Influential NARSA Leader and Business Innovator Angelo Miozza Retires; Bravely Faces New Challenge Print
Wednesday, March 20, 2019 08:34 AM

Influential NARSA Leader and Business Innovator Angelo Miozza Retires; Bravely Faces New Challenge

Newest Member of the Cooling System Hall of Fame

From the March/April 2018 Cooling Journal 

DENVER, PA – Over his successful, career Angelo Miozza and his businesses did many remarkable things to better the industry and to support its trade association. Angelo retired after selling his businesses, Denver Radiator Works and AccuTech, to LKQ Corp in the fall of 2017.

He announced his retirement from 16 years of volunteer service as NARSA's treasurer in March 2017. In January 2018, he was diagnosed with cancer. Angelo is remarkable for the many positive things he has done for others throughout his career as well as his sharp vision, arduous work ethic, and willingness to share. Here is what he wants us all to know:

My Final Journey

An open letter by Angelo Miozza, February 6, 2018

Dear family, brethren, & friends:

As some of you know, after 38-years in business, I sold my company last year. I was hoping to spend more quality time with my wife, children, and grandchildren (Proverbs 17:6).  I’d like to see all my children and grandchildren grow up and marry in the Lord, and spend more focused time working in the Lord’s vineyard. But something has come up that will most likely alter or shorten these plans.

I was recently diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer (no, I am not a smoker), which they’re saying has metastasized to my bones/skeleton.

The good doctors at the Reading Hospital Cancer Center are giving me options to make my remaining time more comfortable and encouraging. How much time I have no one really knows.  It could be months or maybe even several years. Statistically speaking we can generally say 1 to 5 years. But as one of my seasoned doctor said to me, “that is in the Lord’s hand.”

The fact that I am not very old (58) and in good shape, a non-smoker with no breathing issues, and with all the on-going advancements in the medical community, remains in my favor. But it is important for me to point out that currently as I am told, there are no known cures in the medical community for what I have only procedures and medicine to relieve/lesson symptoms and make my life more comfortable. Regardless, I hope to spend my remaining time being productive and preparing myself to meet my maker.

Yes, we are looking at some other cancer centers and credible alternatives that may give me other options, or new advanced clinical trials can pop up; all these I would consider. But right now, the Reading Cancer Center is doing a great and efficient job. Over the last 30-days I think I have had every known scan done. In their Monday staff meetings, they look over my situation as well as others with 30 to 40 specialized cancer doctors with who knows how many hundreds of years of combined experience.

Over the next three or four weeks they will be treating two areas of my body that are currently giving me the most problems, one area in my lower left hip and one in my sternum. They hope to remove maybe 95% of the cancer in those areas along with securing and stabilizing my left hip joint. After that we wait to see what pops up next.

As far as the 2.5 cm mass in my right lower lung, that has shifted and is no longer giving me pain. They will monitor it, but for now surgery to remove it is off the table.

 I have lived a good life, although with regrets, and I do desire to live a long life. As someone once said a half century ago; “Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place.”

I will remember what Jesus said in Matt 19:26 and will pray like King Hezekiah did in the Old Testament 2 Kings 20:1-6. Whatever the answer and no matter the outcome, I will trust in God and praise His Holy name.

I pledge that I will strive to learn to be content and to count each day a blessing.

Thank you all for being my friends. Please remember me in your thoughts and prayers, James 5:16. Please share this letter with anyone you like.

Blessed be the name of the Lord.

In Him.…Angelo Miozza

A very humble and modest individual, Angelo is a strong supporter of the benefits of association through the NARSA trade organization and worked diligently to support it in good times and in times of need. His work as treasurer has kept the organization alive and financially afloat.

 He and his brother Joe started in the business in their father's repair shop, Denver Radiator Works.  His sisters Regina Miozza Newell and Diane Miozza Weld were to join him later in the industry. Denver Radiator Works was almost always exclusively heavy duty with the many quarries, trucking firms and farms in south central Pennsylvania.

Innovations first tried in their shop were shared at NARSA educational events. Innovations such as charge air cooler recoring and aluminum repairs using epoxy. This was in the '80s. The epoxy repair developed into another business AccuTech which has been a support of The Cooling Journal to this day.

These innovations helped an industry to recognize and embrace the changes that came about with the replacement of aluminum over copper brass in heat exchangers. It gave the repair industry hope and tools to stay in the business.

Angelo and his staff appeared on numerous NARSA programs talking about how to meet the challenges of learning new repair techniques. He also did many sessions on business topics and trends, accurately predicting the coming of the complete replacement radiator for over-the-road trucking years ago. But it isn't always business 24/7 as Angelo's easy-going and upfront nature are refreshing and honest.

Montana shop owner Dave Doll, Val's Radiator (NARSA President1996-1998) tells us how Angelo got involved with the national board: "It was in the mid '90s. We were in Florida we were having an executive board meeting -- one of the many marathon meetings. It was mid-afternoon, and we ordered up some fresh Key Lime pie. Angelo spotted the pies coming down the hallway and followed them into the board room. He asked how he could have a piece of pie. I'm thinking Angelo had been on the Northeast board at the time. I said, join the national board. He did, and we are fortunate that he did."

Robert Duran, Mark Taylor and Angelo are not only great friends but also close business colleagues and for at least several years, fellow board members.

Mark Taylor (NARSA President 2014-2016) shares this: " We were able to build our businesses and eventually sell them at the top of the market after almost a decade of our alliance.  The idea to form a buying group was initiated by Angelo.  Bobby and I agreed to the idea immediately.

"Angelo always believed the group was more important than the individual and would stress our business well-being depended on a unified front.  As time went on and it was inevitable we would not be able to attract others to our group the three of us settled into a relationship that grew stronger over time.

"We were like family not without the typical challenges and struggles but we were able to persevere until the end when we all sold to LKQ.  I owe Angelo a debt of gratitude because he has influenced my life professionally and personally.

 "His wife and he are perfect examples of God’s love embodied in human beings.  I have never known Angelo or Patricia to ever speak a vulgar or belligerent word to or about anyone.  They are the finest examples of Christians I have ever met, and I am sure it is by design they were placed in my and my family's life.  No one who has met Angelo and Patricia will ever say that knowing them wasn’t a gift from God.  As we try to wrap our heads around the sad health condition Angelo has been diagnosed with, I find comfort and joy in knowing he is a true and faithful servant who has prepared himself for the day when he would join Jesus Christ and our Holy Father.  When we offer up our prayers I feel as though it is more for us than for the Miozza's as their faith has already exceeded human understanding.  Never the less let us pray for comfort and strength for the family as they walk this difficult path."

From Mike Hiba (NARSA President 1988-1990): "Angelo was a bit after my time. However, I was around enough to observe from a distance. Angelo never ceased to amaze me. Here is a guy in his prime business years and he was putting in all this volunteer time into NARSA.

"Every time I attended or read something to do with NARSA there was Angelo fully involved. To do so must have cost him quite a bit in his business. The last time I saw him was in Vegas for the Past Presidents dinner. Fully involved. It is sad that he is faced with such a health challenge and at such a relatively young age. There are never enough guys like him in the world of voluntarism. And to write such an open letter right in the middle of it all, takes real courage."

 Angelo has won numerous awards with NARSA including:  Person of the Year in 2005 and again in 2014; National Leadership in 1997, 2001, 2004; and Distinguish Service in 1999.

People recognize Angelo for many different reasons and for many different talents critical to business builders. Said NARSA President David Bienvenu, "Most of my association with Angelo has been through the board meetings and business. He always impressed me as an entrepreneurial type fellow who was very good at delegating responsibility. He did a lot of good for NARSA!"

Commented NARSA Executive Director Wayne Juchno, "I first met him when he drove over from Denver to East Greenville, Pa. That is where the NARSA office was at the time and Angelo called and said would I mind if he came over to see what NARSA was all about. We had a great afternoon with Angelo asking more questions and if you know him you know that is his way. He is very curious and is always looking for information. Since then I have had the privilege of work with him on many NARSA projects and boards. His input is always straight-forward, and his vision is staggeringly accurate. In the boardroom, he always put NARSA first and led by example. NARSA is very fortunate to count him as one of its most influential leaders. I will always value his counsel. "

"In March, I had a chance to speak with Angelo, who was in great spirits the day before he started chemo, " said Juchno. " We spoke of many things as always a great conversation. I asked about differences he has seen the business."

Said Angelo Miozza, "One of the big differences among the generations is when my Dad started the business and even when me and my brother Joe got into it, we did so because we wanted to make money." He said today's generations are different, money is not the only motivation.

Angelo also said it was less costly and easier to get into the business in the'70s and'80s. Today permitting, environmental laws and zoning are all costlier making it more difficult for start-ups.

"You always need to keep looking ahead to remain relevant. You need to make change your friend to be relevant," said Angelo. Repairs and niches like DPFs are attractive areas that can keep a business relevant. He also said NARSA has helped to maintain relevancy.

"NARSA in general has been a neutral organization where people can come together and learn from each together and build relationships. It is tough to put a price tag on it, but I can not over emphasize its importance as an honest broker. You can go down to places like Brice Thomas Radiator to see what is going on in niche markets. They are giving back, and it is a win-win for everyone. People can go back home and apply what they saw and learned. We all help each other, and we help ourselves.

"This has been consistent and, in some ways, stronger now more than ever. We have benefitted and are thankful for it."

Angelo says it helped him in business to look at five-year windows for plans and opportunities. He also said it was very important to communicate those plans to staff and how they fit into the bigger picture. He also stressed the need for businesses to embrace change or they will not be able to remain relevant.

"There will always a need for repair, some things you can't ship to China for it. You need to be willing to take advantage of the opportunities as they come in front of you. You get a rush repair on a Friday afternoon and spend the weekend doing it. Do it right and you can turn that into a new division for your business."

Angelo has always been a rock for his employees at West Side Radiator Works. He has mentored them, challenged them, encouraged them, and maybe even raised his voice a time or two. They wouldn’t have had it any other way.

He is someone they have always looked up to. His kindness and generosity are beyond measure. Angelo was always there to help his employees whether it was work related or they fell upon personal hardship.

Here is what they had to say: 

“I had the privilege of working closely with Angelo for 20 years as his Office Manager. Angelo taught me so many things about business, just by observing him and working with him. Angelo is a true professional, but he also has a kind and generous heart. If a fellow employee (or anybody else for that matter) was in need, Angelo never hesitated to assist them. When I would comment on how generous he was to others, he was al- ways humble. It was such an honor to work and learn so much from him!” – Marie Fryberger.

“I first worked for Angelo when I was 13 years old and every summer through school. Angelo taught me the importance and the pride that comes along with a job done right. He has been a constant example of how hard work and determination can pay off.... not only at work but in my personal life also.” - Joe Manganello (AKA the Cousin).

“I worked with Angelo from 1983- 2016. That really says something about an employer. That man would do any- thing for you at work or anything else. When it came to helping you out, he was the most generous man. Angelo taught me everything about this business from the shop to the office, with help from Brian. He and I knocked heads on a few different things. He used to hate when we burned stuff up in the barrels outside. Angelo would be looking for something and when he couldn’t find it, he’d ask me what happened to it. I would say I burned it up be- cause it was junk. He’d get upset with me then come back later and joke about it. He was the best boss anyone could ask for and I will never be able to thank him enough.” – Jeff Fitterling.

“When we first started selling epoxy, Angelo wanted to take the radiator out of his personal vehicle and replace all the solder joints with Epoxy to test the product and make sure it worked properly. That’s exactly what we did! We replaced the solder with Epoxy and he ran his car with that radiator in it for about two years, only replacing the radiator at that time be- cause he sold the vehicle. Angelo always thought outside the box before the term ‘Think Outside the Box’ was cool. It was that type of thinking that kept us one step ahead. He is a very good business man.” – Rich Denlinger.

“Angelo is the best business man I’ve ever met, bar-none. I feel like his knowledge and passion for the cooling industry was second to none, and I think his peers knew that, and really respected him for it. He taught me how to be a better worker, how to look at things in terms of efficiency and take ownership of my work and responsibilities. He is also one of the most caring and generous people to ever come into my life, giving me more opportunities than I can count. Angelo always expected more from me and always pushed me to grow and to become not just a better worker, but a better person in general, and I will never forget that and am forever grateful. Thank you so much, from the bottom of my heart, you will never know how grateful I am to have had a mentor like you, and the positive change you made in my life.” – Nick Turnbaugh.

“I have so much I want to say about this man and have no idea how to put it into words that are worthy enough to describe him. Angelo’s honesty and integrity have taught me a lot about the person I strive to be. I only had the pleasure of working for Angelo for about three years but in those three years he shaped me into a different and better person. I remember being very intimidated by Angelo when I first interviewed for the position at West Side Radiator. He has such a strong and commanding presence. I started working here and still had that fear. Looking back now I must laugh because the first time I sat down to talk to him was the day I realized that although he is strong and commanding, he is also one of the most generous and selfless people I have ever met. He is a man that would do anything for the people he cares about. His love for family, friends and his employees is and was unwavering. To sum up my thoughts about Angelo is to say that I am a better person for knowing, working and having the pleasure to call him my friend.” – Tracey Heverling.

“I came to West Side Radiator four years ago to answer an ad for a driver. The economy was bad, and jobs were scarce for a man in his 50s. Angelo inter- viewed me and hired me, and I am grateful for that. He also was a very good boss and owner that always treated me fairly and I appreciate him for giving me a chance. Thank you, Angelo!” – Jim Otis.

“There are never enough words to de- scribe this man. Angelo has taught me many things about this business and he has helped me see the potential within myself. He is the kind of person I was proud to work for. He is extremely generous and truly cares about all of us here at West Side, both as his employees and as his friends. I admire his patience and understanding, but most of all I admire his faith in the Lord. Angelo once told me that with each passing month, it is important to see growth in yourself. Those words carry me through every day, push- ing me and encouraging me to be my best. I am honored to have worked under Angelo’s guidance and am extremely thankful for every opportunity he has given me.” – Tiffany Mertz.

As you can see, Angelo has had a strong impact on all his employees, whether they’ve worked for him for more than 30 years, or just a few. His strength and determination enabled him to move West Side forward and never look back. This will be the same strength and determination that will push him through this next obstacle in his life. Stay strong, we are all praying for you!