Ernie Boch Jr. grew up in Norwood, Massachusetts. Ernie’s grandfather was the number one Nash dealer in the country, and Ernie was naturally included in the family business. His father liked working in sales and his uncle liked working in service. Ernie started helping out at the dealership when he was ten, but always whenever he was in trouble. He says that he learned everything he knows about business by working with his father.
Ernie Jr. graduated from Berklee College of Music. Music was his first love, but he went into business helping his father. The Boch family business only included 6 dealerships, but Ernie said that each one sold an enormous number of vehicles. In 2003, his father, Ernie Boch Sr., died, leaving the automobile empire to Ernie Jr. In 2015, Ernie Jr. sold most of the dealerships, retaining his Maserati and Ferrari dealerships and remaining as CEO of New England Subaru. The dealerships retain the Boch name, and Ernie Jr. continues as their public face. Ernie has put in about 30 years at the family dealerships, and is a Greater Boston area celebrity. Now, he is just as likely to be seen performing with his rock and roll band, performing on TV, fundraising for various charitable causes, and spending time with his children.
1. Ernie has spent $30 million and 14 years renovating his Norwood mansion.
It is 16,000 square feet, and the last remaining Endicott house owned privately. It was finished in 1929, and Ernie bought it in 1997. There are about 6 acres of property surrounding the house, but sources say that Ernie had existing buildings demolished in order to increase the acreage around the mansion. There are 20 rooms which have been restored. He lives in it with his girlfriend. His kids live with their mother, Kristen. He says the kids come to visit. His home is filled with guitars collected from famous rockers. He sometimes spends time in the guest house next door to the mansion, but mostly comes home to eat and relax.
Ernie’s family lived together in the same Norwood neighborhood, living in adjacent homes. He purchased the mansion in Norwood because he has lived his whole life there, and his family still does. The family business is also located minutes away in Norwood.
2. Ernie bought three $1,700 fancy toilets while traveling in Japan.
He bought one for his basement, one for his Gillette Stadium box, one to have in his office. The toilets are the Toto Washlet S300. Each includes a wall mounted control panel for unique functions such as a wand which the user can extend to wash her or his “nether extremities”, to control water pressure, the temperature of the seat or to turn on a very strong exhaust fan. His wife at the time, Kristen, said that the UPS delivery driver was one of the many who were curious enough to ask about the Toto.
3. Ernie and his wife, Kristen divorced, and it’s complicated.
Kristen is the mother of his two children Alex and Kelsey. His girlfriend, Enza Sambataro, was once the girlfriend of Ben Affleck. After that, she shared a marriage ceremony with ex-Red Sox Kevin Youkilis, but never filed paperwork to make the wedding official. Now, Ernie and Enza have a baby daughter together.
4. Ernie’s charity, Music Drives Us, celebrates its 10th birthday in 2016.
Ernie says two things motivate him to continue the mission of raising money for music opportunities for the New England States. He loves delivering a load of musical instruments to a classroom and hearing the buzz and seeing the smiles of the faces of the kids who will play them. He also loves to have big name music artists participate in the mission by performing or signing memorabilia to help the organization raise money. He knows the charity is doing something meaningful. Music has always been Ernie’s passion, and has inspired him. He believes in its importance for developing communication skills, critical thinking abilities and providing a sense of balance in life.
5. Ernie and his children are animated cartoon characters on PBS.
Ernie approached FableVision about creating animated spots to broadcast on Boston-area PBS affiliate WGBH. The spots, called Journey, Amazing Things, Road Map and Tune In, were designed to teach children about learning. Ernie, and his kids Alex and Kelsey were made into animated characters for the short spots featuring short, inspirational phrases to encourage kids to learn for better futures.
6. Ernie’s band, Ernie and the Automatics, opened for Deep Purple.
It was 2006, Ernie created his own record label, and his band was the first on the label. They debuted at Number 7 on the Billboard Blues Chart, were 6 weeks in the Top 10. Ernie said that he and his friends slept on the street to get Deep Purple tickets in the 1970s, and now his band had the chance to open for the legendary Deep Purple.
Barry Goudreau and Sib Hashian were members of the phenomenal multi-platinum selling 1970s band Boston, and now Ernie is “living his dream” playing rock and roll with them in his band.
7. Ernie supports Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
He said he is “behind Trump” for many, many reasons, but he appreciates his perspective on how to run a business and his efficiency with finances. He says that Trump is “so transparent” that it is possible to see who Trump is. Ernie views Trump as being a very conservative and brilliant businessman. Ernie’s opinion is that Trump’s strategies, his pride in America, and Trump’s ability to “stir up the pot” is a “classic, classic move by a businessman” which is done all the time. Ernie has hosted a rally for Trump at his home in Norwood, and would have donated $1 million to Trump’s campaign if he could. He also noted that many of his Republican friends thought him “nuts” and not “politically correct” because of his support for the candidate.
8. Ernie owned the women’s football team The Boston Militia for seven years.
He started out sponsoring the team. He loved it so much that he bought the team. The team, based in Somerville, was very successful for the seven seasons it competed. It won two Women’s Football Alliance championships. In 2015, Ernie folded the team, explaining that the limited number of Northeast teams, a shortened playing schedule and the declining level of professional competition were the factors which forced his decision.
9. Ernie has Type 1 diabetes.
He has to count carbs, and he uses insulin. He says he has come a long way with the condition because his kids come over and tell him he has no real snacks in the house. His girlfriend Enza Sambataro takes care of him by making sure he has plenty of healthy snacks stored in his pantry for him. He says he has never passed out from the diabetes, but he has had times when traveling overseas that he didn’t feel well.
10. He absolutely doesn’t want his two kids to become actors or musicians.
He notes that the entertainment business is too heartbreaking, has too much negativity and is too filled with criticism. He wouldn’t tell them they couldn’t, because they can absolutely do what they want. When asked if the two are going to be “future car czars” like him, he says he is constantly asking them about it, and they are saying “yes”, but he thinks that is just because they are still young.