OTC alumni, Steve Ali, has an abundance of confidence and believes 100% in his skill level and his ability to run a profitable business. “Anytime I do something, I’m all in.” His multi-million-dollar shop, Xtreme Performance, is proof he knows what he’s doing. Ali is proud of the fact it is one of the Top 50 Corvette shops in the country and has been featured in numerous nationally syndicated magazines. His reputation far exceeds the boundaries of Cleveland and the state of Ohio.
Ali sought out the best automotive technical training after high school and decided Ohio Technical College (then called Ohio Diesel Tech) had what he was looking for. “ I visited many other schools. I went as far as Denver to check out a school, but I liked OTC the best. Many of the instructors were formal military. There was structure, discipline and accountability. It was an environment where I thrived,” he says. Ali graduated at top of his class. He was one of three graduates from MT-2 (Master Tech, the pre-cursor to OTC’s Auto-diesel program) that were offered jobs in New Jersey to work for Ford Peterbilt Dealership. “The money was excellent, but the cost of living there was high”. Ali turned the job down, and instead went to work for what was then LTV Steel in downtown Cleveland. He worked there as a diesel technician for 10 plus years. Ali’s overflowing personality and strong work ethic earned him respect and he was voted in as the youngest Union Steward ever. “I was young. I was hungry. I was eager to work.” He is a man who knows what he wants, knows how to get things done, and doesn’t accept, no, defeat or taking an easy way out filled with excuses. He worked 70 hours a week at LTV Steel and still found time to work on cars out of his 6 car garage at home.
Ali was making great money at the steel mill. He had the resources available to purchase a three – bay gas station and start what became Xtreme Performance. Offering customers basic to complex automotive services with integrity and honesty. “I wanted them to come back, not rip them off”, Ali says.
It was a day of opportunity when Ali went to look at used tow trucks. “The trucks were junk, but the four acres they were parked on was a diamond in the rough.” Ali made an offer on the property. It would be four months later before the owner called him back ready to sell. The city of North Ridgeville where the property was located, was an ‘up and coming’ area, but at the same time still very rural. Ali knew this property would be a prime location one day. He did his research and visited a lot of dealerships, took notes and then collaborated with an architect to design his dream garage. Xtreme Performance has 14 bays, 9 lifts and 10 employees. Ali has no problem rolling up his sleeves and wrenching on a car if the need arises. One look at his impressive 30 foot- long, 7 foot tall tool box and hundreds -of- thousands of dollars in personal tools tells you he is a man who invests in his career. He continues to attend seminars and training camps to keep current with technology. Ali has future plans “I intend to build a 30,000 square foot addition all of the utilities are already underground ready to go. Hot rods and custom builds are where the future lies. I know if I build they will come, I will have it filled in no time.