November 2018


retired associate Mike Orlando and his familyWelcome to our new feature, “Where are they now?” We caught up with Mike as he was preparing for a vacation with his family in the Poconos so you can catch up with Mike right here, right now.

Mike Orlando is a former help-desk hero who now spends his time helping a bunch of new people—many of them children.

Like a lot of AAA staffers, Mike seems to have had helping in his blood long before the joined ACA. He used to own a hardware store and was always happiest when helping customers find exactly what they needed to do the job correctly. At ACA he enjoyed talking to different people every day and meeting each new challenge as it arose.

One of Mike’s favorite memories of AAA is when the company acquired a system virus that corrupted everything on the servers. Mike, the IT team, and his staff were called into action. Many long days and even longer nights followed, but everyone felt a great sense of accomplishment when they were able to solve the problem. Mike especially enjoyed speaking with staff at every store and personally resolving their issues.

After 14 years of service, Mike retired in 2017 to begin the next chapter of a full and generous life. His gift for helping has come to the forefront of his life with invaluable time spent with his granddaughters, ages four and seven, while their mother goes back to school. He volunteered for the South Jersey Food Bank, providing summer lunches to 5,000 children. And still makes time to help his Church with whatever is needed—from weeding to painting.

Next on Mike’s busy agenda is a trip to Greece with his wife of 45 years. We wish them échoun mia eftychisméni diakopés, Greek for “have a happy vacation!” He certainly has earned it.


AAA associates help travelers displaced during hurricane florence

Associates in the Scott’s Addition CCIT provided assistance to travelers Ben Adams, his wife Joan, and their dog, who were driving from Florida to New Jersey during Hurricane Florence. During their time on the road, they encountered flooding, downed trees and power lines, heavy winds, and driving rain. Then, when they arrived in Richmond, their vehicle broke down.

Associates Davina Johnson and Thomas Johnson were able not only to get the car running, but also to find the couple pet-friendly lodging and provide dining suggestions. Associate Tammy Arnette even presented the couple with a complimentary roadside kit to keep them safe during the rest of their trip. Now that is AAA service at its finest.


One of our local Mid-Atlantic Safety Coordinators shares some helpful tips for driving in inclement weather.

Before you go:

  • Avoid driving while you’re fatigued. Getting the proper amount of rest before taking on winter weather tasks reduces driving risks.
  • Never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed area, such as a garage.
  • Make certain your tires are properly inflated.
  • Never mix radial tires with other tire types.
  • Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze-up.
  • If possible, avoid using your parking brake in cold, rainy, and snowy weather.
  • Use your seat belt every time you get into your vehicle.

Tips for driving in the snow:

winter driving
  • Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Applying the gas slowly to accelerate is the best method for regaining traction and avoiding skids. Don’t try to get moving in a hurry. And take time to slow down for a stoplight.
  • Drive slowly. Everything takes longer on snow-covered roads. Accelerating, stopping, turning—nothing happens as quickly as on dry pavement.
  • Increase the normal dry-pavement following distance of three to four seconds to eight to ten seconds to maintain a safer distance.
  • Know your brakes. Whether you have antilock brakes or not, the best way to stop is threshold breaking. Keep the heel of your foot on the floor and use the ball of your foot to apply firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal.
  • Don’t stop if you can avoid it. There’s a big difference in the amount of inertia it takes to start moving from a full stop versus how much it takes to get moving while still rolling. If you can slow down enough to keep rolling until a traffic light changes, do it.
  • Don’t power up hills. Applying extra gas on snow-covered roads just starts your wheels spinning. Try to get a little inertia going before you reach the hill and let that inertia carry you to the top. As you reach the crest of the hill, reduce your speed and proceed downhill as slowly as possible.
  • Don’t stop going up a hill. There’s nothing worse than trying to get moving up a hill on an icy road. Get some inertia going on a flat roadway before you take on the hill.
  • Stay home. If you really don’t have to go out, don’t. Even if you can drive well in the snow, not everyone else can.
  • Emergency Kit:

    Keep these items in your vehicle in case of emergency:

    • Flashlight
    • Mats that can be placed under tires to increase traction
    • Small bag of sand, salt, or kitty litter to spread around tires to increase traction
    • Shovel

    Visit AAA’s YouTube page for more videos on winter driving tips.


    AAA Club Alliance continues to open new CCIT locations, to better meet our Members’ Car Care, Insurance, and Travel needs. So far, in 2018, we have opened new Stores in the following locations:

    • Hamilton, NJ
    • Laurel, MD
    • Perrysburg, OH
    • Scotts Addition, VA

    As we approach the end of 2018, the following additional locations are scheduled to open:

    • Abingdon, MD
    • NW Oklahoma City, OK
    • Southington, CT
    • Freehold, NJ

    If you’re in the neighborhood, be sure to look us up. We’re always happy to see old friends.

    Outside of a AAA store at night