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Shop Owners / Entrepreneurs

RR 151: Gary Keyes from E & M Motors

Gary Keyes is the owner of E & M Motors Auto Service in Stuart, Florida. Started at a service station. (remember them?) Gary started as a tech, right out of high school back in the service station days in Miami. He also worked in a Toyota dealership for 10 years and decided he was smart…

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RR 149: Carolyn Coquillette from Luscious Garage

Carolyn Coquillette discovered wrenching in 2000, shortly after graduating from college. A rare female mechanic, her nickname at the service station and in professional circles became “Luscious Garage.” Carolyn owns Luscious Garage, a hybrid specialty shop in San Francisco and probably the best known hybrid shop in the country. She also owns Shop-Ware, a software…

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RR 147: Jacquie Walter Hower from Zimmerman’s Automotive

Jacquie Walter Hower is the Director of Operations and 3rd generation at her family’s business, Zimmerman’s Automotive, in Mechanicsburg, PA. Typical family indoctrination. During high school and into college, Jacquie worked part time for the company working in the Quick Lube department as a technician changing oil and maintaining customer vehicles. After her sophomore year…

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RR 145: Dennis Montalbano from German Auto Repair

Dennis Montalbano was born in San Francisco and raised in San Jose. He started his career in the service station business and operated the largest Gulf station on the west coast in volume. Dennis then became the youngest Snap On Tools dealer at 22 years old and then the youngest Field Manager for Snap On at…

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RR 143: Kevin Donohoe from Pacific Motor Service

Kevin Donohoe, a multi-shop owner says, “Our clients are the true heroes of this story! And our purpose is to serve them”. His story. Kevin Donohoe’s automotive story began in 1966 (at the age of six) when he discovered the thrill of working on cars and equipment with his neighbor Mr. C. He taught Kevin…

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RR 141: Scott Waddle of Precision Auto Service

Meet Scott Waddle from Precision Auto Service in Langley, British Columbia. Yes, the first Canadian shop owner to grace the podcast. You will learn that success stories and challenges are universal in north America. An Early Start. Scott Waddle has been fixing cars since he was four, maybe younger… out in the driveway with dad,…

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RR 139: Jeff Buckley from My Fathers Shop

Jeff and Candace Buckley, a husband and wife team, have been providing services to their customers in Midlothian, TX for over 20 years at their service business called ‘My Fathers Shop’. This episode is all about the ‘Little Shop that Could’. Why, because the entire team at My Fathers Shop is Jeff and Candace. How…

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RR 137: John Anello from Auto Tech On Wheels

John Anello started a Mobile Automotive Diagnostic in 1991 providing technical support & services for automotive Repair & Body shops in Northern New Jersey. These services include diagnostics on Engine Management systems as well as all other on-board control systems. Why Listen? John speaks about the learning curve that needs to be addressed by many…

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RR 135: Garry Plimmer from Garry’s Automotive

A smart listen with NAPA’s ASE Technician of the year 2013. Why Listen? Harvest great ideas on customer retention, marketing, technician and adviser training, succession planning and the value of a business coach. Humble Beginning Garry Plimmer’s mechanical training began during his enlistment in the U. S. Navy from 1974-1978, having trained and served as a diesel…

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RR 133: TJ Reilly from Same Day Auto Service

Great stories told here from a service professional who spends very little time at his business. This Japanese Repair Specialist operates in Clackamas, Oregon. The Business TJ Reilly has over 40 years of industry experience and 30 years as a shop owner. He started his business from scratch, and has the experience of being both…

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RR 131: Don Smith from Elite Electronics

Don Smith started installing stereo’s and alarms and had to learn how to fix the cars he was working on.Elite Electronics He now owns Elite Electronics, for the last 10 years, a mobile Automotive Electronics and Mechanical Solutions company.

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RR 129: Jerry Holcom from S & S Service

This is a very special interview with Jerry Holcom. With nearly 50 years’ experience in the automotive field, Jerry tells of his pathway to success and the typical stumbles or learning curves along the way.

Why should you listen: Jerry tells of great advice he’s received throughout the years about money and property ownership; Learn Jerry’s reasoning behind the decision not to buy his father’s business, and then turned around 10 years later and bought it from someone else.

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RR 127: Dave Kusa of Autotrend Diagnostics

Reasons to listen to Dave Kusa, President Autotrend Diagnostics:

-Find out how much reliance Dave places on building customer relations and home town value in a city of 2.5 million people.
-Dave believes that their top internet reviews come from his strategy on good customer communications.
-If you are looking for great insight or advice on the need for business training, Dave will explain to you his biggest learning curve.

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RR 123: Pete Rudloff from Pete’s Garage

Pete Rudloff owner of Pete’s Garage in Newark, DE. Pete started out in the automotive trade as a machine shop apprentice and after a year became dealer tech and grew into a Mopar Gold  CMAT, L1, DEEP certified tech of which have been both the assistant shop foreman and foreman of a few local dealerships…

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RR 121: Nikki Ayers from Ayers Automotive

Nikki Ayers and her husband Robert have been shop owners for 38 years. They own Ayers Automotive in Santa Barbara, CA with locations in Chipala and Anacapa.  Robert was a Jaguar tech when they decided to go into business for themselves. Nikki shares the big risk they took with their first building and how after…

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RR 119: John Eppstein from John’s Automotive Care

John Eppstein from John’s Automotive Care in San Diego, CA was recognized in 2016 as the NAPA ASE Technician of the Year. Started Like So Many Others John Eppstein started in the automotive industry in 1983 because he wanted a job where he could help people. Like so many others in the industry, John pumped…

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RR 117: John Bridgwater from Wrights Automotive Service

John Bridgwater always wanted to know, “What makes it go?” At age five he took apart a mechanical adding machine just to see how it worked. Growing up, his father would work on the family van and John would always be by his side asking questions and learning everything he could. Today John Bridgwater and…

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RR 115: Doug Grills from AutoStream Car Care Center

Listen to the entrepreneurial journey of Doug Grills from AutoStream Car Care Center. Along with his partner Rick Levitan they brought their base experience from their former positions with a fortune five company to build a four store automotive service company. As Doug tells it they brought a lot of business savvy with them when…

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RR 113: Kim Auernheimer from CS Automotive

After many years in real-estate and property management Kim Aurenheimer joined the business with her husband Rob. Hear Kim talk about the big decision, they both made, to work together and forge a strong working relationship. From Kim’s perspective listen as she talks about her transition into the industry and in finding her wings at the shop. She discusses trust, roles, the industry, margins, labor rates, work life balance and much more. An enlightening view of our industries most prevalent business partnerships; husbands and wives.

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RR 111: Frank Palange from V & F Auto

Frank Palange from V & F Auto Service in Agawam, MA, and his dad Vinny bought an acre parcel in 1988. They built their shop and today this thriving enterprise includes repair, auto sales and auto parts. Frank is a ‘tell it like it is’ guy (he is proud to say that is who he…

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RR 109: Scott ‘GONZO’ Weaver

Who hasn’t heard of Gonzo’s Toolbox! Enjoy an enlightening interview from Gonzo himself. Do you know what Gonzo does to recharge? …. Why he loves being a diagnostician? … and do you know how Scott Weaver got the name ‘Gonzo’? You are about to find out.

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RR 107: Ron Haugen of Westside Auto Pros

Ever lose your job? Here is a success story that starts out with the loss of a job. A life changing incident that sets up a business career. Ever take the biggest leap of your life and didn’t know a thing about business? Ron Haugen gives a refreshing look back as he reflects on the adage that you can do just about anything you want if you put your mind and heart into it.

And Ron adds even if you don’t know what you don’t know; you can be successful. Does the term ‘Short People Up Front’ mean something to you?” This saying was a monumental life changing memory for Ron Haugen and had a huge impact on Ron’s business and can for you. Over the course of the interview you will hear a blueprint for success. Ron will tell you many of his battle worn yet successful strategies that has brought great success to him and his team and can work for you.

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RR 103: Dave Erb

Have you ever thought about selling your business? Do you have a buyer? Want to hear the story from a thirty-year industry veteran who recently sold his businesses to an investor?

Dave Erb has a great story from buying his first shop to hitting his first $100K month. Ever thought about attending Leadership 2.0? Yes, but never pulled the switch. Dave will convince you why it was such a great move for him.

He shares some great wisdom he learned in the school of hard knocks. Invest in yourself … listen now!

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RR 101: Ron Inchausti from Coast Motor Werk

Ron Inchausti always had entrepreneurial ideas since childhood, but lacked goal setting to implement these ideas. He started his automotive career like most, working for someone else. He never considered, or saw the need, to start his own company. This young, eager mechanic had a special passion fueled by providing quality service with a thoughtful…

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