This will likely be my last President’s Message for our blog, as two two-year terms as president is the maximum, according to the bylaws. I’ll still be voicing opinions on just about everything that happens, and some might even make it into an article.

My goals as president of MWACA were simple: increase membership and help develop a fund to help provide scholarships for students entering our industry. The formation of MWACA, the incredible benefits we can offer, and now, the membership director, Dustin Holland, that has come on board, should send membership soaring.

Our TTEF scholarship fund is slowly growing, and we hope to eventually have enough funds that the earned interest will provide the scholarships. Imagine several self-sustaining automotive scholarships!

Those were my goals, but one of the finest benefits of membership is the relationships I have developed over the years. Those relationships were highlighted this past Labor Day weekend, and I was so touched that I have to share it with you.

I am frugal (cheap). If there is something I can do, I’ll usually try to do it myself if I can save a buck doing so. When paint started coming off my building in sheets last year, I asked one of my neighbors how much she had paid to have her comparable sized building painted a short time earlier. She told me $15,000, and it was a metal building. My block building needed some mortar repair; most of the old, bubbling paint needed to be removed, and then it needed new primer and paint. It looked like it was really going to be expensive. In May, I rented a boom lift and started scraping, grinding, and tuckpointing. When the weather got too hot, I went on hold. Going into September, I realized that this job needed to be completed, and soon. One problem is that in the years since Parkinson’s disease symptoms started affecting me, I just can’t do anything fast anymore. I had mentioned in an email to Sheri that “This paint job has to be done by the end of Labor Day weekend”. Sensing my stress level and also realizing that there was no way this project was going to get completed on my own, she secretly reached out to Avery, who had already offered to come in on the holiday weekend to help. Sheri began coordinating with Avery, Shelly, and Kris to assess the project and my schedule, and she then began contacting MWACA members, staff, and supporters. When I turned into the shop parking lot Saturday morning, instead of seeing Avery standing there waiting to help, I saw eight people there waiting to remove old caulk and paint, scrape and grind, repair mortar, and mask off the metal trim. There was an unbelievable amount of work that needed to be accomplished and it wasn’t going to happen with just Avery, my wife Kris, and me.

On Sunday we had a few less people but still got the prime coat on, and on Labor Day, Sheri and Bob, Kris, and I finished spraying the final coat, unmasking, and cleaning up the mess. I was flabbergasted that so many people had taken a day (3 days for Sheri and Bob) to help me. I had gotten very emotional when I saw the big group there to help, when they probably had many other things they would rather be doing. I cannot describe the feelings and thoughts that went through my mind when I saw the results of these fantastic people’s help.

This is MWACA! This is what we envisioned. A group of people doing similar kinds of work. A network of people that share their common problems and solutions openly. A group of members willing to give up a holiday to help another member.

I just can’t put into words how much it meant to me to see all of these people here, ready to work. Thank you, thank you, thank you to:

  • Avery Smith
  • Mandy Walton
  • Heather Sebben
  • Tony Sebben
  • Rory Perrodin
  • Shawn Fischer
  • Joe Sevart
  • Tony Adams
  • *My lovely wife Kris
  • *Sheri Hamilton
  • *Bob Hamilton

* = extra love and thanks


President of MWACA
Owner of S&S Service Center