Q & A with Chris Chesney [THA 241]

Chris Chesney is the former director of Customer Training for Carquest Technical Institute. He is also a NASTF Board Member. Visit Chris’s previous episodes HERE.

Jay Huh, CarMedix, Durham, NC. Jay started his business in his home garage in 2015. He didn’t have any mechanical experience but felt there was a need for an honest affordable mechanic shop. Fast forward to 2021, CarMedix has grown into a 10 bay facility and did over $1 million in sales last yr and tracking over $1.5 million this year

Brad Pellman, Pellman’s Automotive, Boulder, CO. Brad first started working in the automotive industry at the age of 15 and over his career has held a wide variety of jobs at both dealerships and independent repair shops. In 1995 this dream of owning his own shop became a reality when he opened up Pellman’s Automotive in Boulder, CO with his wife, Lisa.

Brad is ASE master certified and AAM designated as well. He is currently on the Board of Directors for ASE and ASA Colorado, with past board involvement with CCPN and the TECHNET Automotive Council. He has had the added privilege of being designated as one of the Motor Age Top shops in the country. And hopes to continue to raise the awareness and importance of Independent automotive repair across the country. Brad’s previous episodes HERE.

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. Listen to Scott’s previous episodes HERE

Key Talking Points

  • What was the most rewarding experience in your career? Had already started scaling a virtual studio prior to COVID 19 shutdown and was able to launch virtual classrooms.
  • How did you start your Allstar network of surrounding people? Connected with people through internet groups at first. Listened intently to people’s attitudes and passions. 
  • Advice- pay it forward, remember the basics, be servants in the industry for others 
  • How important is it to have personal relationships? Businesses grow through personal relationships. Don’t be worried about hurting someone’s feelings or being transparent when times are tough. Technology changes but you always have 24 hours in a day. Do the right things at the right time- manage that time well. 
  • Do you have any regrets? Ideas that weren’t put into action but if you sit long enough you’ll find regrets, don’t sit on them.
  • Service ready shop- specialization is necessary for the future. The challenge is the critical need to ensure the technicians have the skills to be able to solve problems. Competency.
  • Technician shortage- creating a specialist/career path for the younger generation. Hold people to standard with training. Create a personal relationship with vocational school instructors and offer support. Offer to tell your story of how you started in the industry. Invest in the people you already have- growing with skills that meet your business model. Erosion of technicians- is this all there is? Is this all I’ll ever do and be? Are you charging enough so you can pay your employees what they are worth?
  • Full EV disruption- CTI has created EV content for training (virtual and hands on), EV is a disruptor but where? Market location, and how you prepared prior (first Prius is 20 years old). Challenges- EV doesn’t only mean battery electric vehicles, most will be hybrid. Infrastructure issues for charging and hydrogen.
  • What’s next for Chris Chesney? He isn’t leaving the industry
  • A special thanks to Chris Chesney for his contribution to the aftermarket.

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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!