Weekly Feature



2016-12-22 / Lifestyles

Musical talents lead to fitting, but unexpected career path for Lorentz

NICHOLAS KONOTOPSKYJ
Reporter

“Everybody has a hot button. It could be cars, hunting or anything else. The key is finding out what that is and being able to connect with them.”

For Tom Lorentz, president of Main Mobility Inc., his hot button has always been the guitar. As a young kid, that was something he could always turn to.

“I’ve been playing the guitar since I was 5 years old,” Lorentz said. “Music was my passion, and I always begged my parents to take guitar lessons. Some kids might get forced to play their instrument when they’ve been bad, but I was the opposite. My parents would have to take my guitar away.”

Lorentz has a distinguished musical background, especially in Western New York. He was inducted into the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame in 2012 and is now the vice president. He currently does record producing, and during his playing career got the chance to perform with some of the country’s brightest stars.


Main Mobility owner Tom Lorentz poses with singer Kenny Rogers backstage at Kleinhans Music Hall before his Christmas Concert from a few years ago. Lorentz was inducted into the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame in 2012. Main Mobility owner Tom Lorentz poses with singer Kenny Rogers backstage at Kleinhans Music Hall before his Christmas Concert from a few years ago. Lorentz was inducted into the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame in 2012. “I have become friends with many celebrities over the years and opened for people like Barbara Mandrell, Lee Greenwood,

Lee Osmond [and] Mickey Gilley, and my job was to warm up the audience.”

Performing for crowds in Buffalo became the norm for Lorentz, as he would oftentimes play five, six or even seven nights a week. Out of all these celebrities, there is one person who sticks out in his mind.

“The most respected out of these would have to be Barbara Mandrell,” Lorentz said. “She was a consummate performer, played every instrument, was as professional as can be, and she was an incredible businessperson.”


Tom Lorentz is seen performing as lead singer at a concert in Daytona Beach, Florida. From left to right, Ken Kaufman on grand piano, Michelle Farina, Emily Kerns and Linda Lou Schriver on back-up vocals, Preston Brown on drums, Jerry Livingston on bass guitar, Kenny Hawkins on lead guitar and Lorentz. Lorentz has been owner of Main Mobility since 1984. Tom Lorentz is seen performing as lead singer at a concert in Daytona Beach, Florida. From left to right, Ken Kaufman on grand piano, Michelle Farina, Emily Kerns and Linda Lou Schriver on back-up vocals, Preston Brown on drums, Jerry Livingston on bass guitar, Kenny Hawkins on lead guitar and Lorentz. Lorentz has been owner of Main Mobility since 1984. In the mid-’80s, Lorentz was able to turn his musical talents into a career that was completely unrelated to the guitar. In 1984, he became the owner of Main Mobility, a manufacturer and seller of wheelchair-accessible vehicles in Western New York. According to Lorentz, it was a decision he could never have predicted.

“In 1984, I decided to build a van to travel in and be my mini tour bus,” Lorentz said. “As I was building it, a person came up to me and asked if I could build a custom van for his child who is in a wheelchair. From there, it evolved into a business. I didn’t go in saying I want to build vans, but I spawned off to this, and in hindsight, this was great because it grounded me and kept me here and focused.”

Lorentz has now been running Main Mobility for over 32 years and was rewarded with the New York State Businessman of the Year award in 2003. He says the key to sustainable success is developing a rapport with one’s customers and finding their “hot button.”

“What we do is figure out better, easier and more efficient ways for someone to get in and out of a vehicle and possibly operate it if that’s their end goal,” Lorentz said.

Lorentz said that what makes Main Mobility unique is that there aren’t many other companies that specialize in providing wheelchair-accessible vehicles.

“For my clients, they can’t just hop into the neighbor’s car and go to the grocery store,” he said. “This vehicle becomes an extension of them, so it is a little more important to them as opposed to someone who can just get in any car.”

Lorentz continues to be active in the community as a board member and former president of the Center for Handicapped Children, an active member of Western New York Independent Living and the former events chairman for the Special Olympics in Buffalo.

Lorentz has also hosted a number of fundraising events at the Main Mobility location, 9580 Main St., Clarence, to raise money to help these organizations and welcome their clients. The last one held was a disco party the day before Thanksgiving.

“We’ve held Christmas parties and special fundraising events here in our building,” he said. “We try and do things for our customers to get them to come here. We try to be all-encompassing for the community and our clients, and we engage them to make it possible for them to come here and do things.”

To learn more about Lorentz or what else Main Mobility Inc. has to offer, visit www.mainmobility.com or call 759-6811.

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