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Jiffy Lube of Indiana Expands Art Project

Wisconsin Auto Shop Car Show Benefits Homeless Vets

Big O Tires Recognizes Franchisees of the Year

AMRA Fall Technical Meeting

Construction Underway on WLR Automotive Group’s 20th Store

Federated Awards Car Care Scholarships

Midas Recognizes Franchisees of the Year

VIP Tires & Service Opens New Store and Launches Oil Changes for Education Program

Max Auto Implements ESOP

Jiffy Lube of Indiana Expands Art Project

In collaboration with the Arts Council of Indianapolis, Jiffy Lube of Indiana expanded their “Every Part Matters” mural project to include 10 new murals on exterior walls of their buildings around the state, with a focus on Indianapolis.

The project is being facilitated by the Arts Council of Indianapolis, and the murals will be created by Indiana artists. Muralists include William Denton Ray, who designs Sun King’s branding and cans, and Carl Leck, who creates popular murals throughout Indianapolis. Jiffy Lube of Indiana hopes to set an example of how businesses can contribute and support the community in creative ways not normally associated with their specific line of business.

“Public art is a place-based investment that can add to the cultural identity of a neighborhood,” said Dave Lawrence, president and CEO of the Arts Council of Indianapolis. “This partnership allows us to continue our work of ensuring quality arts experiences are accessible in every Indianapolis neighborhood. We applaud Jiffy Lube’s commitment to giving back to the community through the arts.”

Six murals are set to be completed in 2018. The remaining four will follow in 2019. Current “Every Part Matters” murals can be found at four Indianapolis Jiffy Lube locations.

“Since 1985, Jiffy Lube of Indiana has been committed to Growing People Through Work and to the reality that Every Part (of our community and our business) Matters,” explained Jiffy Lube owner Steve Sanner. “We work hard to challenge our employees to reach their full potential and to expose them to things that may be outside their typical comfort zone. Our commitment to public art provides both internal and external benefits to our people and the communities in which we work and live.

“We began this project with three murals in conjunction with The Department of Public Works. We are now very excited to expand our reach with the help of the incredibly passionate staff at the Arts Council of Indianapolis. We are also having fun with the element of surprise. As strange as it seems to us, most people have never used Jiffy Lube and public art in the same sentence — at least until now!” Back to Top

Wisconsin Auto Shop Car Show Benefits Homeless Vets

A Janesville, Wisconsin, auto service shop planned a charity car show to benefit local homeless military veterans.

Pomp’s Tire & Auto Service held Pomp’s Power Show August 25. The car show benefitted veterans through the Janesville Patriotic Society and Housing 4 Our Vets. It’s the third time Pomp’s has hosted the show but the first time that it has donated the proceeds to a group that helps local homeless veterans.

Most of the proceeds went toward homeless veteran housing services through Housing 4 Our Vets, shop manager Scott Rooney told the GazetteXtra. A small portion was donated to fixing and replacing broken or worn-out metal placards on grave markers of veterans buried in a Janesville cemetery.

“It’s kind of a past and present military veterans’ tribute,” Rooney told the GazetteXtra.

Rooney said a local tree service provided a large lift to hoist a 25-foot-by-40-foot flag 60 feet off the ground. The flag hung high above the car show and its sideline entertainment — music from a local radio station and a kids’ bounce house.

Rooney said Pomp’s chose months ago to donate to a homeless veterans support group but added the choice hit home after news coverage that a homeless Vietnam veteran, Dan Eccles, was found dead in the Rock River in Wisconsin.

“I read the stories in the newspaper and I thought that, hopefully, the community can come together a little bit and, hopefully, make a difference with the situation we’ve got going on,” Rooney told the GazetteXtra. Back to Top

Big O Tires Recognizes Franchisees of the Year

Brian Cunningham, Chad Cunningham and John Kairys

Big O Tires recently recognized the 2017 Franchisees of the Year.

    • Brian and Chad Cunningham, multi-store owners in Colorado
    • Kent and Kory Coleman, multi-store owners in Utah
    • Chris Monteverde, multi-store owner in California
The top 40 stores, based on numerical results, are eligible. Candidates submit information on their community involvement, and an executive committee considers that material, along with feedback from other franchisees to make a final decision. The program recognizes franchisees, that have done an exceptional job in implementing best practices, succeeding in the industry and giving back to both their fellow franchisees and their communities.

Kent Coleman, Kory Coleman and John Kairys

“The Franchisee of the Year program allows us to recognize franchisees that are performing in their stores as well as making an impact in their local communities,” said John Kairys, vice president and general manager of Big O Tires. “On behalf of the Big O Tires organization, I am proud to recognize Brian, Chad, Kent, Kory and Chris on their exemplary work and their commitment to the Big O Tires brand.”

Brian and Chad Cunningham pride themselves on focusing their business on the needs of their customers to ensure that every customer leaves happy. Their desire to help extends to their community, as well, through their involvement with local organizations. Through their solid foundation and dedication to teamwork, the team is able to deliver the exceptional service their customers have come to expect.

Chris Monteverde and John Kairys

Kent and Kory Coleman believe the recipe for success lies in investing in their business, their people, their facilities and their community to create a long-term impact. They have successfully created a workplace their team members are proud of and strive to exceed customer expectations.

Chris Monteverde believes in investing in his locations and his associates. He acknowledges that training is essential for continual growth and has a dedicated training room for associate development opportunities. Chris’ desire to give back extends beyond his locations, and he is committed to giving back to his community.

Recipients were recognized at the annual convention in San Antonio, Texas, alongside fellow franchisees, managers, corporate associates and supplier partners. Back to Top

AMRA Fall Technical Meeting

On August 30 and 31, 76 industry professionals and executives from leading companies in the automotive aftermarket industry met in Chicago for the Motorist Assurance Program (MAP) Fall Technical meeting sponsored by the Automotive Maintenance and Repair Association (AMRA). The day-and-a-half meeting included informative and technical presentations covering topics that affect how service providers repair and maintain vehicles today, as well as their ability to build trust with the motorist.

The topics highlighted in the meeting were:

  • “Battery Technology” – Jeremy Cordray, NorthStar Battery
  • “Battery Application and Fitment” – Glenn Perrini, East Penn Manufacturing Company
  • “Battery System Testing” – John Sowder, Midtronics
  • “Battery Charging” – Gary Mackey, Associated Equipment Corp.
  • “Telematics and the Supply Chain” – Jon Owen, Epicor Software
  • “Automotive Telematics Systems” – Aaron Lowe, Auto Care Association
  • “Connected Mobility Solutions” – Kevin Mull, Bosch – Automotive Systems
  • “Cabin Air Quality” – Bruce Dobbs, C.A.T. Inc./Run-Rite
The event began with an in-depth battery segment, covering new technologies, testing, charging and fitment. This was followed by a panel discussion involving NorthStar Battery, East Penn Manufacturing Company, Midtronics, Associated Equipment Corp. and Interstate Batteries. The afternoon focused on automotive telematics systems. With presentations covering both aftermarket and OEM systems, their capabilities and some of the opportunities and obstacles for the aftermarket. Day one ended with a networking dinner at a local upscale restaurant, allowing attendees to network and enjoy food and drinks while discussing the day’s meeting. AMRA also presented the finalized review of the Uniform Inspection and Communication Standards (UICS) covering components in the vehicle brake category and announced air conditioning will be the next category reviewed.

AMRA and MAP host three Technical Meetings each year that are open to all members. Each meeting includes presentations to provide relevant knowledge on servicing the latest vehicle systems to service providers, as well as ensuring the UICS are updated. The next Technical Committee Meeting will be held January 15-16 in Orlando. Back to Top

Construction Underway on WLR Automotive Group’s 20th Store

WLR Automotive Group, Inc. started construction on the company’s newest location on July 19. The new location is slated to open in Spring 2019 and marks the company’s 20th store location opening. In addition to express car wash locations, WLR Automotive Group includes vehicle maintenance centers (The Lube Center), full-service car washes (The Auto Spa) and repair facilities (The Auto Repair).

The new Auto Spa Express is located directly across the street from The Lube Center in Frederick, Maryland.

“We are thrilled to open our second Auto Spa Express location that will feature some of the most innovative car wash equipment in the country,” said Randall Simpson, president and CEO of WLR Automotive Group. “We look forward to introducing the Frederick community to our unique, state-of-the-art express car wash experience.”

The new location will include a 110-foot-long tunnel that can wash up to 200 vehicles per hour, drastically reducing customer wait time. In addition, this location has the most up-to-date features in the car wash industry, with free vacuums, clear roof design and LED lighting. Back to Top

Federated Awards Car Care Scholarships

Five outstanding students have been awarded Federated Car Care scholarships for the 2018-2019 academic year: Colby Foster of Rockport, Massachusetts; Noah Padisak of Snow Shoe, Pennsylvania; Alexander Pearl of Salem, Connecticut; Erica VanVessen of Felton, Delaware; and Kaylee Wilcox of Buffalo, New York. Federated Car Care Scholarships are awarded to the employees or children of Federated Car Care Center members. The program is funded by Fisher Auto Parts and administered by the University of the Aftermarket Foundation in memory of the late Art Fisher, founder of Federated Auto Parts.

To be considered, applicants must meet the criteria outlined in the Federated section of the foundation’s Automotive Aftermarket Scholarship Central website and must name Federated in the sponsor section of their completed application. As an added bonus, each application is considered for all scholarships listed on where qualifications are met. Scholarship applications for the 2019-20 academic year are currently being accepted.

“We are proud to present each of these exceptional young men and women with a Federated Car Care scholarship,” said Bo Fisher, chairman of Federated Auto Parts. “All five are excellent students who are involved in their respective communities. We wish them well as they continue their educations and pursue aftermarket careers.” Back to Top

Midas Recognizes Franchisees of the Year

Craig Pitman

Midas recently announced the recipients of the Midas Franchisee of the Year Award. The awards were implemented in 2016 to highlight franchisees commitment to Midas’ core values, as well as sales growth, community involvement, business engagement and loyalty to the brand.

The 2017 Franchisees of the Year are: Judd Shader, multi-store owner of the Leeds West group; Rhen Morales, multi-store owner; and Craig Pitman.

“I am honored to recognize Judd, Rhen and Craig as our 2017 Franchisees of the Year,” said Ron Seagle, vice president and general manager for Midas. “The dedication they show to their customers, their business, their communities and the Midas brand is exemplary, and we are both fortunate and proud to have them as part of the Midas family.”

(l. to r.) David Lynch, Midas Western Division VP; Rhenish Morales; Joyce Morales; Jim Doliber, Midas region sales manager

Judd Shader, this year’s multi-shop Franchisee of the Year recipient, is driven to excel. Team members at his King of Prussia location, overseen by district manager Jim Leary, a former police officer and firefighter, pride themselves in greeting customers with a warm welcome, providing exceptional service and giving back to the community. Shader encourages all of his managers to give back and demonstrates the philosophy by being active in the Midas partnership with community food banks through the Drive Out Hunger initiative. The team offers free oil changes to customers who donate at least 10 cans of food. Additionally, the King of Prussia team donates their car-repair skills free of charge to families with cancer-stricken children, volunteers and raises funds for a law enforcement bereavement organization and children’s hospital, discounts repairs for first responders’ personal vehicles and sponsors little-league and school events.

(l. to r.) Jeff Genuario, Leeds West chief operations officer; Judd Shader, Leeds West chief executive officer; Ron Seagle, Midas vice president & GM; Brady Miller, Leeds West chief financial officer; Alan Mahrt, Auto Service Experts chief operations officer; and Bill Birkins, TBC senior vice president, Franchise Leadership

Rhen Morales joined Midas in 2014. Since becoming a franchisee, he has expanded to three locations with double-digit sales increases. Morales is highly engaged in his business; he explained he regularly huddles with his teams, setting goals and monitoring their performance, as well as providing them with training opportunities. Morales described his team as one that does not gauge their work by award recognition; they are simply dedicated to doing their job to the best of their ability. The team embodies the Midas core values and is committed to being partners with their customers and building trusting relationships.

Craig Pitman opened his downtown Toronto store in August 2016 and has excelled ever since. Pitman has seen exponential growth in the last year alone. Not only has Pitman’s store sales increased by 50 percent (he is targeting another 50 percent in the next year), but he has also tripled the size of his team to better serve customers and plans on growing his store count with Midas. Through co-op opportunities to facilitate growth, Pitman is able to give back to his local community and future generations. Back to Top

Women in Auto Care Reaches Milestone with $100K in Scholarships

Women in Auto Care, a community of the Auto Care Association, recently announced it reached a milestone in scholarship funding and tool sets for women in the auto care industry. The group’s scholarship funding began with $2,000 back in 2004 and has now expanded to $100,000 for 2018.

This year, the $100,000 is comprised of $75,000 in scholarship funds and $25,000 in tool sets. Women in Auto Care selected 30 women as the recipients of this year’s scholarships.

“We are so proud to see the tremendous growth of the Women in Auto Care scholarships over the last 14 years, and we are thrilled to be able to empower more and more women each year in our industry through this opportunity,” said Danielle Sonnefeld, education committee chair, Women in Auto Care.

The top 2018 scholarship recipient, Christina Schneider, was selected to receive the top scholarship of $10,000. In her application, Schneider shared a personal story of how she managed to take a difficult situation in her life and turn it around for the better through a career in the automotive industry. Schneider will be flown out to Las Vegas and honored at the Women in Auto Care reception during the annual Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX) show.

Women in Auto Care thanks its sponsors, membership, University of the Aftermarket Foundation, TechForce and Cornwell tools for their contributions and support of the scholarships. Back to Top

VIP Tires & Service Opens New Store and Launches Oil Changes for Education Program

VIP Tires & Service recently opened a new store in West London, New Hampshire, the company’s 57th store in Northern New England. VIP now has 19 locations in New Hampshire, three in Massachusetts and 35 in Maine.

“The Upper Valley of New Hampshire and Vermont is a strong and growing market and one that we’ve wanted to have a presence in for a long time,” said Tim Winkeler, president and COO, VIP Tires & Service. “VIP is already a well-recognized brand in New Hampshire and our new location, just off Main Street in West Lebanon, is perfectly situated to service all of the communities of the Upper Valley.

“With our 93 years in business and our dedication to service excellence, it’s our goal to become the local community’s trusted hometown provider for everything automotive.”

VIP’s new West Lebanon store boasts 3,200 square feet and six full bays, plus on-site storage for more than 1,500 tires, which will allow the company to provide its customers prompt and unbeatable customer service. Additional renovation highlights include:

  • Raising the showroom ceiling from 7 to 12 feet and adding large windows between the showroom and bays so that customers can watch their vehicles while they are being worked on
  • Installing all new lifts in the shop, as well as state-of-the-art alignment and tire equipment
  • Creating a 30-foot tire display wall so customers can make selections more easily
  • Installing an ADA-compliant entrance ramp for greater customer accessibility
  • Updating existing customer restrooms and building a new employee restroom
  • Installing all new heating systems
  • Refurbishing the exterior with an all-glass front, new paint and signage
The new store opened on August 18, 2018, and an official ribbon cutting ceremony occurred on Thursday, August 23, at 4 p.m. Assistant Mayor Timothy McNamara was on hand to welcome VIP to West Lebanon. VIP hosted a grand opening celebration for the community the weekend of August 24-26.

In addition to food and festivities during the grand opening weekend, VIP also launched a new initiative — called ‘Oil Changes for Education’ to support thousands of children in the Lebanon and Hartford School Districts. From August through the end of October, VIP offered $10 oil changes to all customers at the new store with 100-percent of the proceeds donated directly to local schools. Schools receiving the donations included: Hanover Street Elementary School, Mt. Lebanon Elementary School, Lebanon Middle School, Lebanon High School, White River School, Hartford Memorial Middle School and Hartford High School.

“When we enter a new market, we want to become active in the local community — it’s part of our company culture,” Winkeler said. “While we were working on the new store, an article crossed my desk that detailed the enormous financial needs of the local schools. My team reached out to the superintendents of both the Lebanon and Hartford School Districts and asked how we could get involved. Together, we came up with the idea of ‘Oil Changes for Education.’ Our goal is to raise funds to support student curriculum and activity needs at the seven schools. It’s a win-win for everyone, because no one does $10 oil change anymore, and 100 percent of the proceeds will benefit so many children in the local community.” Back to Top

Max Auto Implements ESOP

Verit Advisors, a Chicago-based investment banking firm, recently announced the completion of the 100-percent sale of Max Auto Supply Company to an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP). Max Auto is the largest franchisee of Midas auto care and repair centers in the country with locations across Ohio, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Georgia. Founded in 1956, Max Auto has grown to 113 locations.

“It was an honor for Verit to help Max Auto achieve its objectives by implementing an ESOP. The company sees significant upside in aligning the goals of all employees to continue to perpetuate the success of Max, as well as creating an excellent retirement benefit opportunity for the employees.”

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