In their own words:
I got into auto repair because I was really hard on cars and they would break and since I was a student, I could not afford to pay to have them fixed. I worked my way through college building VW engines in my garage and eventually for a local engine building company.
While finishing up my college education, the shop owner I worked for decided to get out of the business. He offered me the business at a great price. I begged and borrowed enough money to buy the business. I immediately discovered that what I learned in college about business had almost no application in my small shop. Luckily the previous owner had done a very good job of setting up the production processes which helped me survive long enough to figure it out the business side.
Laurie joined me in the business after we both worked briefly for another company in a different industry to get some perspective on our business.
We learned about our local chapter when an insurance agent told us how much money we could save using the ASCCA insurance program. I attended a couple of meetings and found out that the shop owners who attended were a wealth of information for things I thought I had to figure out on my own, or thought I had figured out but found out they had much better answers!
Becoming a member of ASCCA took our business to a whole new level - it gave us people we could call who knew exactly what we were going through, and who usually had the answers we needed. Never having worked in the industry other than at the shop we ended up owning, we had no friends in the business, so ASCCA really helped us propel the business forward. We ended up joining the local Chapter Board and then I was elected to the ASCCA state Board. This introduced us to some of the top shop owners in the state, who then became additional resources for us. I can safely say that without joining ASCCA our business would not be what it is today.
The best advice I can give a new member is GET INVOLVED! I believe that is the true value of membership, having the resources of all the other ASCCA members, especially through the medium of team talk and the local meetings. There is nothing like having dinner with other shop owners to get ideas and solutions for the improved and successful day-to-day operation of the business. Not to mention you will probably make some great new friends!