I’ve been lucky enough to grow up in the car business. I took some of my first steps on Oak Lawn Toyota’s showroom floor, I answered phones at the wise age of six, I spent my Saturdays prank calling members of the sales team after finishing my afternoon nap, I finished homework in my dad’s office and then was treated to Premo’s soft-serve ice cream on the way home. Oak Lawn Toyota was my playground and now it’s my place of employment.
My father, Ronnie Colosimo, has been in the automotive business for almost 45 years. When he first started, I don’t think he envisioned the family business that he’s built today. My sister, Elizabeth, is the voice of Oak Lawn Toyota (as I’m sure you’ve heard her encouraging you to visit OLT on the radio); my sister Victoria is our eCommerce director; and my sister Diana is our Inventory Manager. And now that my dad has four (almost five) grandchildren, there’s some form of chaos on the showroom floor, courtesy of the Colosimo family, at least once a week.
Beyond our immediate family, Oak Lawn Toyota is crowded with team members who’ve been here since the first day we opened our doors. Ask anyone in our Service, Parts, and/or Sales Department(s) and I’m sure they will verify the long-lasting friendships that were established within the OLT confines. We ARE a family business. We pride ourselves on this fact.
Everyone at Oak Lawn Toyota works incredibly hard, long hours to make sure we can keep our doors open to the public and continue serving the Chicagoland area by selling the BEST brand on the market. Many individuals have to work 9am-9pm throughout the week or 7am-5pm or 11am-9pm. Whichever shift it is and whichever department it is, the fact remains that our staff inevitably misses significant family events over the course of a year. There’s the volleyball game someone misses because they don’t get off work until after 9pm, or the anniversary dinner that’s moved to Saturday night because Monday is their long 9-9 shift, or the family vacation that is pushed off to a different week because of a “busy season” at work, etc.
Anyone working in the car business has had to give up something along the way–it’s the nature of the beast. And yet, no one complains. Everyone sweats it out and works their hardest for themselves, their families, and for the dealership. At the end of the day, we all put in the work because there’s nothing better than a baseball game on Sunday with the family or the smell of bacon and a leisurely brunch Sunday morning…these are the beautiful moments we work hard for all week. Sunday is the day for self and for family. And that’s the law–Illinois car dealers are, by law, supposed to keep their business closed on Sundays.
However, every few years, there’s a politician hoping to make a point–that business trumps self and/or family. Right now, there’s a proposed bill before the Illinois legislature that will force Oak Lawn Toyota and every other dealership in Illinois to open up our doors. It asks that we skip Sunday family lunch; to forget about the birthday dinner we’ve put off all week in hopes for a party on Sunday; to forgo taking a daughter to college; to work 7 days a week without respite.
Everyone deserves a break from work–to unplug and be free from pandemonium. If we’re asked to open our doors on a Sunday and decide not to do so, new customers will find another dealer to purchase from and it will be hard to keep our doors open the other six days (because we are a small family business). If we’re asked to open our doors on a Sunday and decide TO DO so, we have to pull staff away from family, friends, and personal lives.
This law cannot go into effect.
We urge you to click HERE and to sign the petition asking your Illinois lawmaker to keep this legislation from going into law. We truly appreciate your support and we thank you for being a valued member of the Oak Lawn Toyota family.