Petrogram - Spring 2011 - (Page 16)
FPMA Member SPOTLIGHT
Meet the Member:
Commercial Pay Vacuums
uan Vilches, owner of Commercial Pay Vacuums and Commercial Telephones, has a long association with the gasoline industry. Juan’s story is an interesting one. In the 1960s, Juan’s half-brothers’ father had left Cuba and was living in Puerto Rico. A fleet of boats left Miami to pick up relatives in Cuba and this man was on the boat, having made arrangements to pick up Juan’s family and bring them back. Juan’s mother, Juan and his two brothers were waiting at the dock to be picked up. As they were loading the vessel, Juan’s mother became fearful and unloaded the family, upsetting everyone. The boat sank on the way back to Miami. Two days later, Juan’s mother was called for the “Freedom Flight” out of Cuba. Juan and his fam-
ily came to the U.S. on an airplane to begin their new life. Juan states, “We got here with no family, no nothing – nothing at all.” His mother began working and the family was aided by government programs that helped them survive and get on their feet. At the age of 13, he began work at a Shamrock gasoline station in Miami, Florida. He made $20/week pumping gas and checking oil. Juan now services this same station, which is branded Marathon, with vacuum and air machines. In the 1980s, Juan began a pay phone company. When cell phones became popular, he realized that the pay phone was in decline and his customers gave him the idea to begin a vacuum/ air business. He opened Commercial
Pay Vacuums in the late 1990s with the help of his wife, Elda, and his 10-yearold son, Jonathan, who helped him pour the concrete on the ﬁrst job. He also had a couple of partners that he has since bought out. At this point, Juan was working full time with his pay phone company, and it was diﬃcult to ﬁnd the time, but the family continued working hard toward building their company. They poured concrete on sites No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3, and now Juan has over 500 air/vacuum locations in Florida. Even though the pay phone is almost obsolete, because he has customers who insist on having them, he still maintains 100 machines. Noting that there are people who still need public pay phone services, he remembers how important the pay phones were when Hurricane Andrew wreaked devastation in South Florida and brought down cell phone towers. Commercial Pay Vacuums now has over 500 locations from Key West to Vero Beach. Juan, along with several
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Petrogram - Spring 2011
Petrogram - Spring 2011
Meet Your New Executive Director
FPMA Chapter Meetings Are a Success!
FPMA Member Spotlight
You’ve Been Sued and Your Insurance Company Denied the Claim: Now What?
Out & About the Industry
How Health Care Reform Will Aff ect Your Business
Create Competitive Disruption Th rough the “8 Ps”
Index of Advertisers/Advertiser.com
FPMA Featured Advertiser Marketplace
Petrogram - Spring 2011
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