‘Shop Owner of the Year’ Award Prompts Praise for Diane Larson

She’s active in the industry locally, nationally, statewide.

The Car Care Council Women’s Board has named Diane Larson, AAM, “Female Service Shop Owner of the Year.”


Larson, owner of Larson’s Service Inc. in Peabody, Mass., is an active member of the Automo­tive Service Association and the automotive service and repair industry.

She has been active in the industry since she and her husband, John, opened Larson’s Service Inc. in 1986. Sadly, her husband died in 2008. His death was a terrible blow for her, but she knew he’d want her to soldier on. She was determined that the shop would continue to be successful. She tackled all the duties they once shared and because of her perseverance – and the assistance of a strong staff – Larson’s Service is doing great today.

Along the way, she developed a shop team that allows her to spend time sharing her experience and passion for the industry with others.

Her being named “Female Service Shop Owner of the Year” came this past November at the 2013 Women’s Board reception in Las Vegas.

Robbie Haas, manager of ASA’s Mechanical Division and also a member of the Women’s Board, said she nominated Larson for the award because she admired her many accomplishments in spite of having faced such great adversity.

Haas said, “Diane’s story is a testimony of what a person can accomplish when they have the desire, passion and strength to survive. I admire and respect Diane for her accomplishments and felt strongly that I had to nominate her for this award.”

Robert L. Redding Jr., ASA’s representative in Washington, D.C., also applauds Larson for her industry efforts.

Redding said, “Diane took time away from her business to ensure that independent repairers were represented before the Massachusetts legislature on issues such as training and service information. Despite the inconveniences, Diane made herself available for media inquiries and to help educate state legislators about our industry. She cares about the future for independent repairers, not just her own shop.”

Larson has earned the Automo­tive Management Institute’s Accredited Automotive Manager (AAM) designation. She also was one of the first people to take the ASE service consultant exam, and is currently a C1 service consultant. She is a 2013 Northwood University Leadership 2.0 graduate and is working on becoming an Automotive Aftermarket Profes­sional (AAP). The AAP designation is awarded to those in the motor vehicle aftermarket who have demonstrated dedication to the industry through ongoing professional development.

On the local level, Larson serves on advisory boards for local technical schools. She spends a lot of time serving on committees, fielding conference calls, and working on industry projects.

As demonstrated by her Mass­achusetts legislative involvement, she also steps up to the plate at the state level when needed.

Nationally, she is a member of ASA’s Mechanical Division Operations Committee. She is also a contributing member of the International Automotive Tech­nicians Network (iATN), serves on the automotive expert adviser panel for Askpatty.com, and is an active Car Care Council Women’s Board associate.

As a member of the Mechanical Division’s Operations Committee, she participates in conference calls, email communication, meetings and events addressing projects and ideas for improving the automotive service and repair industry. She is also often consulted for media questions about industry concerns and practices.

What motivates this Massa­chusetts shop owner to do all she does? She attributes it to a desire to “give back and pass it forward.”