Greet Magazine Battle Ground Interview
How many people does the company employ? 12
How long has it been in business? 20 years
What prompted you to start your own business? Kevin had been running Art Morse Auto Repair after his father passed away, with his mom and brother; he was contemplating doing different things, since he no longer wanted to work on the mechanical side of things, when he met a man who owned both a mechanical shop AND a body shop. That gentlemen shared his insights with Kevin, and since the property right next door to Art Morse Auto Repair was already in the family (Art Sr. sold his corvette, and bought both properties when he saw the For Sale sign in the ditch), Kevin decided to build a body shop, since he loved cars so much, and moved in that direction.
Is there a special mission/purpose for your business you would like to share? Over the years we have been blessed to be small enough to shift quite quickly; and considering how the world is constantly evolving, that feels like a good thing. At one point in time we had some insurance contracts and learned all about DRP’s (direct repair programs) and how insurance companies use them to save money at the consumers expense. We wanted to START as a non DRP body shop, but Kevin said that wasn’t feasible without a customer base, so we built our reputation over the years to focus on quality. A few years ago, we terminated the couple of contracts we had, to focus on being our customers advocates and making sure their vehicles are properly repaired. Our goal is to return vehicles to a pre-loss condition following OEM procedures and to assist our customers to make sure they aren’t taken advantage of by the insurance company.
Do you have a company culture philosophy you are striving for? We are a family owned and operated small business. We focus on treating our employees and customers, the way we would want to be treated. We hired BJ Stromme, a business coach to share with our team, her book “Are You My Flock?” and brought a culture of understanding how each of us work as individuals and how we can thrive as a unit when peoples feelings don’t get hurt because of how someone else speaks to them. It has made our family environment even more enjoyable and new hires seem to have a smooth adjustment when they join our team, knowing we appreciate each person for the individual they are.
Describe what your company does: We safely repair wrecked vehicles, acting as a consumer advocate, doing our best to hold insurance companies accountable to repair vehicles to a pre-loss condition following OEM guidelines.
Anything extraordinary/unique that your company does: We take a personal interest in each customers repair process. We look up repair procedures, not everyone does that, because it costs money to buy the program as well as time for our staff to do that actual research and takes our technicians time to review the procedures, so that we are properly fixing cars. We do not use substandard aftermarket, insurance recommended parts, we only use OEM parts in the repair process.
Given your business expertise and the nature of what you do, what advice (whether general or specific) can you offer to the residents of your neighborhood? If you decide NOT to use us to fix your car, PLEASE choose a body shop that is not recommended by your insurance company. Unfortunately, as far as we can tell, insurance companies really only care about their bottom lines. For instance, we have heard an adjuster say “Most people get rid of their cars after an accident within 7 years, so we aren’t worried about how long the repairs last.” To us, that doesn’t scream that they care about your safety.
How did you decide on this industry (events that led up to where you are now, where you went to school, etc.)? Kevin has a love of cars like few others I know. His back ground in running a mechanical repair facility gave him the knowledge to hire and empower others around him, to build a collision repair facility.
Where did you grow up? Kevin was born and raised in Battle Ground. Deana was born and raised in Minnesota and relocated to the Battle Ground area when she was 15.
Tell us about your family: Our family has been serving Battle Ground for over 40 years. Hunter working at Art Morse Auto Repair makes us a 3rd generation family business.
What are your hobbies/interests? Kevin loves golf and plays in a league once a week. Deana enjoys working in her garden and tending to her chickens.
Any Fun Facts about you that might be fun to share? Deana is into alternative healing modalities, she came across Kangen water, bought a machine for at home and LOVED IT, she was tired of lugging water in for her employees every few days, so she bought a machine for staff to be able to use at Elite, and she created a “Kangen Fill Station” available to all the local residents, so more people can clean out their cells and live a better life!