Friday, July 30, 2021 | August 2021

IMAGINE A TWO-PERSON MOM-AND-POP SHOP. He is the wrench and she takes care of the office, helping out as she can in the shop. One Sunday afternoon, doing some yard work, he gets injured trimming a tree. Her priority is to first take care of him, and then her attention moves to the shop and what to do about a full week’s schedule of cars (not to mention the ones leftover from last week).

She sends out a distress email, but not asking for help; she needs advice on how to proceed. Several local members put their heads together and decide they need to send help to her. They’ll each take turns over the next few weeks donating time and/or technicians until she gets things under control and is able to bring on help. That’s how her member network responded.

You cannot just join MWACA, become a member, and expect other members to join in and help in a crisis—it’s not that easy. You have to show up, build relationships, make connections and be there for others before you expect to receive.

The scene above actually happened a few years ago and a similar scenario played out a few years later. This time it involved a sudden death of a shop owner. Chapter members chipped in and helped get through the initial shock and adjustment. Later, through relationships built over the years, the widow selected mentors who could help in areas of need such as marketing and building a new team and a new brand for the shop.

It takes a village. I recently was at the local auto trade school job fair. I met a lot of nice young people. I myself was looking for a young person to bring into the shop and groom into an additional tech. One particular individual I spoke with shared her goals with me and I immediately thought of a shop owner who would be a perfect fit for both. I put the two together and that shop scored a hire. I did not.

Now, had the receiving shop owner not been connected (and had I not known the culture of the shop) I would have never put the two together. This time it was a success.

I am sure there are many more stories such as these and I would love to hear them if you care to share them. The point is, we are happy to help. Let us know the issues you face. We work hard to provide benefits to help our shops succeed.