Letter to the Editor: Remembering Gordie Lewis
Editor's Note: The late Gordie Lewis was a longtime member of Independent Garage Owners Association (IGOA). IGOA became Automotive Service Councils (ASC), which later consolidated with the Independent Automotive Service Association (IASA) to form today's Automotive Service Association (ASA). Lewis was active with ASA-Pennsylvania, having served as state president. He was also involved in emissions testing regulations for Pennsylvania, working with Don Randall, ASA's former legislative representative in Washington, D.C.
I was thinking the other day, as we approach our 30th year in business, of the people who have made a difference in my life. People who have taken me under their wing. A dear friend of mine, Gordie Lewis, was one of those people. He recently passed away, and his death got me thinking of how we met. I remember back in 1979 when Gordie came to my shop; it was just me back then. He told me about this association - Automotive Service Councils (ASC) - and invited me to a meeting. I went and then joined. I met some great guys through ASC and learned a lot. It was not long after I became active in our local chapter that Gordie introduced me to our state meetings, where he would always take the time to introduce me to his friends. In a short time, I became involved at the state level.
As time passed, our wives became friends, and we started going to the Congress of Automotive Repair and Service (CARS) together. We went to CARS classes, where I met many more of his friends. After a while, I got active with the Mechanical Operations Committee and the Automotive Management Institute (AMI). It is clear to me that if Gordie had never taken the time to come to my one-man shop and invite me to a meeting, that things would be very different for me today.
Over my many years of association with ASA, I have gained so much knowledge when it comes to managing a shop. And ASA has helped me 100 times more than the dues that I have paid into the organization. Today, my son is our shop's general manager. One of the reasons we work so well together is that we learned a lot of great lessons from Gordie.
Life is about who you are and not what you do. Be a mentor to someone. Invite them to a meeting. Remember the story about the boy who threw a pebble in the pond? You never know where the ripple will stop. Gordie created ripples in my life.
- John Francis Jr.
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