Some high-powered business relationships start at the Harvard Business School. Others begin in the grease pit at Sears.
That's where Dave Schembri first hooked up with Roger Penske - and now Schembri will organize the just-announced network of Smart car dealerships for the UnitedAuto Group CEO.
Schembri was a logical choice: He's a former Mercedes exec who worked with Smart. But back in the early 1970s, he was still in college and working as a mechanic at a Sears store in the Detroit area. Racing great Penske stopped by to peddle his line of aftermarket parts, schmooze the staff and take questions from the mechanics.
Young Schembri was impressed that a racing legend would handle such an unglamorous chore personally. He says: "It stayed with me my entire career."