The Shop: Mark Cipparone of Rocco's Collision Centers - BodyShop Business

The Shop: Mark Cipparone of Rocco’s Collision Centers

Mark Cipparone
President and CEO
Rocco’s Collision Centers, Philadelphia, Pa.

Man, you have a lot of tattoos.
Yes, I don’t know how many I have because one seems to bleed into another, but both my arms are tattooed, my entire chest, the top portion of my back and part of my leg. My left arm is totally dedicated to Rocco’s Collision and the collision industry. One part says, ‘Only the strong survive,’ to show that only the strong can withstand the pressure of being a top shop. I also have a frame rack inside a storm, a dragon holding a paint gun and doing graffiti, and an air compressor with a vicious face. On my hand, I have the ‘dripping R’ logo of Rocco’s and an anchor indicating that I am the anchor of the ship that is our company.

Do you have a favorite one?
Probably the gypsy women. I have one on my neck and another on my right fist. I like their will to live life to the fullest because they might not be around tomorrow. Plus, they have great beauty because many of them have great features.

Do you ever get mistaken for the rapper, Pitbull?

Yes, quite often!

You have a lot of videos on YouTube. Why do you have one of you getting your beard trimmed at a barber shop?

I wanted to show the public and our customers that we’re everyday people who do everyday things. I also wanted to showcase someone else’s talents and help them by spreading the word about their business. Within collision is the expectation of excellence, but we like to live life, too. That’s also why I did a video of me getting tattooed. I wanted to show people that we’re unique and different and have another side other than this professional collision center side.

You also did a ‘Harlem Shake’ video. Is it important to you to instill fun in your work environment?
Yes, I think that balance is quite necessary because, in the work environment, there are so many deadlines and so much exactness that the pressure level is very intense. When you can interrupt that by having a happy, fun-loving time every once in awhile, it really breaks down that pressure and makes it more tolerable. Plus, you get to see people team up together to do something fun, and when it comes time to team up and do something exact, it’s a little easier to do knowing you have these good times behind you.

You actually employ a full-time videographer to shoot all these videos, correct?
Yes, it’s not traditional for a collision shop to have one, but I wanted to expose the public to what we do. We hired a videographer to shoot the grand opening of our Berlin, N.J. location, and he did such a fantastic job exposing the many facets of the people who built that fifth location that I started to wonder how we could capitalize on having someone like this in our life who could show another side of collision. We could show how we could fix a $20,000 wreck and then showcase parts of our life that may not have anything to do with collision.

Talk about your Harley.
It’s a 2003 Road King Classic. It has been transformed now for the second time and serves as a showpiece we can take to different shows to expose our talents to others. What’s more important than the shows themselves is the camaraderie the people from our company develop while there. They choose to go to these shows because they enjoy each other and it gives them a sense of pride when we take first place or even if we don’t place.

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