Ciocca Dealerships proud to grow in the Lehigh Valley and beyond

Gregg Ciocca –

At number four on the list of Lehigh Valley Business’ Top 100 Privately Held Companies, Ciocca Dealerships is a force to be reckoned with. 

The dealership group, headquartered in Allentown, boasts 40 dealerships from State College to the Jersey Shore with 25 franchises and more than 2,000 employees. 

This year, Greg Ciocca, founder, president and CEO of the company, said he expects to approach $2 billion in sales. 

He carries brands from Ford to Mercedes and even recently acquired the company’s first Kia dealershp. 

And while all of that is impressive enough on its own, it should be noted that it’s an auto empire that started out of Ciocca’s mother’s garage with $700 and grew one used car sale at a time. 

That first sale was 40 years ago, but it was 30 years ago that Ciocca opened his first actual dealership, Ciocca Ford in Quakertown. 

Most recently, the company purchased the Lawrenceville Ford & Lincoln and the Flemington Car and Truck Center in New Jersey. 

“We now have more dealerships in New Jersey than we do in Pennsylvania,” he said. “Who would have thought?” 

That’s not to say the dealership isn’t committed to Lehigh Valley. Ciocca noted that he even moved the company’s headquarters, along with more than 130 employees, from Quakertown to Allentown. 

“The Lehigh Valley has been very good to us,” he said. 

The company’s growth has occurred mostly over the last several years as he’s taken up opportunities to buy other dealerships. 

Often described in the mergers & acquisitions industry as the “silver tsunami,” many businesses are owned by baby boomers looking to retire, and car dealerships are no different. 

He said in many of his recent acquisitions, dealership owners came to him looking to sell. 

“A lot of these owners have no succession plan, so they approached me about selling,” Ciocca said. “People are retiring or leaving the business and they’re wondering ‘who’s going to take care of my employees.” 

He said many of those who approached him said they liked the fact that Ciocca is a family-owned business despite its size. Ciocca’s three sons, Gregg jr., Dylan and Cole all work for the company, as do many of their friends. 

“I’ve been at the right place at the right time and there’s a high level of confidence that I can close the transaction and that I will be approved by the dealers.” 

Ciocca said he isn’t done growing the dealership group. 

“Five years ago, our five-year plan was to double our size. We doubled our size in a year and a half,” he said. “We’re not stopping at 40.” 

Scholarship to aid students seeking CDL training

A $10,000 memorial scholarship in memory of Joseph Gero, Quakertown, will support students studying for their CDL license at Lehigh Carbon Community College, Schnecksville. 

LCCC’s Commercial Driver’s License program provides classroom, driving range and on-road training in both Class A and Class B. The four-week program prepares students to take the licensure exam. 

The demand for truck drivers is increasing as the industry has seen growth from ecommerce. The Gero Scholarship will help ease the financial load for students training for their CDL, according to an LCCC statement. 

Gero died in May 2021 and had been a lifelong hot rod and car show enthusiast. He owned JTG Trucking in Quakertown for many years. 

The scholarship kicks off a campaign to raise additional funds to support students in workforce development and upskill training programs and military veterans at LCCC. The LCCC Foundation will hold three events throughout the year to raise funds for scholarships: the Clay Shoot on June 27, Annual Golf Classic in September and the Fall Fitness Fest 5 and 10K in November. 




Ciocca Dealerships expands south into Philadelphia

Quakertown-based Ciocca Dealerships has expanded again. 

The dealership has opened Ciocca Subaru of Philadelphia in the Gray’s Ferry neighborhood of the city. 

The 175,000-square-foot, five-story dealership will hold more than 600 vehicles and will have 90 service bays, a 40-car showroom and three lanes that will hold 18 vehicles. 

This latest dealership brings Ciocca’s total number to 25 stores carrying 17 brands, including the recently acquired Cadillac, Chevrolet, Buick GMC and Corvette dealerships in Atlantic City, New Jersey. 

“We are very excited to announce the company’s expansion into the Philadelphia market,” said dealership owner, Gregg Ciocca. “Everyone is excited to become involved in the community and meet our new customers and team members in the city of Philadelphia. The energy and growth in this area made this an exciting opportunity to add to our family of dealerships.” 

Ciocca Dealerships grow with Atlantic City acquisitions

Quakertown Based Ciocca Dealerships has finalized an agreement to acquire three dealerships in Atlantic City, bringing its total dealership count to 24. PHOTO/FILE –

Quakertown Based Ciocca Dealerships is expanding again. The company has finalized an agreement to acquire three dealerships in Atlantic City, bringing its total dealership count to 24 with 16 vehicle brands.

The dealerships, acquired from the Kerbeck Family, are Kerbeck Chevrolet of Atlantic City, Kerbeck Buick GMC of Atlantic City, Kerbeck Cadillac of Atlantic City and includes Kerbeck Corvette.

All of the dealerships are located on North Albany Avenue in the city.

The Kerbeck family has run the dealerships for more than 45 years.

“We are very pleased to announce the company’s expansion into the Atlantic City market,” says Gregg Ciocca, founder and CEO of Ciocca Dealerships. “Everyone is excited to become involved in the community and meet our new customers and team members in Atlantic City. The energy and growth in this area made this an exciting opportunity to add to our family of dealerships.”

St. Luke’s, furniture manufacturer receive state PIDA loans

Two local projects are receiving state funding to help foster job creation.

The Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority is providing low-interest loans for the construction of a new medical facility in Hanover Township, Northampton County and for the purchase of manufacturing and processing equipment in Quakertown.

St. Luke’s University Health Network is receiving a $1.5 million PIDA loan through the Carbon Chamber & Economic Development Corp. towards the $3 million construction of a new 8,187-square-foot Medical Center for its Schoenersville site in Hanover Township.

St. Luke’s plans to offer services such as medical, physical therapy lab services, medical office space, X-ray and pediatrics at the facility.

It said there is currently a lack of quality health care facilities in the area and the new office will provide better medical access to people in the surrounding community.

St. Luke’s expects the new building will create 55 new jobs over the next three years.

The PIDA loan is a 15-year loan at a 1% reset interest rate.

In Quakertown, Home Reserve LLLC will receive $740,000 through the Bucks County Economic Development Corp. towards nearly $1.5 million in manufacturing and processing equipment for the company’s new Quakertown facility.

The equipment includes industrial woodworking, textile, foam blowing and packaging equipment to support the company in the manufacturing and packaging of its ready-to-assemble furniture.

The expansion at Home Reserve is expected to create 85 new jobs.

The PIDA loan is a 10-year loan at 2.75%

LVIA receives more than $1.7M in state funding for terminal project

Lehigh Valley International Airport will receive $1,778,500 from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to continue its work on creating a terminal connector and a security checkpoint expansion.

LVIA is one 12 airports in the state sharing $10 million in investments from the state’s Aviation Transportation Assistance Program.

PennDOT administers four grant programs for airport development: the federal Block Grant Program, the state Aviation Development Program, the state Capital Budget/Transportation Assistance Program, and the Real Estate Tax Reimbursement Program.

Collectively, the programs invest about $35 million into airport development each year.

The funding will also enhance terminal commercial development connectivity at LVIA.

State Rep. Jeanne McNeill, D-Lehigh, commented on the funding.

“There’s no denying the vital role LVIA plays in the Lehigh Valley’s economic future,” McNeill said. “This investment, when in total only $10 million was awarded across the Commonwealth, underscores the importance our airport has – not just to meeting the growing demands of the travel industry, but to meeting the demands of other industries located throughout this region.”

Two airports in Bucks County were also among the recipients of funding.

Doylestown Airport will receive $150,000 to repave and reseal aircraft parking areas and taxiways.

Quakertown Airport will receive $150,000 to make exterior improvements and increase the energy efficiency of its terminal building.

NovaTech names Conrad Oakey as new CEO

Conrad Oakey


The next generation is taking over at NovaTech in Quakertown.

Conrad Oakey will assume the role of CEO from his father, Volker Oakey, who will stay on as chair of the board of directors.

Volker Oakley has owned and led NovaTech since 1979. The company provides automation solutions for electric utilities and process manufacturers around the world. Over the years it has acquired companies such as GSE Systems in 2003 and Bitronics in 2008.

Recently, NovaTech made changes to integrate its power and process divisions to increase its ability to sell across its traditional market segments and streamline operations.

“With these changes, the time to introduce a new CEO felt right,” said Volker Oakey. “We have a strong and energetic group of leaders. Conrad has been preparing for this for most of his life. I could not be more proud to make this handoff. I am confident and excited about the future of the company.”

He noted that Conrad Oakey has been involved in the company since he was a young boy and has worked for NovaTech in a variety of positions for the past 23 years.

He was instrumental in developing the company’s digital presence, helped establish succession planning and increased the company’s media presence.

Since 2018 he has served as NovaTech’s vice president of strategy and communications.

He received a dual B.A. in Chemistry and Studio Art from Williams College in 1998. In 2013, he received an MBA from Duke University, Fuqua School of Business.

Trolley Barn Public Market makes its debut in Quakertown

The Trolley Barn Public Market is now open in Quakertown. PHOTO/SUBMITTED –


Quakertown has a new place for food, drinks and gathering.

The Trolley Barn Public Market held its grand opening this weekend at 116 E. Broad Street in the borough.

The brainchild of two Quakertown residents, Ian Jeffery and Chris LaBonge, the public market was designed to be a family friendly place that offered something different from the national chain restaurants and stores that populate most of the area surrounding it.

“Our whole mission is to bring people together. To bring new life into the community,” said Jennifer Bergstresser, market manager.

That’s not an easy thing to do with the social distancing requirements from COVID-19. But while the pandemic may have delayed the market’s original target opening in the spring, she said they have the size and space to offer a safe place, including a 10,000-square-foot outdoor area for people to sit and enjoy their food and drink at spaced out tables.

Bergstresser said the extra space doesn’t mean the market doesn’t have plenty to offer. All of its vendor spaces are filled. They include the Two Rivers Brewery and Black River Farms Winery. A spirits distiller, Doan Distillery, is also opening soon. Coffee fans will find what they’re looking for at Red Door Coffee Roasters.

There is also a wide range of food including a butcher, a baker, a health food store, Mediterranean food and Asian food.

The market even has event space for hosting weddings, parties and corporate events.

The Trolley Barn Public Market is open Thursdays through Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Individual vendor hours do vary.

Fleet management company Fleetrock moves, expands

Fleetrock has moved to 1900 Am Drive in Quakertown. PHOTO/SUBMITTED –


A fleet management company that was founded in Coopersburg in 2017 has moved into a new office at 1900 Am Drive in Quakertown to accommodate the growth it is experiencing.

Fleetrock, which currently has 20 employees, will have room for up to 65 staffers with the new space.

“We are experiencing tremendous growth,” said Steven Siderias, director of operations for the company.

Fleetrock provides fleet management software for companies to manage their own fleet, but Siderias said their growth is in offering outsourced, full-service fleet management.

By working with a large number of company fleets across the country, he said Fleetrock has the ability to manage repairs, order parts and negotiate contracts with service providers that a company might not have the size to handle, or which is taking up too much administrative time.

“Right now companies are looking to save money anyway they can, and we can help with that,” he said

NAI Summit’s Mike Adams and Jay Haines represented the landlord and Sarah Finney-Miller represented Fleetrock in the multi-year lease of the new Class A office space.

Quakertown welder develops simple device to avoid germs

While many scientists across the country have switched gears to concentrate on finding solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic, a Quakertown welder thinks he has come up with an easy solution to slow the spread of the disease and he’s rushing to get his product to market.

Kevin Johnson, owner of JMW Fabrication, has created a simple device that can be attached to most standard commercial door handles, allowing people to open the door using their arm or wrist instead of their hands.

He’s calling his product, Handless-Handles.

“I never took germ spread seriously until this pandemic,” he said. But with a pregnant wife, he said he’s become hyper aware of the spread of the potentially deadly virus.

“I’m a problem solver at heart, so I was looking for a solution,” he said. “Most germs spread on your hands throughout the day and everybody goes to the store.”

Kevin Johnson, of JMW Fabrication in Quakertown, demonstrates his handless handle on a pizza shop door in Allentown. PHOTO/SUBMITTED

He said eliminating that touch point could contribute significantly to a reduction in spreading germs.

“These handles are just a haven for germ spread,” Johnson said.

He aimed to make the product so that it could be installed on most standard commercial door handles.

There is more than one version, with the main product designed so that it’s clamped on and not permanent so a business that is renting doesn’t have to alter property that is owned by another business entity.

“You want to be able to modify it without it being invasive or cumbersome,” he said.

While the handles are removable, Johnson said he doesn’t expect that businesses will remove them. Even when the pandemic is over, he believes there will be an ongoing concern over disease transmission.

“The idea of minimizing germ spread is going to be the norm,” he said.

The handles, which are patent-pending, are being produced right now in his Quakertown shop. His first set was installed and unveiled Thursday at a pizza shop in Allentown that is open for takeout.

Right now, he and his staff of three are concentrating on ramping up production.

“We want this to be ready for when everyone is opening back up so we spread less germs,” Johnson said.

He anticipates that his shop can make around 2,000 of the handles per day. If there is a higher demand, he is working on contracting with other manufacturers to produce the handles.

He is also in the process of hiring two new workers to his current staff of three.

Since he has been concentrating on making the product, he hasn’t done a great deal of marketing for the new product, but they are available for sale on his website, www.handlesshandles.com starting at $64.99.