The loss of our founder, A.J. Amatuzio, has reverberated among thousands of people whose lives he helped improve throughout his lifetime. The outpouring of support has been tremendous, with stories being told among Dealers and corporate staff that remind us of the impact he had beyond revolutionizing the lubricants industry.
The AMSOIL Dealer network was a driving force behind Al’s success, and he never missed an opportunity to show his appreciation for each and every one of them. From the early days of the company to the very end, Al was steadfastly loyal to those who helped him realize his dream. That loyalty was returned in spades by thousands of Dealers, whether they were with Al from the beginning or just starting out. That fact became more evident than ever once word of Al’s passing spread and Dealers spoke of their grief and the personal impact he made on their lives.
Our Dealers remain an integral part of our journey. As we lean on each other to continue Al’s legacy, we wanted to share a few of the Dealer stories we’ve received. All are undeniably ‘Al’ and further testament to the inspiration he was to so many.
“Let me talk to the boss”
I had just signed up to be an AMSOIL Dealer but was selling Red Line, Royal Purple, Mobil 1, etc. at my shop as well. I needed to get rid of a few brands and concentrate on just a few. One day on a whim, I decided I was going to give an impromptu call to every single brand and demand to talk to the “BOSS”. Because of the excellent marketing materials that AMSOIL provided, I knew who A.J. was to the company of AMSOIL. I called Mobil, Red Line, Royal Purple, Lucas, etc. and I spent hours trying to reach the “top;” I talked to a regional sales manager at best. AMSOIL was my last call to make. I called the 800 number and immediately demanded that I talk to “Al Amatuzio!” Surprisingly, I was connected to the personal secretary of Al. She screened my called and asked why I was calling. I told her that I had no reason…I just wanted to see if I could talk to the man “at the top” about why I should be a Dealer. She told me she would check and see if he was available. I waited approximately 2 minutes on hold until she came back on the line and said, “One moment, please. I’ll transfer you to his office now.”
I was dumbfounded! Seconds later, Al answered the phone. I was young (in my 20s) and inexperienced with talking with anyone of the “corporate” stature. Al wasted NO time getting me to feel comfortable and establishing a rapport. He made me feel needed, necessary and important.
Needless to say, after I hung up the phone, I slapped a clearance price on every bottle of oil on my shelves that did not bear the AMSOIL name. I dedicated myself to become the first T1 certified Dealer for my area. A lot of things have changed for me over the past 15 years, but not my commitment to AMSOIL. I have used virtually every product manufactured/sold by under the AMSOIL brand personally.
Brian & Jennifer O.
It’s the little things
July 7, 1973: Al flew the first sales kits into Wichita, Kan. When I met Al on that hot July evening, I knew that this was the start of something great. His enthusiasm was touching and AMSOIL was born. His passion to help others succeed and grow a revolution was instilled in all of us when no one had ever heard of synthetic lubrication. His video on persistence and innovation is something I have watched weekly since it was released, because he told me that night in Wichita to go ahead and dream big because AMSOIL will provide all we could ever desire and more. In the video Al says, “Dream about something. Go ahead! But do something about your dream.”
We did dream and we went to work. After nearly 44 years of business Mr. Amatuzio never quit dreaming or faltered in helping others achieve their dreams. Al will be remembered for many of the large accomplishments, but I remember many of the little things. Like sending a dozen long stem red roses to each of my two daughters when they were born and the phone call to see that they were all okay. He genuinely cared about people. I also enjoyed his notes on our annual bonus checks. “Great job,” he would say. “Nice check! But I expect it to be bigger next year.” He always expected your personal best.
Patrick & Donna G.
“Al called me”
I shall always remember my first meeting with Al in 1979 when Leland and I made DJ status and arrived in Duluth. His handshake and warm smile emblazoned me with pride to be a part of this company and with determination to make this business work. Leland died in Jan. 2001 and I took the helm of our AMSOIL business. I wrote a letter to Al in 2002 thanking him for this business opportunity that even a widow could promote. AL CALLED ME and asked if he could print my letter in the AMSOIL Magazine. I have kept his recorded message on my phone recorder to this day! I don’t want it erased ever. His smile, his genuineness and his tenacity are some of his admirable traits I shall always cherish.
Al always remembered his Dealers
I was privileged to first meet Mr. Amatuzio a few years after I became a Dealer, when he visited us in Edmonton, Alberta. Although not yet generating much in the way of sales, Mr. Amatuzio took the time to speak with me, learn a bit about me, and encouraged me to continue to work at my Dealership as best I could and he would make sure the best products possible would be there to help me succeed! He was indeed interested in my success…that has continued to impact and inspire me when I meet and deal with others, both AMSOIL customers and others.
When I was able to attend AU [AMSOIL University] and the opportunity to talk with him occurred, he actually remembered me and we were able to have a short yet meaningful conversation (yes, the lineup to visit was long). He was obviously driven to help with others’ success, which of course was and is due to his initial idea, his drive, his honesty and integrity.
Daryl & Heide N.
“You’ve got a great future ahead of you”
I’ve been an AMSOIL Dealer since 1978. When I was in my early 20s, I went to my first convention in Duluth in 1980. While I was at that convention, I met Al. He came over and sat down with me and asked if I was there with my parents. I said no, I became a Dealer over a year ago and I just drove 16 hours to come to learn more about this product. He looked at me and said “You’ve got a great future ahead of you.” That was my first of many, many conventions, seminars, AMSOIL University and regional meetings. Of all those, Al always made time to speak to everyone and he always remembered our names and where we were from. Those weekends or evenings usually ended up with Al and a bunch of us Dealers stopping at a friendly watering hole in the area, and he made all of us feel like we were part of his “gang.” He was a great man with a great vision and he had the ability to make people feel welcome and included.
Like an old friend
Marcia and I have been involved with the AMSOIL family since 1981, and when I first met Al in 1985, he was like an old friend I had not seen for a time. He spoke with me for nearly 30 minutes, giving me the incentive to move on to higher ground. He was a man of great integrity and persistence in making sure the products he provided his customers were the very best. He was dedicated to all of the AMSOIL Dealers, and was always willing to take the time to speak to any Dealer. His vision for a better lubricant, as well as the environment, was something he was always striving for. He was a man with a dream, and he dreamed big, and never looked back. I thank him for the opportunity he has provided me, as well as others.
Wayne & Marcia O.
On behalf of AMSOIL INC., thank you to each and every Dealer who believed in Al, his products and the opportunity he provided to us all.