Alumni Spotlight - Steve Pangallo - Class of 1991

WE BELIEVE in stewardship to our community at Newport Central Catholic and the support of Steve Pangallo from the class of 1991 and owner of Pangallo’s 27 Auto Service is nothing new on The Hill.  Just last year, his small two bay garage grossed over $1 million and his favorite part of his shop’s success is “being able to give back to my school that I feel instilled the discipline, hard work and social skills that I have got me where I am today.”  These values are very apparent when you walk into Steve’s shop which really focuses on customer service. 

“Even though we are working on cars, we are really serving people. That’s what we focus on: customer service,” said Steve, a true servant leader. “I learned a lot of this personal touch from high school. One of my favorite parts of school was seeing the teachers in the hallways between classes giving me a wave or a wink as I walked by.”  Other memories that he holds dear from his time on The Hill are the strengthening of his faith and his time with the basketball team. Steve poured in over 1,000 points for the Thoroughbreds including one memorable bucket heaved from half court to upset a heavily favored Campbell County team.

Though Steve did find success in high school in the classroom and on the basketball court, he admits that he really had to work hard to earn B’s and C’s on his report cards. This hard work continued after graduation and eventually led him into his passion of working on cars, a past time that he remembers watching his uncle Roy Pangallo perform. After giving Northern Kentucky University a try for a year and with the blessing of his father Frank Pangallo, Class of 1955, he found his way to Northern Kentucky Auto Tech where he began the formation of his knowledge on cars. 

During this time Steve was inspired by the generosity of others in the pursuit for his degree.  “Tony Neltner [Class of 1961] and Pete Bartels [Class of 1984] were my mentors and I would not be where I am today without them. They were so important to me,” insisted Steve.  Tony’s business, Neltner’s Auto Parts employed him for ten years until the family sold the company to begin KOI Auto Parts. Now recently married with a baby on the way and trying to finish school, Steve was looking for work and faced with the type of life decisions that can define a person.

The sacrifices that Steve made during this time were focused on his family. He decided to step away from earning his degree at NKY Tech and focus on being a husband and father to support his family. Putting his head down to work 70-80 hour weeks at another Newport Central Catholic Family Plackes’ Alexandria Tire to support everyone at home was gratifying to him. Though he regrets not finishing his degree, he was happy to make this sacrifice to see his wife Kelly Dawn Pangallo, Class of 1992, finish her’s to become a teacher. After eight years at Plackes’, Steve wanted to get back to working in Newport, an area close to his heart and family.  For five years he helped Midas Auto on 27 in Newport increase profits as a manager.  With confidence, Steve began to work harder than ever and wanted more.  Along with the support of his family, he purchased Ken’s Auto Care just up the street from Midas.

In 2010 Pangallo’s 27 Auto Service opened its doors and has taken on so much work they have become KOI Auto Parts’ largest customer despite only having two bays.  The small shop is always busy, but manageable with the help of two other Thoroughbred employees Derek Secrist, Class of 2013, and Maleek Lawrence, Class of 2016.  Steve is looking to expand in the near future with the recent purchase of an adjacent lot.

Newport Central Catholic knows that small stature, but an undeniable work ethic is nothing new in the Pangallo family.  His four brothers and two sisters all graduates of Newport Central Catholic, Newport Catholic or Our Lady of Providence along with their mother Tina and cousins continue to have influence on our school and can be seen at many of our fundraisers and sporting events cheering for their sons, daughters, cousins, nieces, nephews, and grandchildren.

The Newport Central Catholic connection does not stop there as his wife Kelly, a teacher at Caywood Elementary, is the daughter of Principal Ron Dawn, Class of 1974.  His daughter Ashley graduated from NCC in 2012, while his son Stephen is a senior this year on The Hill and Ross currently an 8th grader at Holy Trinity School plans to become a Thoroughbred next year.

One of the primary features at the 2017 Newport Central Catholic Golf Outing at the beginning of August was giving back.  The two sold out flights were a testament to this, as were the recipients of The St. John Baptist de la Salle award winners Dr. Dick Schuck, Dr. Larry Brennan and Karen Enzweiler for their acts of stewardship for our school.  One other major act of support came this year with the willingness of a title sponsor.  Pangallo’s 27 Auto Service became the first title sponsor in a more than a decade, which along with the two flights led to nearly $15,000 raised, a number nearly twice as much as last year’s outing.

Cars, sports, sponsoring events and coaching youth sports teams are all very important to Steve, but it is obvious that family is what he values most. The story that Steve tells of coming to his success through ups and downs has come by focusing on those around him.  Family is always at the heart of what he does. He is a true servant leader in our community is a better place, because of him.