Mr. Philip Long’s story began in 1918 in Ponca City, Oklahoma, where he lived until the eighth grade. He spent his high school years at Principia Academy and college years at Principia College in Missouri, graduating in 1940. After just one year of law school at the University of Michigan, Mr. Long enlisted in the United States Navy.
World War II was raging and in 1942, Mr. Long mastered his training as a Hellcat fighter pilot in the South Pacific. He successfully flew 120 missions from the USS Enterprise, the most decorated ship of this era. He was also shot down twice. The USS Enterprise and Task Force 58 spent nearly a month in the Mariana Islands, preparing for and supporting the Saipan landings on 15 June 1944, striking targets on Guam and Rota, and engaging in the greatest carrier aircraft battle in history: the Battle of the Philippine Sea, 19-20 June 1944. The USS Enterprise played a significant role in the battle: her Combat Information Center (CIC) directed much of the action during the “Turkey Shoot” on the 19th, while an Air Group Ten search was the first to locate the Japanese fleet on the afternoon of the 20th. The growing number of successful night air missions, led by the Big E’s VF(N)-101 and VT-10 squadrons is notable. During this campaign Task Force 58 was attacked by the aircraft of the Japanese Fleet in successive waves. Lt. Commander M.P. Long and the USS Enterprise Hellcat (task force) fighters joined the Combat Air Patrol in intercepting the Japanese attacks and bombing Orote Airfield on Guam. Throughout the Battle of the Philippine Sea, the Task Force Fighters carried out strikes on Guam and the Pagan Islands neutralizing enemy airfields and destroying defense guns and military installations.
Due to these dangerous yet successful missions Mr. Long was a highly decorated soldier, receiving the Air Medal and Gold Star award for multiple meritorious achievements and heroic acts during aerial flight; and the Navy and Marine Presidential Unit Citation for gallantry, determination, and esprit de corps in accomplishing a mission under extremely difficult and hazardous conditions. In September 1945, Mr. Long was honorably discharged at the rank of Lieutenant Commander. One month later, he and R. Doenges purchased Vollmer Brothers Ford and changed the name to Doenges-Long Ford, thus beginning more than a half century legacy of car dealerships. By 1964 he bought out Doenges, changed the name to Phil Long Ford, Inc. and moved the dealership to what is now known as Motor City. In 1975, Philip Long brought in Jay Cimino as his partner, general manager and eventually company CEO.
Mr. Cimino’s story begins in 1936. Born and raised in Trinidad, Colorado. He spent his high school years in Parochial School, excelled in football, baseball and track & field. After graduating in 1954, Mr. Cimino joined the Marine Corp. and served in the MP / Security outfit and was known throughout his company as a “jack of all trades”.
After the Marine Corp., Mr. Cimino attended Trinidad Community College in Colorado, receiving his Associates degree. He then went on to attend the University of Denver, made the Deans List and graduated in 1960 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. Immediately after graduating from the University of Denver, he married Emily Roitz and went to work for BF Goodrich as a Territory Manager for the Front Range (Colorado, New Mexico & Kansas), remaining until 1965 when he moved to Pueblo and worked his way up from a finance clerk to New Car Manager at Jess Hunter Ford. In 1972, Jay moved his family to Santa Fe, NM and took on the role of
General Manager and Partner of the Santa Fe Buick, Pontiac, GMC dealership until 1975. Under the direction of his friend and mentor Mr. Philip Long, Jay joined Phil Long Ford in 1975 as the General Manager. Over the years he earned multiple promotions ultimately leading to his current position as President and CEO of the Phil Long family of Dealerships, which now consists of 10 franchises and 25 rooftops in Denver, Colorado Springs, Glenwood Springs, Trinidad, and Raton, NM.
Sadly, Mr. Philip Long passed away in July of 2001, but his life’s work and legacy continues to flourish through his reputation and passion for solid business practices, solid long-term relationships and commitment to the community as well as the military community.
To pay tribute to Mr. Long and where the legacy began, Jay campaigned for and received Colorado Historic Landmark status for the Phil Long Ford signature sign on top of Motor City.
It is clear why Mr. Long put the company in the hands of his partner and friend, Jay Cimino – CEO and President of Phil Long Dealerships. Mr. Cimino’s giving nature is a true reflection of the man he is in both his personal and business life. He is committed to improving the quality of life for all citizens, by nurturing ideas that benefit our employees as well as the community.
For the Phil Long employee, Jay has always encouraged a healthy environment. Compassion for people runs deep with Mr. Cimino. His focus to create an environment that encourages a healthy body, mind, and spirit started with hiring an on-site Health & Wellness Director, and building three gym facilities within the dealerships. The health and wellness director provides personal training, weight loss & management programs, nutrition & diet programs, tobacco cessation classes, yoga classes, and more. Jay opened the first on-site health clinic and pharmacy in 2013 and is free to our employees and their families. Staffed with a Doctor, PA and RN, the clinic serves as a non-emergency treatment as well as managed care, and pharmaceuticals. The on-site clinic is located in the Phil Long Collision Center 4044 Sinton Road in Colorado Springs. In addition to excellent health care benefits and programs, Jay and the Phil Long leadership team continue to carry on longstanding traditions such as employee family picnics, holiday parties, and thanksgiving turkeys for all employees, as well as recognition and celebrations for longevity and professional achievements.
Mr. Cimino’s leadership gave life to the Phil Long Community Fund (PLCF) in 1991, which provides grants for 501c3 youth based organizations. The mission of the PLCF is to sponsor activities and resources that champion the self-esteem and performance of youth in their pursuit of excellence in education, sports and recreation. Since its inception, the Phil Long Community Fund has granted over 2 Million Dollars to youth organizations across the Front Range. The PLCF signature project was inspired by Jay… The “Fantasy Playground” project. With support from his friend Mike Shanahan and the Denver Bronco’s Charities, the first “Fantasy Playground” was built in 1996.
Since that time 15 Fantasy Playgrounds have been built…
1996 ~ City Park – Denver
1997 ~ Palmer Park – Colorado Springs
1998 ~ Cornerstone Park, Highlands Ranch – Denver
1999 ~ Memorial Park – Colorado Springs
2000 ~ Knapp Elementary School – Denver
2001 ~ Cottonwood Creek Community Park – Colorado Springs
2002 ~ Fulton Elementary School & Community Park, Aurora – Denver
2003 ~ America the Beautiful Park – Colorado Springs
2004 ~ McGlone Elementary School, Montbello – Denver
2005 ~ St. Mary’s High School Grace Center for Athletics – Colorado Springs
2006 ~ Byers High School, Byers – N.E of Denver
2007 ~ Darrent Williams Memorial Teen Center / Boys&Girls Club – Montbello, Denver
2008/2009 ~ Memorial Park * Skate Park – Colorado Springs
2010 ~ Swing High Universally Accessible Playground – Memorial Park, Co Springs
2011/2012~ Fort Carson Resiliency Campus Water Park – Fort Carson, Colorado
Jay Cimino’s resolution to champion our civil servant heroes comes through sponsorships, participation, and awareness as well as vehicle and volunteer assistance. We support the annual Fallen Fire Fighters Memorial, the annual AMR Safety Jam in Pueblo, the Annual Colorado Springs Medal of Valor Luncheon, Shield 616 (vests & safety gear for officers), Colorado Springs Police Foundation, Denver Police Association, El Paso County Sheriff’s Department, and the Fallen Police Officers Memorial to name a few.
Colorado Springs experienced two of the deadliest wildfires in Colorado history. The Waldo Canyon Fire and Black Forest Fire affected many Phil Long employees; some lost homes or had moderate to severe smoke damage, many were evacuated and displaced. Jay and Mike Cimino felt it was of the utmost importance to protect and help Phil Long employees first. An employee emergency assistance hotline, website, and fund were established to provide immediate help with cash, shelter, pets, time off, and whatever else they needed. The second step of the plan was to provide help to the Fire Department, Emergency Operations Center, and Red Cross by providing more than 30 trucks and cars to assist in the fire fight. In addition, our Ford and Chevy service departments and technicians volunteered to be on call 24/7 to fix fire trucks, emergency response vehicles, and other emergency vehicles fighting the wildfires. The third step was community outreach by way of food, water, clothing, and other immediate need items. Our community, our employees, and our business are resilient and strong, and Jay and Mike Cimino have committed to full support for Phil Long employees as well as our community in future emergencies and crisis situations.
The Phil Long Family of Dealerships supports the troops and their families. Since the dealership opened in 1945, Phil Long Dealerships has provided emergency automobile assistance to soldiers and families of deployed soldiers. After 9-11 Jay reinstated a program called “Operation Home Support” which provides assistance for mechanical services and other transportation emergencies, roadside help, vehicle rental and, when needed, vehicle replacement. In addition, spouses receive the same pricing that Phil Long Associates enjoy on all service, parts and other maintenance. Jay resolved to keep “Operation Home Support” intact until all of our soldiers return home.
Another contribution from Jay and our dealership group to the troops was a $100,000 donation to Fort Carson’s Resiliency Campus in the form of a serenity water feature and water jet play area. It is located in the center of the campus and is adjacent to the center’s playground. The feature is a tribute to the war hero Philip Long and his military service, and also to the soldiers and family members who have committed to defending and preserving freedom at home and abroad.
True to Mr. Long’s vision to honor all Defenders of Freedom, in 2014 Jay Cimino created a non-profit called the Mt. Carmel Center of Excellence (COE) for Veterans, Military, and their families. The COE is a 501c3 non-profit focused on Wellness, Transition, and Resources for Veterans, Military, and their families. Former Garrison Commander of Fort Carson, (RET) Col. Robert McLaughlin, CEO of Mt. Carmel COE, along with a talented and dedicated team provide assistance with job skills, resume writing, networking, interview skills, financial woes, financial planning, war-caused mental illness, government benefits, VA, housing, health, marriage counseling, therapy programs to include service dogs, equine therapy though a long-term partnership with Pikes Peak Therapeutic Riding Center, and much more. Wellness classes, such as restorative yoga, are also offered. For more information about Mt. Carmel Center of Excellence programs, events, networking opportunies, classes, etc… visit http://mtcarmelveterans.org/ or on facebook https://www.facebook.com/mtcarmelcoe/
While his contributions have touched many communities throughout the Front Range, Jay’s love for his hometown is evident through the projects he creates… inspiring growth and change in the city of Trinidad. In 2010, Jay opened Phil Long Ford of Raton, NM, and Phil Long Toyota of Trinidad. In addition to bringing new business into Trinidad and Raton, NM, his passion for seeing Trinidad grow and become the gateway to Colorado led him to create the Trinidad Community Foundation (TCF), and then provide the seed money for the foundation. It also led him to create the Mt. Carmel Health, Wellness, and Community Center in Trinidad. Mt. Carmel HWC center is committed to bringing excellence, integrity, innovation, and the highest quality, patient centered integrated healthcare to Las Animas County and rural southern Colorado. www.mtcarmelwellness.org. In 2007, to thank Jay for his vision and contribution to the revitalization of the “City of Champions / City of Opportunity”, the City of Trinidad honored him and his wife Emily by naming the towns city park the “Jay Cimino Downtown Family Park and Playground”.
It’s not hard to see why Jay Cimino was named the 2013 American Red Cross (Pikes Peak Region) “Humanitarian of the Year” as well as the 2012 Colorado Auto Dealer of the Year! His vision and generosity have provided strength and means to succeed to hundreds of organizations and thousands of people throughout Colorado. Many of his philanthropic efforts often go unnoticed due to his modest approach. However, he has received well deserved recognition including the El Pomar Foundations prestigious Gov. John A. Love Award; Ford Motor Company’s Salute to Dealers Award; the Citizen Meritorious Service Award; The Columbine Individual Citation Award; The John Venezia Memorial Award; The Council for College Resource Development Award; and the Partners in Philanthropy Outstanding Individual Donor Award. In 2009 Jay receive what he says is his highest achievement yet, presented by the Jesuits of Regis University, the CIVIS PRINCEPS. Shortly after, Jay received the highest honor from Fort Carson Army Post given to a civilian, The Good Neighbor Award. Trinidad State Junior College honored Jay in 2012 as a Hall of Fame Recipient, and he received the distinguished award for Colorado Auto Dealer of the Year. In 2013, the American Red Cross honored Mr. Cimino as the Humanitarian of the Year, in 2015 the Home Front Cares presented Jay with the Joe Henjum Community Hero Award, and in 2017 Jay was honored with the Sons of Italy “Citizen of the year” award.
Since 1945, Phil Long Dealerships has been in partnership with the United Way. Through corporate and employee donations more than Two Million dollars have been raised for the Pikes Peak and Mile High United Way campaigns in the past decade alone. To expand our giving Jay re-launched the “Good Neighbor Campaign” in conjunction with United Way. This campaign benefits six charities that touch several areas of need in our communities; the United Way, The Red Cross, the Marian House, the Home Front Cares, TESSA, and Mt. Carmel (both Center of Excellence for Veterans in Colorado Springs, and the Health Wellness & Community Center in Trinidad.) The campaign takes place in the fall over a six week period.
In addition to the charities benefitting from the Good Neighbor Campaign we also support the American Red Cross, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, Komen Race for the Cure, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Silver Key Senior Services, Goodwill, Aspen Pointe, The Home Front Cares, Care & Share, The Rescue Mission, The Marian House, Colorado War Dog Memorial, National Mill Dog Rescue, The Humane Society of Pikes Peak Region, The Pet Pantry and St. Paws, Colorado Springs Sports Corporation, Toys for Tots, Scholarship programs, Pikes Peak Therapeutic Riding Center, The Exodus Road, and many more throughout Colorado!
The strength of the Phil Long Family of Dealerships in such a competitive industry is the result of its ongoing commitment to Philip Long’s vision ~ Commitment to the community, quality customer service and exceptional value. Over the years, the Phil Long Family of Dealerships has received numerous industry awards for record-breaking sales, superior customer service, innovative design and presentation, state of the art facilities, community service, design, development and more. Customers continue to return and refer because of this strong commitment to providing quality products, service and effort. Passionate commitment to ensure the success of the company as well as helping to build strong communities is the legacy of the Phil Long Family of Dealerships.
Written by: Michelle M. Hill * Corporate Communications & Special Projects Manager
Phil Long Dealerships of Denver, Colorado Springs, Glenwood Springs, Trinidad, and Raton, NM
Phil Long Ford of Motor City — 1212 Motor City Drive, Colorado Springs, CO
Phil Long Lincoln of Motor City – 1114 Motor City Drive, Colorado Springs, CO
Daniels Long Chevrolet – 670 Automotive Drive, Colorado Springs, CO
Phil Long KIA – 1020 Motor City Drive, Colorado Springs, CO
Phil Long Audi – 550 Automotive Drive, Colorado Springs, CO
Mercedes-Benz of Colorado Springs – 730 Automotive Drive, Colorado Springs, CO
Phil Long Hyundai of Motor City – 170 Motor Way, Colorado Springs, CO
Phil Long Ford of Chapel Hills – 1565 Auto Mall Loop, Colorado Springs, CO
Phil Long Hyundai of Chapel Hills – 1510 Auto Mall Loop, Colorado Springs, CO
Phil Long Valucar of Motor City – 150 West Motor Way Colorado Springs, CO 80905
Phil Long Valucar of Academy – 175 N. Academy Colorado Springs, CO 80909
Phil Long Benz and Beemer Certified – 1510 Auto Mall Loop Colorado Springs, CO 80920
Phil Long Ford of Denver – 7887 West Tufts Avenue, Littleton, CO
Phil Long Toyota of Trinidad – 3019 Toupal Drive, Trinidad, CO
Phil Long Ford of Raton – 223 2nd Street, Raton, NM
Phil Long Honda – 51429 Highway 6 Glenwood Springs, CO 81601
Phil Long Collision Center – 4045 Sinton Road, Colorado Springs, CO