UCP’s Humanitarian of the Year – Rick Niello
“I’m Not Just in the Car Business, I’m in the People Business.” – Rick Niello, President of The Niello Company
Rick Niello, a long-standing member of the Sacramento business community, is known as one of the automotive industry’s true gentlemen – a leader with character and integrity who strives to show his appreciation by supporting a variety of community organizations. When asked by anyone, “What’s your favorite part of the business?” Rick will gladly respond, “I love cars and enjoy all of the ones we sell, but what I like most is the fact that I’m not in the car business per se, I’m in the people business. I spend 98% of my time on people issues and that’s what I really enjoy.” To validate his value of people and community, The Niello Company supported over 40 charities and non-profit organizations in its philanthropic efforts.
Born in 1946 in San Francisco-the birth place of the U.N., an organization created for the people, one year later Rick Niello was born with a heart for people! His family moved to Sacramento in 1954. Rick has matriculated at local Sacramento public schools and planted a firm foundation in the greater Sacramento community. Upon graduating from High School, Rick attended Menlo School of Business Administration, earning a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration.
It was during his Army Reserves time as a medic where he used that time to reflect and decide what he wanted to do with his life. Not really knowing much about the family business, but the people aspect of it intrigued him, so while he was in still the Army and living in San Francisco, Rick’s first job in the car business was at Carlsen Volkswagen.
Really enjoying it, he was able get his feet on the ground outside of what was expected. Rick stood by the thought that if he went to work for his father and did well, people would think “Of course. What do you expect? He’s the boss’ son.” And if he didn’t do well? They would think the same thing. By the measurement of The Niello Company success, it worked out well for him in the long run.
Returning to Sacramento in 1972 to develop the Niello Company, he took the helm of the family business as president in 1998. Rick is the driving force behind the company and its never-ending ambition to find automobiles that fulfill an experience of distinction, innovation and adventure for The Niello Company’s automotive enthusiasts. Each brand offered by The Niello Company was selected on a foundation of automotive passion and commitment to excellence.
Today, they are the region’s only privately held dealership group spanning 13 of the world’s finest manufacturers; Acura, Alfa Romeo, Audi, two BMW locations, FIAT, Infiniti, Jaguar, two Land Rover locations, Maserati, MINI, Porsche, Volkswagen and Volvo. The Niello Company offers locations in Sacramento, Concord, Rocklin, and Elk Grove as well as a Collision Center. The Niello employees stand, 700 united with a single vision – to be Northern California’s leading automobile dealer for the products we represent. Automotive News has repeatedly recognized Niello Dealerships in the top 100 “Best Dealerships to Work For” in the United States and Canada. Locally, The Niello Company has been recognized as the “Best Place to Work” by the Sacramento Business Journal and is consistently recognized by Sacramento Magazine as “Best Place to Buy a Car.”
Rick is on the board for the CNCDA (California New Car Dealers Association) and is a member of The Sacramento Host Committee.
When given the opportunity, Rick is an avid sailor and enjoys spending time on the San Francisco Bay. When not on the ocean, he can be found on the slopes as skiing is another passion of his. He is a member of the renowned Bohemian Club, the Saint Francis Yacht Club, and the Sutter Club.
Rick and his wife Teri have been married for twenty eight years and have six children and ten grandchildren.