Jim Zappone began his career in the wholesale automotive business in the 1980’s - he and his college roommate started buying and selling one vehicle at a time. It didn’t take long before they became one of the largest wholesale operations in the northeastern United States. During this time, they opened a used car business that meshed nicely with their growing wholesale business.
As the retail business grew they expanded into multiple franchise stores throughout New York State including Granville, Clifton Park, Kingston and Dannemora New York. As the retail business began to expand exponentially, Jim became primarily responsible for variable retail operations, and focused his attention on maximizing profits, by keeping a close eye on the dealership revenue centers. His Controller noticed the tremendous amount of time it took for Jim to compile the numbers he requested each night, so Ken started to track the data from every deal on a separate spreadsheet. This spreadsheet became the foundation of VisionAST. Over the past decade VisionAST has undergone several revisions and upgrades to become the robust, fully integrated variable operations revenue reporting tool it is today.
Jim Zappone still owns and operates multiple franchise stores throughout New York State and is well known among dealer associates as consistently maintaining gross profits 30-40% higher than his direct competitors in his markets, while remaining a volume leader year after year. He can attribute this to the incredibly powerful software that makes analysis easier.
A life-long resident of upstate New York, Pete graduated with a BS degree in marketing from St. Bonaventure University. After spending a summer as a river guide on the Snake River in Wyoming he began to put his degree to work in the advertising business, creating content and selling space in his hometown newspaper and then he realized he could provide even more for clients and opened his own agency in April 2005.
Pete always specialized in automotive advertising and it was in this capacity that he met VisionAST founder Jim Zappone. Over the past 12 years together he and Jim have developed VisionAST into this unique one of a kind break-through product. By BETA testing the product in the dealerships they own and operate together, they could refine this platform so it is a true value and benefit to the dealer.
Pete works hard and plays hard. Whether it’s fly fishing in New York’s trout streams, or traveling with his wife and four daughters, Pete always strives for a strong work life balance.
Born and raised in Arizona and currently residing in sunny Florida, Kyle attended the University of North Florida graduating with his bachelor’s degree in Business Finance. After spending several years working for a financial service firm, he soon realized his passion was in sales and business development. Starting his new career as a glorified drug dealer selling pharmaceutical drugs, Kyle was quickly called to the automotive industry where he found his values and goals right in line with those of VisionAST’s.
Joining the company in 2017, Kyle has spent time working in each department of the business perfecting each role. He has gained valuable knowledge and experience managing the inside sales and support teams and most recently worked to change company direction by shifting focus to disrupt the marketplace. When talking with Kyle, clients often comment on his passion and excitement he exudes for his business! Kyle is a strong believer in continuing to learn as you grow and now oversees all sales operations.
When Kyle is not working, he enjoys ‘beach cruising’ with his wife, Kristin, and their Vizsla, Hudson, in their local town of Jacksonville Beach. Kyle and Kristin are also very excited as they are expecting their first child on New Year’s Eve!
Kayla graduated with B.S. degree in Psychology from the State University of New York, College at Oneonta. She pursued city life for a few years in Boston, where she also obtained a M.S. degree in Business Management.
Feeling the call to return to upstate New York and be closer to family, through automotive connections she took a position at VisionAST. Her interest in business operations and ability to adapt to the daily challenges that come with a startup has made her an integral part of helping to scale the company as we progress.
When Kayla is not behind the computer screen, she enjoys all four Northeast seasons outdoors as much as possible snowboarding, hiking, camping, boating, and visiting family along with her Husband Chris, and their dog, Cali.
Growing up in the Capital Region of Upstate NY, Kyle graduated from Hudson Valley Community College with an associate’s degree in Civil Engineering. He ultimately found himself working for a CJDR auto group in Upstate NY, and with an interest in finance he worked his way up in the administrative office. Ultimately, he returned to HVCC and obtained a degree in Finance.
Recognizing his work ethic and abilities in working with and analyzing data, coupled with first-hand dealership experience, the VisionAST team knew he would be a great fit for the technical and support lead position they were looking for.
Outside of work, Kyle enjoys exploring his new hometown in South Carolina or finding a way to make every day an adventure with his fiancé, Jianna, and his Australian Shepherd, Hazel.
Caroline grew up in Virginia and graduated with a B.S. in Communication Studies from James Madison University. Shortly after graduating, she found herself working in the fitness industry, where she would spend the next 5 years.
A military relocation brought Caroline from Virginia to upstate New York, and soon brought her years of customer relations experience to a position with VisionAST. She is dedicated to providing the highest level of support and creating lasting relationships through understanding clients’ needs and the vision for their business.
When she’s out of the office, Caroline enjoys spending her time out on the water with her husband and her English Springer Spaniel, Rhodie.
Rashane was born on the island of Jamaica and raised in the Capital Region. She attended SUNY Plattsburgh, where she graduated with her Bachelor's in Business Administration. After college, she ventured into the pharmaceutical/retail and finance fields in which she refined her customer service and organizational skills. While working for her previous companies, Rashane grew to love the client-facing aspects of her day-to-day responsibilities. She also enjoyed the data that drove the company, knowing how it worked and why it was so vital to sound decision-making.
When Vision AST decided it was time to add to their team, Rashane jumped at the opportunity to use her skills and grow with a data analytics company, where she works one-on-one with clients to help them master the analytics the VisionAST platforms provide.
When she is not working, Rashane enjoys being with her dog, Bentley, outdoors, kayaking, boating, hiking, and traveling in-state and to Jamaica to visit family and friends.