Bernadette Castro

Name: Bernadette Castro
Title: Chief Executive Officer
Company Name: Castro Convertibles

Long Island Pulse: What was the key step that really got your career underway? Was there a watershed moment that you remember as being particularly important to starting your career?
Bernadette Castro: It was in 1948 when the success of a new medium called television, propelled Castro Convertibles, and with it, my career. It would be like, for example, the first YouTube clip of a child demonstrating a product. It’s rare to launch your career at the age of 4, but thanks to my mother (my dad wanted to hire a child model) I was launched and I have been opening Castro Convertibles ever since (except, of course, during the wonderful 12 years when I was running the New York State Parks and Historic Sites system)

Long Island Pulse: What do you credit as the secret to your success?
Bernadette Castro:Enthusiasm and a positive attitude. Whether I was selling Castro Convertibles or serving as Commissioner of the New York State Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, I always brought and bring enthusiasm and a positive attitude. You can either be happy or unhappy doing what you do. I’ve always chosen to be happy.

David J. Skorton, the President of Cornell University, put it nicely in his recent commencement address – “attitude is more important than aptitude.” I really believe that.

In addition you have to have at least one feature better than your competitors if you want to have a successful product or service. Knowing your audience and being able to relate to them is also key.

Long Island Pulse: What is the best way to get new business?
Bernadette Castro:The best way to get new business is to offer your target consumer something innovative, or a better value… like this $50 off promo code for Castro Convertibles. Just log on to our website and enter the promo code LIPULSE.

Long Island Pulse: What is the most important thing you do or tactic you use in making a sale?
Bernadette Castro:Being absolutely positive that I am offering my customer more benefits than they might receive from any other similar product. Statistics show that today’s consumers are looking for quality over price. We’re really good at delivering quality.

Long Island Pulse: How do you respond to adversity?
Bernadette Castro:You learn and move on from it – it could be a small set back or huge mountain, regardless you have to stay focused, learn and never give up.

Long Island Pulse: What attracts you to the people you include in your social circle?
Bernadette Castro:I don’t really have a “social circle.” I have a family circle of a husband, 4 children, 2 daughters-in-law, a son-in-law and 8 grandchildren. My circle of friends is really shaped more like a heart. They are very patient and even though I don’t see them often, they know that if they need me I’ll be there.

Long Island Pulse: What makes you want to count someone as a close associate or a trusted ally?
Bernadette Castro:I look for dependability, honesty, creativity, a good sense of humor and someone who is willing to tolerate my emails that could come in any day of the week at all hours!

Long Island Pulse: What is the moment when you knew that you made it?
Bernadette Castro:I haven’t really made it yet. I’ll let you know when I do. It’s really about the climb. I’ve always loved working.

Long Island Pulse: What is something you do not do enough of?
Bernadette Castro:There are many things I do not do enough of. Among them – I don’t spend enough time with my grandchildren and children. I do not eat the amount of carbs I would like to eat! And lastly, I’m not setting aside time every day to work on that book I want to write.