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Outstanding Business Leader Award - 2004

Angelo Damante and the exclusive Mercedes-Benz dealership he leads, Mercedes-Benz of Escondido, are long time supporters of community events throughout San Diego County.

Angelo Damante established his dealership, then known as Escondido Motors Ltd--Escondido's exclusive Mercedes-Benz dealership--in 1988. From Day One he became an active and viable community member. He is a past president of the Escondido Rotary Club and past chair as well as past president of The California Center for the Arts Escondido. He has also been a long time supporter of The Palomar Family YMCA, Boys & Girls Club of Inland North County, Junior Seau Foundation, Beca Foundation, St. Clare's Home, San Diego Brain Injury Foundation, and many other worthwhile charities.

Last fall Mr. Damante was the inaugural speaker as the Escondido Chamber of Commerce launched its 60 Minutes to Success Program in which local business leaders told their audience about their backgrounds and how they built their respective businesses. The dealership last year unveiled its impressive $16 million expansion and state-of-the-art modernization of its existing facility, overlooking I-15 on Escondido's West Ninth Avenue.

In 1988, the year his dealership was established, Damante employed- 38 people. Today, as Mercedes-Benz of Escondido, Angelo's dealership employs 125, proof positive of the legacy of an active and community-minded inspirational leader.