Meet the members of The Little Speed Shop's elite team of technicians, fabricators, service and parts specialists, drivers and race support specialists.
THE LITTLE SPEED SHOP TEAM
KEVIN VANVALKENBURGH, PRESIDENT
Kevin is the owner and the heart and soul of The Little Speed Shop. A BMW Master Technician, Kevin worked in BMW dealerships for over 10 years after training at Universal Technical Institute in Arizona and BMW STEP in New Jersey. Kevin not only works on the cars, he is also a driver. Throughout his life, Kevin has owned almost every generation of BMW, from a 1976 2002 to an E90 M3 and has recently started dabbling in the Porsche market, with a 964 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S. He has been participating in High Performance Driver’s Education for 20 years and has raced go-karts, NASCAR Modifieds, and BMW Club Racing. Although he loves driving, these last few years being so busy working at the track with clients, has opened his eyes to the joy in helping others realize their motorsport goals. Whether it is leading a caravan up to the track for parade laps or crewing for a club race, Kevin is delighted to share his passion and excitement for motorsports. Kevin’s been expanding & leading our Transport & Track Support Division. More often than not during the summer, you can find Kevin at our new location at Watkin’s Glen International Racetrack, supporting clients, working in the shop there, and hauling cars. Although racecars are fun, Kevin's biggest passion is spending time with his children, Chase & Charlotte and his nieces & nephews. Kevin is a big hit with the little ones because he drives racecars and “big trucks”! Kevin has never turned down a chocolate chip cookie and will probably fix your car for free if you bring him a batch. Kevin has the perfect mix of training & passion, which he shares with every customer who walks through the door. Schedule an appointment with Kevin.
JILLIAN VANVALKENBURGH, VP OPERATIONS
Jillian is the shop manager and a mother. She earned a degree in Psychology from Syracuse University and worked as a Social Worker at Hillside Children’s Center for 8 years, before switching gears to help her husband, Kevin, run The Little Speed Shop. Although the transition from social work to auto repair may not seem like an easy one, Jill is a natural and has become a master service writer and parts expert. She is the organizational hub behind The Little Speed Shop which is a tall order to keep all the guys in line every day. Jill usually the person you will talk to when you call the shop and is the woman behind TLSS Social Media and never misses the opportunity to get in front of the camera or live Facebook feed. Though never really a car girl until she met Kevin and started working at the shop, Jill has come to appreciate the beauty and intricacies of a fine automobile. She has two kids but you will never find Jill in a minivan as she is usually sporting a modified BMW "Mommy Mobile". Jill loves a nice day at the racetrack and with her competitive spirit she enjoys managing race teams and being part of the pit crew. Jill isn't afraid to get her hands dirty and it wouldn't be unusual to find her lugging around car parts and wheels or running back and forth between shops. When not at the shop, Jill and Kevin have their hands full with their two beautiful children, Chase and Charlotte. Jill loves spending time with her kids and family and enjoys the rare occasion of getting out on her boat, Mr. Potato Head. Jill is a master of performance parts and the person you want to talk to when upgrading your street or racecar. Schedule an appointment with Jill.
STEVE TALEVSKI, PARTS MANAGER
Steve is an essential part of The Little Speed Shop team, and someone you have likely spoken with if we have worked on your vehicle in the past year. He has over 20 years of experience in the industry and has worked at what seems like every dealership in town including BMW, Mercedes and Porsche/Audi/Mazda. Steve in a wealth of knowledge and always makes sure that we find the right part for the job at the best price he can find, never sacrificing quality in the process. Steve has always had a love of cars and went to school for Auto Body Repair and has always had a project car to work on. In his free time you can catch him working on his current project, a 1971 Chevelle, or catching up on one of his favorite car shows. Order parts from Steve.
SHAWNA TEMPLE, SERVICE WRITER
Shawna started at The Little Speed Shop in May with experience in service writing and has worked in auto shops since her college days. She developed in interest in cars at a young age, hanging out around her grandfather's Mopar dealership. She is a member of the SCCA, participates in autocross events and has even spent time on the WGI track. In her free time, Shawna and her husband enjoy road racing, drag racing and like to catch the occasional dirt oval race. At home, she loves hanging out with her puppy Charlie and working on her arts and crafts projects. Shawna is our service shop service writer and will be theperson you speak with about your car while it is in the shop. Schedule a service appointment with Shawna.
SARAH SANFILIPPO, ASSISTANT MANAGER
Sarah joined The Little Speed Shop team in May to help support Jillian and Kevin with their growing business. She has a Bachelors degree in Business Management and comes to us with 10 years of management experience in operations, logistics, retail, sales, human resources and customer experience. Sarah has been around cars and assisting her high school sweetheart on his project cars since she was 15. She has a two year old little girl who is her pride and joy and keeps her on her toes. Sarah is passionate about health and fitness and when she is not at the shop enjoys cooking and spending time with her family outdoors enjoying nice weather, often attending car shows in their 1987 E30.
JAMES MILLER, SERVICE TECHNICIAN
Uncle Jimmy is the star of many of TLSS Tech Talks with a vast amount of knowledge regarding anything BMW. James is the resident BMW guru in The Little Speed Shop’s Service Facility. James has long been in the automotive industry performing both part sales and technician positions. James has graduated to the BMW Master Tech position with factory training from e30 to i8 generations. When he’s not in the shop tackling the most challenging projects, James enjoys catching up on his go to show Archer and restoring classics at home… From motor work to interiors and electronics, he does it all! James is a true perfectionist and a service mastermind, we are very pleased to have him on our service team. It’ Miller Time! Schedule an appointment with James.
FRANKIE MAZZA, SERVICE TECHNICIAN
Frankie is a valued technician on The Little Speed Shop team. Frankie is a transplant from New Jersey where he worked as level 3 technician at BMW. From a young age Frankie had a passion for everything automotive and turned into a BMW fanatic with his first E30. With an auto tech degree from Monroe Community College Frankie is well versed in all makes and models from classic euro cars to modern domestics. When he’s not in the shop Frankie enjoys modifying his E30 collection, playing hockey with his other half, and sculpting his manly beard. You can find Frankie on Instagram @e30b35 posting e30 pics, and he never misses a car show. Frankie prides himself on completing the job correctly the first time… Its safe to say he’s a great fit for our team. Schedule an appointment with Frankie.
STEPHEN SMEENK, SERVICE TECHNICIAN
Stephen is the newest member to join our team of techinicans. Stephen comes to us with a vast amount of education and experience working on BMWs. Stephen started his career years argo at a European Performance shop in PA. Following that he went to UTI with a focus in Fords (no pun intended). After graduating from UTI Stephen moved on to the BMW STEP Program and then started working at the local BMW dealer. Stephen is a car guy through and through and when he is not at work you can find him at car shows and autocrosses in his 1995 240SX and his R32. He has also recently started participating in high performance drivers education. We are so happy to have Stephen as part of the TLSS team. Schedule an appointment with Stephen.
SKYLER MITCHELL, ASSISTANT TECHNICIAN/TRACK SUPPORT SPECIALIST
Skyler was born and raised in New Hampshire and found his way to NY for college on a Basketball scholarship. He joined The Little Speed Shop in April and does a little bit of everything for us! He is a certified Automotive & High Performance technician and does an array of general mechanical work in both the Service Shop and Race Shop. He drives the haulers, as well as provides technical & mechanical support at the track, and back home at the Shop. Skyler loves working on older cars and can usually be found driving his '72 Cutlass that he restored, working on his current project (a '48 Oldsmobile) or playing basketball. Schedule an appointment with Skyler.
MIKE SEAGER, FABRICATOR
Mike is our master fabricator at The Little Speed Shop. Mike has done a great deal of building and fabricating many types of cars. His background includes building and fabricating road race cars, NASCARs, and drag cars for over 25 years. He builds roll cages and does fabrication work in our race shop, as well as works on many different project cars. Mike is an all around car guy. When he's not at the shop, Mike loves to spend time working on his 1930s cars at home, as well as snowmobiling. Mike has extensive knowledge on all things fabrication and is a great asset to The Little Speed Shop Team! Schedule an appointment with Mike.
JOE VALASQUEZ, ASSISTANT TECHNICIAN
Joe came to The Little Speed Shop in January after graduating from Ohio Technical College with a degree in Automotive High Performance & Racing. An Upstate NY native, Joe decided in high school that marrying his passions for sports, competition and cars was the direction he wanted to take. He does a little bit of everything around TLSS, focusing on track support at our Race Shop at WGI and on general mechanical work at our service shop. Joe loves a good pickup basketball game with friends, as well as fishing & riding ATV's and four wheelers in his free time. Schedule an appointment with Joe.
ISABELLA BARBAGALLO, INTERN
Isabella is an intern at the Little Speed Shop. She takes photos, films, edits, and posts videos. She creates promotion cards and flyers, and can also be found making coffee at our monthly Cars and Coffee. Isabella has been around cars her whole life, and comes from a racing background. She has been racing go-karts for eight years, and recently started her own car collection, with her first car, a 1976 BMW 2002. Aside from motorsports, Isabella is a musician, and enjoys singing, playing guitar, and piano. Isabella loves being a part of The Little Speed Shop Team!
ZACH DELGREGO, INTERN
Zach is one of our interns and is a recent graduate of Webster High School. Although he hasn't gotten his license yet, Zach is starting to build a love for a fine automobile. Zach's true passion lies in the music world. He is attending a program through Ohio University in music production this summer and hoping to attend FLCC in the fall for Business Management. Zach is a long time friend of The Little Speed Shop and is the guys behind the coffee pot at Cars and Coffee. Make sure to leave him a nice tip for his college fund!
CHASE VANVALKENBURGH, SHOP KID
Chase is Kevin and Jill’s five year old son. Chase had to leave his full time job at The Little Speed shop to attend Kindergarden but you can always find him at Cars and Coffee and all our events. Chase drives a pedal E90 M3 racecar and electric BMW i8 and loves being a passenger in his dad's 964 Porsche 911, especially around the track at Watkins Glen. Chase loves sports and is a T-ball allstar. Chase loves picking on his sister and hanging with his cousins. Chase is The Little Speed Shop’s biggest fan – he loves to go for rides in the “big trucks” and cheer on our drivers. Shop our fun kids products!
CHARLOTTE VANVALKENBURGH, SHOP GIRL
Charlotte is Kevin and Jill's spunky little three year old daughter. One of the youngest and one of the few girls in a group of 20 cousins, this girl is not afraid of anything and can keep right up with all the boys. She is going to be a force to be reckoned with on the racetrack someday. Charlotte drives a red battery powered Porsche GT3. When not attending preschool, Charlotte enjoys gymnastics, swimming and riding her bike. She likes when her daddy drives fast and does "fast turns". Charlotte loves hanging with her cousins and looks up to her big brother, Chase. Shop our fun kids products!