Judy Zimmerman Walter is co-owner with her uncles and the CFO of, this 57-year young service business. Zimmerman’s Automotive, Mechanicsburg, PA is a true blue ‘family enterprise’ with 12 out of a team of 29 team members that are ‘IN THE FAMILY’. Zimmerman’s is a top automotive repair facility along with a quick lube and a used car division.
Among her involvement: Women’s Board of the Car Care Council, AASP-PA Alliance of Automotive Service Providers, and the Auto Care Association. Listen to Judy’s other episodes HERE.
Joe Hanson owns Gordie’s Garage. Joe has attended Management Success, NAPA training, Lawrence Tech University and most recently he is a member of the RLO 20 Group 13. He has earned his ASE C1: Automobile Service Consultant Certification. Under his father’s leadership, he has seen what it really takes to make a business like this work. Listen to Joe’s Episodes HERE.
John KlarkowskiKey Talking Points:
Growing up in the family business and deciding to work in the family business
Judy’s Rule: You have to work 2 years somewhere else first, instead of expecting/assuming them to work in the family business
Finding your own way first then can always circle back to the family business later
“I’m here because I have to be here” mentality is a responsibility that will lead to resentment long term
Introduce to beginning stages- cleaning shop
Team concept and positive culture
Treat employees like family
Everyone’s treated the same
Family dynamics have to be separate
Failure is learning
Giving space- share your own mistakes but don’t try to intervene
“Quarterbacking” instead of forcing a certain way
Regretful or grateful
Heightened emotions with family
Not giving things time to work out, treating family members with disrespect
Experience trumps new ideas
Let your family members know your feelings- call them after work
Nurturing the following generation
Guidance and positive reinforcement, moral support
Put things in perspective about the journey
Recognize if you work well together or not well together
Recognize your communication style among family members
Family issues and business issues are checked at the door- no fighting in front of other employees
Keep it simple- find out/analyze whole story first then react after
Focus on celebrating it is a family business and working together
A special thanks to Judy Walter, John Klarkowski and Joe Hanson for their contribution to the aftermarket.
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