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  Shop Profile

Adversity Doesn’t Stop Phoenix Shop Owner

Posted 10/1/2013
By Levy Joffrion

Inspiring. That’s how many describe David “Dave” D. Martin, AAM, the owner of Martin’s Auto Repair in Phoenix.

Dave Martin started out – at the ripe old age of 10 – pulling weeds for Martin’s Auto Repair. Now he’s the owner/manager.

Dave was born with spina bifida, a birth defect in which the bones of the spine (vertebrae) do not form properly around the spinal cord. There is no cure for it, but surgery can help sometimes. Dave has had surgery, and it has helped, but he has always faced adversity.

It challenged him as a youngster. And it still challenges him. He can’t walk so he uses a wheelchair to get around. But that doesn’t slow him down.

In spite of the challenges life has thrown his way, Dave refuses to let it get the best of him. That’s why many call him “truly inspirational.”

The Martin’s Auto Repair team includes, from left: Justin Martin, technician; Sam Martinez, technician; Craig “C.J.” Oulton, shop foreman and lead master technician; Duwayne Ferreira, technician; Bonita “Bo” Martin, office manager and bookkeeper; Glenn Martin, service writer. In front is Dave Martin, owner/manager. Not shown, but also an employee, is Diana Moore, director of marketing and business relations. Three members of Dave’s family work at Martin’s Auto Repair. Bo is Dave’s wife. Glenn is Dave’s brother, and Justin is Dave’s nephew.

Today, Dave’s ASA-member shop is regarded as a top-notch independent repair facility. It has been family-owned and operated since 1971. It has state-of-the-art equipment and highly trained technicians ready to provide repair services on foreign and domestic vehicles.

Dave’s knowing what it takes to grow a successful business stems from his years in the industry. He literally grew up in it. He started working for Martin’s Auto Repair when he was about 10 years old. He pulled weeds in planter boxes and cleaned the shop. He worked his way up to managing his parents’ business and now he is the second-generation owner.

He has worked on vehicles and he can still “turn a wrench,” but his role now in the business is primarily managerial.

Dave’s business philosophy is, “If we work hard every day to take care of every customer, then everything else will take care of itself.”

He also says, “There is no better feeling than helping someone in need or just changing a moment in someone’s life for the better.”

Glen Martin, service adviser for Martin’s Auto Repair, helps a customer. At the desk is Austin Oulton, a summer technician. Glenn is Dave’s younger brother and grew up in the business just like Dave. Austin’s father is Craig Oulton, who is shop foreman and lead master technician.

That desire to help others is reflected in his involvement in the community. Martin’s Auto Repair supports the Spina Bifida Associ­ation of Arizona. Dave serves as chairman of the board of directors, and his employees volunteer at association events. He’s also vice president of the 16th Street Business and Neighborhood Alliance, which includes various businesses (including his own) along 16th Street in Phoenix working together to support the community around them. The organization holds family events such as its Fall Safety Festival to promote safety to those living in surrounding communities. In the spring, the Alliance sponsors a neighborhood cleanup effort, and recently adopted a portion of 16th Street to maintain and support.

That desire to help others is reflected in his involvement in the community. Martin’s Auto Repair supports the Spina Bifida Associ­ation of Arizona. Dave serves as chairman of the board of directors, and his employees volunteer at association events. He’s also vice president of the 16th Street Business and Neighborhood Alliance, which includes various businesses (including his own) along 16th Street in Phoenix working together to support the community around them. The organization holds family events such as its Fall Safety Festival to promote safety to those living in surrounding communities. In the spring, the Alliance sponsors a neighborhood cleanup effort, and recently adopted a portion of 16th Street to maintain and support.

Dave credits being involved in the community as a big part of his firm’s success. “We’re here not only to do business, but to help our community grow,” says Dave.

Dave’s also a believer in business networking and has been a member of the Network for Change networking group for more than seven years. He says sharing ideas with a diversified group of businessmen and women has helped him and his shop continue to grow.

Dave’s also a believer in business networking and has been a member of the Network for Change networking group for more than seven years. He says sharing ideas with a diversified group of businessmen and women has helped him and his shop continue to grow.

He’s secretary of ASA-Phoenix, a chapter of ASA-Arizona and vice president of an organization called Business Development Group.

Luz Rubio, executive director of ASA-Arizona, says she admires Dave Martin for many reasons.

“He’s always upbeat and positive, and a pleasure to be around. He has also built a successful business,” says Luz. Dave says if he could change one thing about his business, it would be the negative view many consumers have of the automotive industry.

He says what he likes most about his job is the opportunity to help his customers with their second biggest investment. “My favorite thing is the relationship I have with each of our clients,” says Dave.

What’s ahead for Martin’s Auto Repair? “Continue to work hard to grow our business and continue building relationships with our clients for another 42 years,” says Dave.

One thing is for sure: Dave won’t let adversity get in his way as he and his team work toward achieving that goal.

Meanwhile, says Tim, “We’ll dance with the one that brung us.” After all, good service never goes out of style.

Levy Joffrion is a freelance writer based in Fort Worth, Texas. He can be reached at levyjoffrion@gmail.com.

Shop Stats

Name of Shop: Martin’s Auto Repair

Location: Phoenix, AZ

Square Footage of Shop: 4,700 square feet

Years in Business: 42

Number of Employees: 7

Number of Repairs Weekly: 70

Projected Annual Sales: $1.2 million

Website Address: www.martinsautorepair.com

Why Tim Is a Member of ASA: “I believe ASA has a lot to offer to its members, and it’s a great voice for the independent repair shop industry. I also believe there is power in numbers.”

 

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