Second in Command: A CEO Perspective [THA 230]

Scott Brown, Cardinal Plaza Shell, Springfield, VA. The second-generation owner of Cardinal Plaza Shell, a 2,700 square feet, 5 bay independent repair shop and LEVEL 5 Solutions, an automotive technology company. Celebrated 50 years in business during 2019. Scott is a Member & Past President of Virginia Automotive Association, Member of Car Care Professional Network through the ACA. and founding partner of the Blue Ocean Buying Group for independent repair shops

Craig Noel, Owner of 4 location Sun Automotive Springfield, OR. Craig graduated from Lane Community College in 1987 with a Bachelor of Science in Automotive Repair and quickly went to work. He worked for Ford as a Senior Master Technician and then working my way up through the ranks as Team Lead, Service Advisor, Assistant Service Manager.

He has also built ground up Street Rods/Show Cars for over 30 years as a hobby. He was “headhunted” by the original owner of Sun Automotive in 2011 and became GM at that time. As of January 1st 2017, he is the proud owner of Sun Automotive. Listen to Craig’s previous episodes HERE.

Key Talking Points

  • General Manager- “mini-me” and coaching process to get into COO role
  • COO- confident trusting all aspects of the business including financial decisions
  • Doesn’t depend on locations, but more so on employee count and how much business, you’re doing. You need someone to compliment you as an owner and it will be different with every business. They are “decision filters.”
  • CEO/COO- training for both roles. Separated roles (guard rails) moving in the same direction. Learning about yourself, the business, and the relationship with roles 
  • Attention to detail- helps with training advisors, inventory, processes etc
  • CEO- stay in the future, manage team, set the vision/strategy, allocate resources 
  • COO- stays in the now, managing own team, execute the vision, leads change
  • “Make your presence present when you’re not present.”- what would the CEO do? Make moral decisions, let go as an owner so they learn.
  • Equal relationship- both doing equally important things in business
  • Communication- both ways up and down especially in beginning, changing the habit of employees, they need to communicate with GM/COO. Consider taking a survey in your business on communication.
  • Cheerlead them so they cheerlead others even when things are smooth. Bigger the position, the bigger the target for negatives. Keep supporting. “How am I doing? What’s next?”- questions GM/COO will be asking. 70% mental positive deposits (emotional bank account), 30% withdrawals giving direction and guidance  
  • Finding GM/COO- hardest job to fill, almost like entering a marriage. Hiring from outside can be difficult to fill the position. Internal candidates- task them certain things, what is their ability to think ahead multiple steps?

Facebook   Twitter  LinkedIn   Instagram  Youtube   Email  

Mobile Listening APP’s HERE

Join the Ecosystem – Subscribe to the INSIDER NEWSLETTER HERE.

Buy Carm a Cup of Coffee 

This episode is brought to you by Shop-Ware Shop Management. It’s time to run your business at its fullest potential with the industry’s leading technology. Shop-Ware Shop Management will increase your efficiency with lightning-fast workflows, help your staff capture more sales every day, and create very happy customers who promote your business. Shops running Shop-Ware have More Time and generate More Profit—join them! Schedule a free live demonstration and find out how 30 minutes can transform your shop at

This episode is brought to you by Shop Marketing Pros. Your guides are Kim and Brian Walker with a rich history as shop owners and industry veterans. When someone searches for a shop, who are they finding? Your competitors? It should be you! The good people over at Shop Marketing Pros know how to drive website traffic and make Google work for you!

About the author, Carm Capriotto, AAP

Carm is the founder and host of the Remarkable Results Radio Podcast and the pioneer of automotive aftermarket podcasts. Carm calls on his years of experience in the aftermarket to bring engaging stories from his guests.

Listen to raw, unfiltered, honest, and sincere stories that include insights, trends, best practices, and expertise. Each interview brings an opportunity to learn one new thing through the stories of personal achievement. Many podcast guests tell their story of transformation from working in their business to working on it.

As host of over 1,000 episodes, Carm uses his enthusiasm and passion for the aftermarket especially the service sector to take his listeners on a journey showcasing successful service professionals’ paths to Remarkable Results. He also enjoys interviews with aftermarket industry thought leaders who bring their industry perspectives to his listener.

Follow the podcast on your favorite podcast listening app and always listen to learn just one thing!