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Inspiring Stories from ESL Business Banking Clients:
Gates Towing, Inc.

Interview with Anthony Ardillo, Jr., Owner of Gates Towing, Inc.

June 2022

Spending quality family time together while learning about the family business. Gates Towing was established more than 30 years ago. Today, the owner and his children, who started learning about the business when they were 16 and 18, are thriving as a multigenerational family business. Read on to learn more about Anthony Ardillo Jr. and his family as we continue our Business Banking series.

Tell us about your business.

I started working for my uncle pumping gas in my teens. He moved from a corner gas station with service and towing to what became Gates Automotive on Marway Circle. I was there as an employee and then a partner for over 30 years. In 2017 my business partner retired, and I ended up taking over the towing and service side of the business and moving to our new location on Scottsville Road under the name of Gates Towing, Service & Fleet.

How do you include your family in the business?

My son has been coming to work with me since he was in a car seat. He’s been involved in the day to day business since graduating high school and has slowly learned all aspects since we moved into our new building and has become more of my "partner." My daughter, Alyssa, has also been involved since the age of 16. She works in the office and learned part of her brother's job as he moved on and became more involved in the role of management.

What prompted you to start teaching your children about the family business?

I wanted my son to be able to learn everything that I have learned throughout the years, hopefully easier than I was able to learn it and I wanted both of my children to be able to take over a successful business.

How old were they when you first started teaching them?

My son has been involved just about his entire life, full time as of 18 and my daughter since she was 16 on a part-time basis.

How have you seen this impact your son?

I have watched him grow and mature not only as a person but as a manager. I watched him learn to de-escalate situations, put out fires, and talk to employees with maturity and respect.

Why do you think it’s important for your children to learn about the business?

A lot of people think that their children need to go and get a college education, and for some that is great, but what people tend to forget is that there needs to be other options for people who don't want to go to school or who want to take up a trade. Of course, I wanted my children to go to school, but of course I wanted them to love what they do as well.

Why do you think it’s important for business owners to teach their children about the business at an early age?

Not only is having my children involved great for spending time together, it has helped mold them into hard working, successful individuals with good morals and with goals in their lives to better themselves. Being involved from a young age really helped to develop that attitude.

How has your relationship with ESL helped your business and your family?

Having a reliable bank that is a great partner to do business with is a huge priority. When we want to take out a construction loan, put on an addition, buy three brand new flatbeds, it is so important to be in good standings with our bank and get what we need to make sure our business is successful. I have always taught my children to put the money back into the company. It takes money to make money.

What else do you think is important for people to know about this topic?

If you have the opportunity to own a business or get your children involved in what you do, do it! The time we spend together building our business cannot be replaced.