How Strong Are Your Community Heart Strings? [RR 658]

Dena Ganje, My Mechanic, Tuscon, AZ.  At 19 she received her first car as a surprise from her future husband Billy, this was a vehicle he restored and since then she have been a part of the automotive industry in one aspect or another.

Key Talking Points

  • Community help- you have the time even if you don’t think you do. If you’re thinking about it, you’re already doing it and you need to put it into action. People think the little things don’t add up but it does. If your customers or employees ask for your help (sponsoring little league) find a way to help. What’s important to them should be important to you. Don’t feel pressured to purchasing top-level sponsorships, consider smaller donations so you do more.  
  • “People don’t care how much you know, they want to know how much you care.”
  • Driving Forward by My Mechanic is an idea in process. They have to date given away 4 vehicles to persons in need. These vehicles are either donated to or purchased by My Mechanic, typically from customers. They also include a care package of support with the donation such as a gift certificate for future maintenance or repair needs that may come up within the next year.  
  • Community support for someone else’s charity that helped with Dena’s charity- Southern Arizona Book Heroes is a Tucson local nonprofit that provides books to first responders to distribute to the Children within their reach. For Example, when a Police Officer is responding to an event and there is a child present they will have a duffel bag of books to choose something to share with the child. This effort will hopefully provide a distraction to the child reducing trauma as well as break down the barriers that 1st responders often face when working with Children. Lastly and equally important is to encourage literacy. The founder of SABH is a single mom, working full time and volunteers for the American Legion as well as running her own nonprofit. When she said she needed help to sort, organize and fill the bags Dena organized a volunteer day at My Mechanic to fill that need.  Employees, customers, and friends came to help. They sorted thousands of books, we filled almost a hundred bags. Over the next two weeks, SABH was able to deliver bags of books to 5 precincts all over Arizona. During the volunteer day, Dena became aware of the condition of the founder’s own vehicle. It was not reliable or safe. Everyone at My Mechanic nominated her for a car from driving forward. Following all that she posted about it on Facebook which created a great buzz online about our business and our charity. Resulting in another running vehicle to be donated to the program for the next person in need.   
  • “Cars are vessels of freedom.”
  • Culture- employees are able to see an impact of what they do beyond the day-to-day work. They are helping their community, they see the donation vehicle they’ve worked on be donated to someone in need. It’s more than a job.  
  • 1999- Billy Ganje worked as a full-time technician at local shops while working on vehicles on his own on the side. In 2008 opened his own repair shop. 2013 moved to a bigger building. 
  • BNI (Business Networking International- making a commitment to learn about other businesses in the community
  • Thanks to Dena Ganje for her contribution to the aftermarket’s premier podcast.
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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.

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