New Executive Team at Pine Belt

Posted on August 2, 2022 By

Ken Martin, who joined Pine Belt in 1981, has retired as Vice President after 41 years. With his retirement, two members of the management team were promoted to directors in the company.

Joe Pagano, an Ocean County resident, who has been employed by Pine Belt since 2008, was recently promoted from Business Development Manager to Director of Business Development and Marketing. Pagano is responsible for the managing a 20-person team that handles more than 2000 inquires a month for the sales and service departments.

Pagano started with about 70 Internet vehicle deliveries a month. That figure is now 350+ deliveries a month. In 2015, the automotive industry’s leading customer relations management tool provider, Dealer Socket, named Pagano and his team the winner of their annual Internet Department of the Year Award.

Before joining Pine Belt, Pagano was a mortgage broker at Shore Lending Group, a banking company, where 100 percent of the leads were Internet or phone-based. Pagano attended Rutgers University and Montclair State University, with concentrations in biology and finance.

Dan Ariel, Jackson, who has been General Manager of Pine Belt Chevrolet for 26 years, has been promoted to Director of Variable Operations. In this position he will oversee all aspects of sales at four of the Pine Belt dealerships, supervise employees, and manage all aspects of customer satisfaction.

Before joining Pine Belt, Ariel managed the used car lot, and was responsible for wholesale and used car purchases at a Toyota dealership in Eatontown.

A graduate of Jackson Memorial High School, Jackson, Ariel earned an associate’s degree from Berkeley College, New Jersey, in business management. Ariel holds certifications in the National Auto Dealers Association and the Association of Finance and Insurance Professionals, among many others.

About Pine Belt Cars: Pine Belt Cars, 1088 Route 88, Lakewood, NJ 08701, is a family-owned and operated New Jersey car dealer that offers new or pre-owned cars, trucks, and SUVs. Pine Belt Cars specializes in Chevy, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram and Subaru cars. The dealership employs a professional team of service technicians with the skills and equipment to handle all manner of maintenance and repairs, and has a full stock of authentic parts.

Pine Belt Cars has four dealerships in Lakewood, N.J., and is very committed philanthropically to local communities. Some of Pine Belt’s philanthropic affiliations include sponsoring the Pine Belt Arena, Lakewood Little League, United Way of Ocean County, Lakewood Police Department, Jewish Federation, and the Monmouth-Ocean Development Council.

Pine Belt Cars was founded in 1937 by Leon Sickel. After graduating Franklin & Marshall and serving in the U.S. Naval Reserve, his son David Sickel joined the family business and became the dealer in 1975. When David retired in 2019, his son Robert Sickel became the current president and CEO of Pine Belt Cars, a third-generation dealer. Robert Sickel graduated from the University of Miami.

For more information call 888-3-PineBelt or 732-363-6244 or visit