Walk into most auto dealeships and you might have a hard time finding the owner's office, which is usually tucked away behind several doors.

Walk into Sheehan Buick/Pontiac/GMC/Saab in Lighthouse Point and you'll find Tom Sheehan's office right there next to the customer waiting area. Chances are even better you'll find Tom Sheehan in there, with his office door wide open. Tom's work ethic is legendary.

During his long career in the auto business, Tom Sheehan has learned that customers come first and he makes it a point to be accessible and listen to them. Its a lesson he learned growing up in what has always been the family business.

Sheehan got his first job in the automotive industry sweeping the floors and washing cars at his father's dealership in Buffalo, N.Y. That was 52 years ago when he was still in elementry school.

Over the years, Tom has led his dealership through times of great growth and transition, helping to build the number one, most effective Buick/Pontiac/GMC sales team in the Southeast. He was recognized as one of the youngest GM metro dealers in the nation. Under his leadership, Sheehan Buick/Pontiac/GMC won the Jack Smith Leadership Award from General Motors multiple times.

At home, Sheehan and his dealership have supported more than 200 community organizations through financial contributuions as well as through time and involvement. Sheehan is currently a menber of the Board of Catholic Health Services and Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Miami. He also serves on the Lighthouse Point Community Appearence Board.

Competitive in nature, Sheehan believes that by winning he is able to do what matters most in life - help others.

"What you give, you get back tenfold," he says. "The real purpose in life, the real reason to do everything to the best of your God-given ability, is so that you can help your fellow man."

Among those who Tom Sheehan helps are the employees at the dealership, who he says are the key to the business's success.

"You take the people out of the business and you have no soul, just brick and mortar," he says. "People are everything to a business."