I was born in England, traveled to America on the Queen Elizabeth in 1948, settled in Washington state at the young age of nine and have been here ever since.
During high school I worked in a hardware/sporting goods store, this experience has proven to be very valuable over the years. After finishing school and serving in the U.S. Navy, I married Cherie, one of my better moves. We celebrated our 42nd anniversary this year and are blessed with three children and four grandchildren.
After working in construction, plumbing and the insurance industry; I was offered a position in a paint and wallpaper retail business. They also sold and delivered auto body equipment and supplies to the collision industry. This was my first experience with the automotive repair industry, but it would not be my last. It proved to be a great opportunity that opened many doors to the future for both Cherie and myself.
After working in outside sales for six years, representing their automotive department, Cherie and I were able to start our own auto body supply business in 1968. It wasn’t fancy, we started in an old building that we shared with a feed mill.
To make a long story short, over the next twelve years, we built a new 6,500 square foot building and purchased two more facilities, giving us stores in Tacoma, Puyallup and Burien. With the help of several dedicated employees, our efforts proved to be very rewarding. The automotive industry has been very good to us.
During this time, we were very active in IGO and ASC, later to become ASA. I served several leadership positions on both the local and state level, including ASC Washington State President in 1976. That same year, I was presented the “Outstanding Member of The Year” award, the highest award bestowed on any ASA Washington member.
In 1980, we were presented with an opportunity to sell our business. After selling, we thought our involvement with the association and the automotive industry was behind us. At that time, we were presented with an “Honorary Member” award from the association.
In 1982, we were approached by ASC Washington and asked if we were willing to volunteer a little time to assist in building the state association. The association had very few resources with a state wide membership of 102.
Cherie and I worked out of our extra bedroom and before long the volunteer factor became more than a full-time position for both of us. Over the years we have developed many friendships that we cherish very much. Our efforts have always been appreciated, it has been a pleasure to know and enjoy so many terrific people in the automotive industry.
It is now the year 2001, we have advanced far beyond the use of a bedroom for an association office. ASA-WA now owns our ASA-WA facility, state of the art equipment, three new association vans, employ five full-time employees and have a membership base of almost 900. Next month we will move again to a larger facility in the same complex.
In 1990, I was recognized by the Automotive Hall of Fame; in 1998, presented the “Chairman’s Humanitarian” award by ASA National; and in January 2000, I received the ASA-WA “Outstanding Member of The Millennium” award. In May of 2001 I received the Automotive Management Institute’s most prestigious honor – the AMI Annual Recognition Award.
I have served on advisory boards of several technical colleges, the Industry Technician Education Coalition (ITEC), the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR), presently fill a board position on the Better Business Bureau, and a member of the Washington Society of Association Executives. Next month, I have been asked to participate in a Strategic planning Meeting in Chicago for our national association. Cherie and I plan to retire from ASA in the next five years or so. Life is good!!!!