Making a dream into a reality

By Sean Delaney

Dan Palumbo achieved his dream, and then decided to branch out his business and show others just what that dream could look like.

It’s a unique combination of businesses that highlights one of the coolest success stories in Emery Village.

Palumbo is the president of General Sprinklers and director of Ocean Drive Motors.

He came to Canada in 1964, at just nine years old. He started his work in fire protection, what would eventually lead to the development of General Sprinklers in 1979.

“I was a young guy on the road, waiting to pick a trade,” he explained. His friends were mastering electrical and plumbing work, but he wanted something different. Something that hadn’t been “trampled” he said.

“So many people were getting into the same thing, and fire protection was something new.”

Once he began to look into it, Palumbo found something he figured he could excel at. He finished an apprenticeship and quickly convinced two senior colleagues to open their own business. One moved on, and one he bought out. He remains the lone ranger of the three, and has found years of success by focusing on customers and quality.

“Through the importance General Sprinkler’s places on customer satisfaction and our extensive background knowledge of fire protection systems, we are able to provide our clients with high quality work at competitive market pricing,” he said. “This is what separates us from our competitors. General Sprinkler’s has a strong history in the industrial, commercial and institutional sectors of the fire protection industry, and is also known and recognized as a leader in ‘Design-Build Fire Protection Systems’.”

Business has been good, and General Sprinklers, has become one of the largest family fire protection businesses around.

Palumbo has located in Emery Village since 1989, crediting the centralized location and expanding neighbourhood with aiding his customer base.

And he hasn’t stopped there.

As he put it, business is business, and even the most successful can need an outlet to get themselves away from the mundane. Palumbo is a car lover, and a collector of the artistry of auto making.

He is now also the director of Ocean Drive Motors. Begun in 2008, it is a manifestation of his passion.

Palumbo searches the globe for rare and unique Italian cars to offer his customers high-end, low mileage classics, whether motor vehicles, scooters or motorcycles.

“One of the things that makes Ocean Drive Motors unique is our in-house rule: We only sell the vehicles that we love ourselves, so we only deal in a limited number of models…unique and hard-to-find,” his website reads. “The criteria for our vehicles is simple also, and probably quite similar to yours. The vehicle must have a great appearance, (remember, first impressions) and be structurally sound.”

The name says it all, the director stated.

Ocean Drive in South Beach, Florida is the epitome of American freedom. It’s that sense of success, and zest for life he wants to provide to his customers through the cars he chooses to sell them.

“A classic car is a time machine, and memory of our youth. From the first car that we laid our eyes on, and couldn’t afford (from new), to our first experience, when we drove to the coast with our friends. My mission is not just to sell you a car but instead, it’s to keep this passion and these memories alive.”