Ohio Shop Celebrating Its 91st Year
Standing the test of time, this small-town collision repair shop has paved its way to success, earning many distinctions along the way.
Mike Loy's Collision Inc. goes back a long way in Lewisburg, Ohio. Ninety-one years, to be exact.
Back to 1917.
Back three generations. Back to Mike's grandfather.
Back to a time when Mike's grandfather, Ernest Loy, painted vehicles with a paintbrush - and did such a good job that old-timers still recall that you couldn't even see the brush marks.
Ernest Loy was so good with the paintbrush that he just couldn't accept a new-fangled tool called a "spray gun" that his sons brought into the business when they joined it in 1940. It was the first spray gun brought into the shop, and Ernest Loy decided right then and there that it was time for him to quit.
He said it was time for his sons, Bill (Mike's father) and Ernie, to run things.
Ernest Loy, who started it all as a buggy shop - E. H. Loy - died in 1952 (the year Mike was born). He was 74 years old. When Mike's father and brother joined their father, the business's name was changed to E. H. Loy & Sons. After their father died, the brothers changed the name to Loy's Body Shop and moved it to the west edge of Lewisburg. Mike's father died in 1998 and his uncle died in 2003.
But Mike recalls what a fighter his uncle was. His uncle lost both legs in a bush hog (mower) accident, yet he came back to work. He worked in spite of being in a motorized wheelchair.
Mike grew up in the business and his father and uncle trained him. They trained him so well, in fact, that he has been named the Automotive Service Association (ASA)/National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Technician of the Year. He will receive his award during the 2008 National Autobody Congress and Exposition (NACE) in Las Vegas. The award recognizes the ASA Collision Division
Ten days after Mike's being informed of the ASA award, ASE called to congratulate him on winning the Snap-on/ASE Master Collision Repair and Refinish Technician of the Year award for the United States and Canada. That award comes with an all-expense-paid trip to San Diego for Mike and his wife, LuAnn, the second week after NACE.
"Wow, what an honor," Mike says of the awards.
Mike, 56, has the second oldest I-CAR Gold Class facility in Ohio and it is the only I-CAR Gold Class Shop in Preble County. He has been an I-CAR instructor 19 years and is the lead I-CAR instructor for Ohio. He is an I-CAR Platinum Individual. And he has been an I-CAR instructor qualification trainer and won the Instructor of the Year award in 1996 for the South Central Region.
He is a past president of the Dayton (Ohio) Auto Body Association, which is now called the Ohio Collision Repair Association.
Being in business hasn't always been smooth sailing, says Mike. One of the biggest obstacles he has faced was the realization he just couldn't afford to have the shop where he wanted it. He would love to be in the business's original location, but he just couldn't afford it. The property became too expensive, says Mike, so he moved to a newer and less expensive facility one mile west of Lewisburg.
Mike Loy's Collision strives for excellence and customer satisfaction. "We stand behind our work," says Mike.
Although he owns the business and his official title is "president," Mike wears many hats. He also serves as the estimator, negotiates with insurance companies and does structural repair.
Mike loves the diversity of each job. "We get a lot of satisfaction in returning a damaged vehicle to pre-accident condition," says Mike.
Mike says if he could change one thing, it would be to work less and enjoy the family more.
His plans for the future? To update the firm's spray booth for waterborne paint systems.
Shop StatsName: Mike Loy's Collision Inc.
Location: Lewisburg, Ohio
Size of shop: 3,750 square feet on 1.2 acres
Number of years in business: 91 years
Number of employees: Four
Why Mike Appreciates ASA: "I joined ASA for the wealth of knowledge available for owning and running a quality collision repair facility. The meetings, seminars, NACE, and legislative information we get keeps us current in the office and shop. And rubbing shoulders with other members helps keep us in tune with the industry. This is why I continue to be a member." - Mike Loy
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