Alex Perdikis, ’97, is the managing partner at Koons of Silver Spring, part of the Jim Koons Automotive dealership network that spans Northern Virginia, Maryland and Delaware. Once a struggling dealership, it become the second highest volume dealership in the Koons network under Perdikis’ leadership.

Perdikis has held positions at nearly all levels of the company, serving as executive vice president before becoming the managing partner in Silver Spring, Md. In the midst of his dedicated hard work with the dealership he received a phone call earlier this year.

“Automotive News called to tell me I’d been nominated for the 40 Under 40 list which ranks the top young dealership managers across the country. After accepting the nomination I provided several references. Finally in June I got the call saying I’d be on the 2014 list; I was excited and grateful to be ranked among the country’s best managers.”

Perdikis attributes his successes to his background. “Growing up in Bethesda, Md., I was the kid who mowed lawns and shoveled driveways around my neighborhood to earn extra money. My father, a retired Greek diplomat, had several retail businesses with my mother, so I worked for them during the summer when I wasn’t playing sports or visiting Greece with my family. That’s where I got my first taste of the business world.”

In addition to early business acumen Perdikis possessed a talent for sports, ultimately recruited to the University of Richmond football team as a linebacker. “By the time I had to make a decision Richmond seemed the clear choice; the prestige of both the school and football program spoke for itself, and I felt honored to be able to be on the team.”

As a student he did not always envision a future in business. “Based on my father’s background I thought I’d study political science, but the more I looked at the Robins School’s curriculum and rankings, I knew if I didn’t pursue business, I would regret it. I remembered how I’d loved spending my time as a kid working alongside my parents, watching them build their businesses as part of their second life in America. I realized the Robins School aligned perfectly with my aspirations and would be the right path.” He went on to study marketing and management.

Perdikis draws heavily on his time at Richmond to inform the way he manages his dealership. “Entrepreneurship was one of my favorite courses in school, and managing a dealership is a lot like running your own business. My entrepreneurship textbook sits in my office to this day.”

“One of the things I take pride in is preparation. By the time I walk into my office each morning I have an 80-page stack of leads, appraisals and customer emails to unveil business opportunities ready for the daily 9:30 a.m. review meeting. The time management skills and perseverance I developed at the Robins School in order to succeed at football and my coursework simultaneously is what has allowed me to constantly push my boundaries in my career and ultimately achieve my goals. If you work hard at your craft, you will always improve.”

Perdikis concluded, “To see the growth Richmond has experienced over the past 17 years is incredible. I’m grateful for the education I received at the Robins School because it’s given me the building blocks for success. From the phenomenal faculty to the engaging speaker events to the rigorous coursework, I was able to learn so much while building a solid foundation for my future. I’m proud to be a Spider.”