Meet The Team

Jim Zappone

Founder, VisionAST

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. Controller Ken Pelcher 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.

Peter Carusone

Executive Vice President

A life-long resident of upstate New York, Pete graduated with a B.S in marketing degree 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, Jim and partner Ken Pelcher 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.

Ken Pelcher

Co-Founder, VisionAST

A graduate of Siena College in Albany, NY Ken served 12 years in the US Army as a non-Morse signals intercept operator/analyst. Soon after his service Ken joined the private sector as an F&I manager with Dealer Marketing Services. It wasn’t long before Ken’s skills in finance caught the attention of the Impact Group where he worked as a trainer for the company – training sales managers at dealerships throughout the east coast to use specific processes to sell more vehicles profitably. Also in this capacity, he taught F&I managers to effectively use one of the very first menu driven sales systems in the industry.

Currently Ken serves as controller for Zappone Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram where the VisionAST team has developed and tested the VisionAST platform for over a decade.


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