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Meet Chris Marino of Century West BMW

Today we’d like to introduce you to Chris Marino.

Chris, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
How I got where I am today has a lot to do with where I started in life. Quite literally, I started on the streets. My mother having made a series of bad decisions had three children out of wedlock with three different partners. As the oldest, by the time I reached the age of six, my mother had surrendered the three of us to foster homes after six years of depravity–I recall sleeping in Greyhound bus stations, the San Francisco Airport, homes of people (albeit briefly) whom I didn’t know–nor did my mother–I recall the bench & payphone in San Francisco’s Ghirardelli Square where my mother finally made the fateful call to social services to surrender us.

The next 11 years of my life were spent in various foster homes–none of which were ideal, good or benevolent. Those 11 years annealed me. Those years oriented me on a path that would, through isolation and without care or love, allow me to know who I was and build on the innate genetics and morals I didn’t know I had. Eventually, at the age of 17, I joined the Navy. Thereafter, I graduated from the University of San Diego with a Bachelors in Communications. Shortly thereafter, I moved to Los Angeles where I have resided since 1994.

Today, after tours with corporate giants (Proctor & Gamble, Sprint PCS & CANON), I have found my bliss and have been in the automotive sector since 2007. Currently, I’m the General Sales Manager of Century West BMW–gifted with employment by the Lin family who owns our dealership. I have three amazing daughters, Sophia 8, Alessandra 10 and Isabella 11. My children enjoy a life I could only dream of–one filled with love, compassion and encouragement–a life where their souls are constantly being nurtured and protected.

I enjoy the partnership of my significant other Aida–a girl so amazing and wonderful that any words used to describe her would sound like platitude or hyperbole.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Century West BMW story. Tell us more about the business.
Century West BMW is a family owned business–owned by the same family since 1993. The store currently resides across the street from the existing BMW dealership that was opened in 1973. BMW is a world-renown, aspirational brand of vehicles without engineering equivalents. I’m proud of a brand of vehicles that is engineered to be safely driven at triple digit speeds, every day, on the German Autobahns–where, in the United States, they are revered for their longevity due to the way in which they are engineered. As the General Sales Manager, I preside over sales for both BMW & MINI and we serve the North Hollywood, Burbank, Studio City, Toluca Lake & Universal Studios areas. What sets us apart from other dealerships is the way we hire and the way we take care of our people. Our people come before our customers–as they should. Without our people, our customers could not be taken care of. We believe in the credo that dictates, that, “if you take care of the people, they will take care of the business.” Hiring is always extremely difficult–and it can be largely subjective–due to the fact that we do not follow the practice of hiring just to fill a position. Each person we hire is an envoy of this dealership and the Lin family–respect, courtesy and benevolence are qualities we are constantly looking for on top of a fundamental foundation of business ethics and the desire to perform and perform with class.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I just do not believe in luck. I believe that nothing happens by coincidence. I believe we manifest our outcomes by subconscious directive or conscious focus on the desired outcome. Those who factor in luck are often ‘letting go’ when in fact they can actually ‘steer’.

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