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Episode 83 – Building on Your Passion and Giving Back

Episode 83 – Building on Your Passion and Giving Back

Guest: Brian Smith, Gig Harbor Automotive Service, Washington State


Brian Smith is the owner of Gig Harbor Automotive Service in Washington State. He started in the business when he was 16 years old, working in a gas station for what would become his future father and mother-in-law. His journey to own his own repair shop will be familiar to many ASA members who represent the baby boomer segment of our industry. Brian learned on the job and earned Master Technician status, but along the way he realized his interests were more in line with working on the business rather than in it. That dream was realized in 2008 when he and his wife opened Gig Harbor Automotive Service. Listen in as he discusses:

  • Learning on the job and discovering his true passion.
  • How his involvement as an ASA member led him to find his shop in Gig Harbor.
  • How the COVID pandemic affected his diverse customer base and his business.
  • His preference for traditional live training, but appreciation for the virtual events.
  • Why finding qualified technicians is a major concern.
  • How apprenticeship programs may be one answer to the problem of finding talent.
  • His succession plan for the business.
  • How ASA has contributed to his success and the value he sees in getting involved with an association.
  • The challenges he sees facing the industry, such as providing proper compensation for the skill level necessary to be a successful technician.
  • Looking into innovative ways to attract the next generation into the industry.
  • His involvement with the Advisory Council of a local Career & Technology Education program.
  • What he does to achieve a work/life balance in today’s market.
  • How he’s giving back to help the next generation of shop owners just as he was helped.

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