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North Adams native Sam Poeuk offers vehicle customization of lighting, mobile electronics, audio systems and tinting. He works on cars, trucks, power sports vehicles and boats.

Automan Sam Brings Car Customization to North Adams

By Sabrina DammsiBerkshires Staff
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Sam Poeuk opened Automan Sam on State Street in 2020. 
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — We have all had those slow-to-start days when we wake up in the morning groggy and unprepared for the day ahead. 
We brew our coffee or tea and wander outside and remember it's winter and the windshield is frosted over, so we begrudgingly grab our scraper and brave the cold.
There is another option — use a remote starter and sit inside enjoying a warm beverage as the windshield thaws
You can have one installed at Automan Sam, which can also customize your vehicle to best fit your needs. 
The auto salon at 303 State St. sells and installs mobile electronics including remote car starters, alarm systems, radios, high-intensity discharge bulbs, LEDs, color lighting, cameras, Bluetooth, audio systems, tinting, and other automotive upgrades. 
"We deal with just electronics here. So we dabble in stock electronics that are broken or need repair anything along those lines," shop owner Sam Poeuk said. 
"We really specialize in the aftermarket field, so radios, DVD players, headrest monitors, flip-down monitors, subwoofers, speaker upgrades. We do lighting. We do ambient lighting under the car, in the car. We do LED upgrades, headlights, taillights, brake lights, plate lights. We can upgrade the LED to give you a cleaner look and brighter look and use less energy on a vehicle to run LEDs."
Over the years, Poeuk has worked to build a reputation that gives customers assurance that their vehicles — cars, trucks, marine or power sports —- are in good hands. 
He started at Pro Audio in Pittsfield in 2005 and when that closed, moved on to Anthony's Auto Electronics. Poeuk began to work independently doing side gigs and started his own business in his hometown in 2020. He said he's passionate about the work that he does and the products he provides to the community. 
"I want to do what I love to do, and that is being in this field. You spend most of your life working and sleeping. That is pretty much what you do. So why not do something you enjoy doing?" he said. "I hear people complain that they hate this job, they hate that job, they can't do this, they can't do that. I didn't want to be that person.
"So I took my own initiative and started this business. And I knew the area needed it because there's nothing like this. I used to do this on the side here and there. So people know what I'm capable of doing." 
Poeuk wants to be able to share his passion with the community and hopes one day share his knowledge with his future progeny. 
"I come from a first-generation family. My parents came from Cambodia. I'm the first one born here in America," he said. "So, I was born and raised in North Adams, and I want to leave a footprint. My parents did so much to get over here and to give us a better life. And I'm just trying to make sure I give myself a better life."
To ensure that his customers are getting a quality product at a fair price he tests the products he sells on his family's vehicles. And he said he gets to know his customer and learns what they want so that he can provide them with the best product that fit their price range. 
In addition to that, he offers lifetime warranties on his automatic car starters to encourage sales and relieve buyers of any stress. 
Although the pandemic affected a lot of businesses negatively, it was the opposite for Poeuk because he said he was able to take the time to figure out the business model that he wanted to pursue.
"We slowly started taking in business, and started tweaking stuff around the shop to make it work and flow better each day," he said. 
Automan Sam's hours are 8 to 4 weekdays. Make an appointment via the website, Facebook  or at 413-346-4040 or

Tags: automotive,   

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MCLA Considering Temporary Homeless Housing on Campus

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts is considering turning the vacant Berkshire Towers dorm into a temporary homeless shelter.
President James Birge said on Friday that the college is considering a partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development that would supply needed housing for 50 homeless families.
"I look at the mission of the institution, and we talk about educating students to be responsible citizens," Birge said. "I think this models that mission."
Birge said residents would be mostly younger families. He assumed 50 families would generate 25 school-aged children in the Berkshire Towers.
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