Sara Vincent has been hooked on motorcycles ever since 8th grade,
when she hopped on the back of her father’s Harley-Davidson and held
on for dear life.
“The wind was blowing in my face. It was like, ‘this is so cool.’ I
was young, and it was definitely the coolest thing I had ever done,”
Afer serving in the Army, she realized her longtime hope to work
at Gowanda Harley-Davidson in Gowanda, New York. As the store’s
finance and insurance manager, Vincent helps customers finance
their dream bikes and join the worldwide community of Harley-Davidson owners.
“Harley ownership is a brotherhood,” she gushes. “It’s a community.
It’s a lifestyle. It’s great to help people become part of it.”
Gowanda is a small community, and Gowanda Harley-Davidson
makes a massive contribution as a destination. By attracting visitors
from all over the world and encouraging them to visit other Gowanda
establishments, it’s become an economic force for the area.
Vincent is also deeply involved in a number of charity and
community eforts. Gowanda Harley-Davidson sponsors the Gowanda
Food Pantry and a local camp. The company raises money for cancer
research, helps local veterans, sponsors a local Little League team,
and supports the town’s fire departments.
The biggest fundraising efort of the year is a three-day event called
“The Happening,” featuring bands, stunt shows, and motorcycle
displays. Vincent feels like the event’s mayor, greeting every attendee
she sees, whether it’s a familiar face or a newcomer.
For all of its charitable eforts, Gowanda Harley-Davidson was
awarded the Spirit of Gowanda Business Award, an annual award
recognizing outstanding contributions to the community.
What’s next for Vincent and Gowanda Harley-Davidson?
“Who knows?” she asks. “We love our community and are excited to
see what the future may hold.”
Meelad Dezfooli didn’t let anything stop him
from his dream career. While still in grade school,
Dezfooli started working at his father’s flooring
store. Sadly, when the recession hit in the late
2000s, his father had no choice but to close his
stores and retire.
Dezfooli, who had assumed he would one day
take over the family business, was despondent.
“By the time I turned 18, everything was starting
to fall apart, the market was in ruins, many
accounts defaulted, and my dream was taken
from me,” he recalls.
Forced to switch gears, Dezfooli opened
a Persian restaurant. Even though he found
some success, he still desperately missed the
“I realized I loved the industry and the people
around me,” he says. “I was nostalgic for the
culture, the employees.”
Over the next five years, Dezfooli worked
over 12 hours a day, seven days a week, doing
anything to save the money needed to start his
own flooring company.
The endless, grueling hours paid of. By 2015, he
was back in the flooring business, founding Best
Buy Flooring in Henderson, Nevada. The business
has flourished and expanded to multiple locations.
Now that he’s the owner of a highly successful
business, Dezfooli shows his gratitude by helping
local heroes. He ofers generous discounts to
veterans, police oficers, and other service people.
“Afer what they’ve done for our country, it’s my
honor to give them a better price,” he says.
Not one to forget his roots, Dezfooli made
a point of hiring several of his father’s former
employees, some of whom came from troubled
“He had employees who may
have had a small [police] record,
I know as much as anyone the
blessings of a second chance.”
GOWANDA HARLEY-DAVIDSON, GOWANDA, NY