Name: Joe Colacurcio
Place of Birth:Central New Jersey
Year, Make and Model of Your first car/truck: 1994 Honda Civic DX Coupe (with 13-inch steelies!)
Occupation: Senior Analyst, Consumer-Generated Media, Automotive Industry
Employer: The Nielsen Company
What did you think you wanted to be when you grew up? I definitely thought I’d be an automotive engineer or designer; as a kid I was particularly fascinated with crash testing. But, after about a year in college, I realized I wasn’t so hot at math, so I switched from mechanical engineering to corporate accounting (ha!). That turned into consulting, and consulting turned into marketing/market research. This is the position I currently have, working with the OEMs to help them listen, understand, and engage with consumers and influencers online. Social media is a tremendous, continually evolving field and the automakers have so much potential to leverage it to their advantage, it’s been a great ride so far.
How long have you worked in the auto industry? 2 years
What do you drive now? 2003 Nissan Sentra 2.5LE – 96,000 miles strong! Practical, dependable, kinda fun…. I really don’t know if I could part with her, talk about an LTR…
Are you out at work? Yep!
Was being gay ever an issue at any of your jobs? Thankfully, no.
If you had one piece of advice to give to a gay person wanting to work in the auto industry, what would it be? Be yourself, be passionate about the industry, and be patient, it will happen in time… It took me a couple of years, but I finally landed where I wanted to be.
Ok, here is the fun part; if you had $25,000 and had to buy a new car, what would it be and why? I’ve got my eye on a 2010 MazdaSpeed3 or Hyundai Genesis Coupe 2.0T
Same question but bigger budget; $50,000: Nissan 370Z or Infiniti G37S sedan, depending on my mood
If money was no object and you had to drive it every day:
This is like being asked to pick a star from the sky! I’ll say the next Mercedes AMG E-class. I know a lot of purists love high-end sports cars, but I need backseat, so when I go back home to Jersey, me and a bunch of friends can jump in and go down the shore!
What is your favorite car of all time and why?
During my lifetime, the launch of Lexus seemed to really dynamically change the automotive landscape, so I’m going to have to go with the original 1990 LS 400 for its significance and influence.
If your car/truck could talk, what would it say about you?
That I’m pretty down to earth, and unbelievably bad at avoiding the concrete pillars in the parking deck at work.
Finally, why do you want to be featured on Gaywheels.com? It feels like many profiles in the “Headlights” section are from auto industry veterans. Some of us are just starting out in the industry, and though it’s not where our careers started, it’s a great place to be. And I’m guessing there are a lot more GLBTs out there in the industry than many realize; maybe we should start a Gaywheels Facebook Group!
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