Made of Honors
Active industry leader has plenty of awards but stays focused on her clients.
One of the industry’s most outstanding leaders, Amy Mattinat, owns an ASA shop in Montpelier, Vt. It’s one of the best in the business, so it comes as no surprise that a lot of honors and awards have been earned by both.
For starters, Mattinat serves as president of the Car Care Council Women’s Board. And the Small Business Administration has named her shop – Auto Craftsmen – the 2015 Vermont Woman-Owned Business of the Year. And that’s not all, because Mattinat has more irons in the fire than a cowboy at branding time.
Among her many endeavors, accomplishments and awards:
• She was honored, by the National Association of Professional Women, as a 2014 Professional Woman of the Year.
• The Car Care Council’s Women’s Board recognized her as the Top Female Shop Owner in 2012.
• She’s a member of Ask Patty’s expert advisory panel and speaker’s bureau.
• She’s on the advisory board for Ratchet & Wrench magazine.
She’s also active in SEMA’s Business Women’s Network, the Automotive Service Association, Central Vermont Economic Development Corporation, Women Business Owners Networking and Rotary International.
In her spare time, Mattinat shares her extensive knowledge of the automotive world with larger audiences through her monthly car-care newsletter and blog. She’s the author of “How to Buy A Great Used Car,” and co-authored the book, “Whatever Happened to Outstanding Customer Service.” And Dr. John Passante features her in Chapter 14 of the essay anthology, “A Woman’s Perspective on Leading.”
Mattinat also runs a second business, BullsEye Marketing, and she serves as a marketing consultant. “I can’t stress enough how important marketing is to the success of any business, especially an auto repair shop,” Mattinat says. She teaches classes in marketing to small businesses and does private consulting for the Vermont Small Business Development Center. “I believe it’s imperative that businesses first understand the difference between new-customer marketing and retention marketing,” says Mattinat. “Then they need multiple strategies for both types of customers.”
Mattinat offers free, informative car clinics for women and supports charitable endeavors such as Brake for Breasts, Toys for Tots and the local food bank. Her shop is an ASE Blue Seal Shop (one of only three shops in Vermont that can say that), AAA Approved Repair Shop, BBB Accredited and AskPatty.com Certified Female Friendly. She always has an ASE L1 and master-certified technician on staff and pays for training and ASE certification for her whole staff.
“I love cars and am proud to be part of the automotive industry,” says the president of Auto Craftsmen. “I’m passionate about educating the public, especially women, about car care so they can make informed decisions about their cars and not get taken advantage of.”
Mattinat claims she has motor oil in her blood. “Cars were a part of my formative years. My first boyfriend was a motor head, and my first husband was a mechanic. I’ve spent a lot of time around cars. I have a great respect for how complicated they are and huge respect for the folks that keep them safely on the roads.”
Asked what she likes best about her job, Mattinat says, “Helping my clients. So many people don’t understand cars, and it’s satisfying to be able to educate them so they can make informed and smart decisions about their vehicles.”
Twenty-one years ago, Mattinat began working as the bookkeeper at Auto Craftsmen. She enrolled in every class she could find on how to run a successful automotive center. She also joined a coaching program and a 20 Group. After 10 years, she became a partner at Auto Craftsmen and six years after that, she bought out her partner to run the business herself.
Although she has been successful, like other shop owners Mattinat agrees that running a shop is not without its problems. “My biggest challenge,” she says, “is finding qualified, experienced technicians with a good attitude. It’s getting harder all the time!”
Her plans for the future? “I’m starting to look at my succession plan for five years from now,” Mattinat says. Meantime, she’ll keep on running an award-winning shop, and most likely, earning even more accolades for herself and her business.