By pursuing the best training in the industry and approaching life with a positive “can do” approach, our new manager in Richmond Duane McGarry is fulfilling his dreams. He has been chosen to develop our new location by assembling a strong team and fostering a positive attitude during these uncertain times.
Duane joined the Mike’s Auto Body team 5 years ago, but has a total of 20-plus years of industry experience, and is more than capable of handling our collision facility in Richmond, CA. By focusing on the details and being 100% in it to win it for his shop and crew, Duane is going for the gold. Leading a staff of highly-skilled I-CAR trained body and paint technicians and an experienced front office staff, everyone at Mike’s Auto Body is pleased to have Duane at the helm in Richmond, one of our newest locations.
Duane moved up the ladder within the collision repair industry while working at other Bay Area shops before joining our team in 2015. “I started out as a porter, first cleaning up and then polishing vehicles,” he said. “At that time, I wanted to be a painter, but getting booth time was limited. At one point I told myself, I need to start finding a job that is less physically challenging if I want to have a long career in this business.”
So, Duane found a new role and jumped right in without hesitation or trepidation. “I became a Parts Manager for six months and then I started looking around to work for a larger company offering more opportunity,” he said. “So, I interviewed with Mike’s Auto Body and three days later I was hired as the company’s Parts Manager at our Pittsburg, CA location.”
By working hand-in-hand with estimators and technicians, Duane thrived in the job by leveraging his parts knowledge and problem-solving attitude. “I encouraged the techs and estimators to use their cell phones and take photos if they had any questions about any part. When it comes to both OE and aftermarket parts, fit and quality are important, and at Mike’s we always use the best parts available.”
Soon, Duane received a promotion and became the Production Manager at our Fremont Street location, and eight months later he was transferred to VDM in Concord to run production. “I started writing estimates at that time and that helped me even more because I had some excellent teachers here at Mike’s. Estimators handle a repair from start to finish and I liked that part of it.”
Currently, Duane holds the coveted I-CAR Gold Certification based on in-depth instruction and testing and is working toward the ultimate—the Platinum Certification from I-CAR that only the best-of-the-best in this industry can attain.
As Duane’s career was on the rise, things were instantly put on pause when he and his wife Danielle encountered a life-changing series of events when the doctor gave them some bad news about their son. “We found out that Kevin had cancer of the brain,” he said. “It was November 12, 2018 when they found a tumor and our lives changed dramatically from that day on.”
Kevin spent his second birthday in the hospital as the entire family went into “fight mode,” he said. “We began learning as much as we possibly could about a rare form of cancer that only 178 people contracted last year. After 8-9 hours of brain surgery followed by 33 rounds of radiation, Kevin saw gradual progress with a clean MRI.”
On January 4, 2019, Kevin was released from the hospital after a 54-day stay there. It was a difficult period of time, but the Rose family and the people at Mike’s were so supportive it made things less stressful if possible. “I needed some time off and the Roses were so amazing, it was unbelievable. They came to the hospital several times, including Kevin’s birthday and Christmas. They treated us like family and I will always be grateful for what they did for us and my son. They stood by us the entire time and today Kevin is doing well—the doctors said they got 100 percent of the tumor and the surrounding areas.”
Congratulations Duane for being an integral part of our management team!