After exactly twenty years as a mechanical engineer, I have been fortunate enough to be able to act upon a dream I’ve had since I was 19 years old. . . to own and manage an auto repair facility.  At a little less than a month in, I can safely say that I made the right decision and I couldn’t be happier.  From the people I’ve met in the local small business community to the loyal customers of the previous owner (who started the business 32 years ago), everyone is so helpful & pleasant to deal with that I’m kicking myself for not hanging up my corporate hat sooner.  Very few people get to do what they want to do in life and I consider myself very fortunate.  When people ask me why I made such a radical career move, I like to say that I did what I had to do for the first twenty years of my career and for the last twenty I’m going to do what I want to do!

A little more about me. . . In my previous life, I’ve worked on the space program, several defense contractors, and a tier one supplier to GM.  I’ve designed, manufactured, and tested everything from small flapper valves to military aircraft and everything contained within them.  I’ve been a car guy since I was 16 and always wanted to work with cars.  With my education and experience, I was always qualified to do so but was never willing to move to the hot and humid mid-west, to the heart of the action so to speak.

One of the very helpful people I met early in this next chapter of life gave me some great advice.  He told me I have three choices, be the best, be the cheapest, or be different.  Well, I’m way too humble to ever be able to say we’re the best.  I take way too much pride in our abilities &  work to be able to claim we’re the cheapest (and we’d never be able to prove it anyway) so that leaves being different. . .

One of things I learned in corporate life (or working in any large organization) is the importance of communication.  When to assert vs. when to listen & when to initiate a conversation vs. when to let the other party initiate.  Also, everybody is different so I must be able to communicate in a way that you, my customer, are comfortable with.  I hope that is what will set us apart.  It is important for me to explain things in a way that you understand.  Fortunately, I have the experience & ability to dive deep “into the weeds” on technical issues if required but I am keenly aware that the vast majority of people just want to understand the situation to the point that they feel comfortable that they’re getting a square deal and they’re not getting taken.  That is the largest single challenge I see going forward.  I have never had a problem paying for a service when I understood it’s value and I think most people feel the same way.

Be you a person who had been coming to Fred for 30 years or a potential new customer just looking for someone you can trust, we hope to be able to serve you in a way that does justice to Fred’s legacy and makes us a trusted partner in the care of what is one of the largest single purchases you make throughout your life.

Very humbly,

Paul Coates