many other charities that help provide a better life for people. I am also working on establishing scholarships for local high school students to be able to continue their education.”

Masse was nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year award by Jack Perkins, executive vice president of the Rhode Island Automobile Dealers Association. He and his wife, Donna, have three children.