Fix Auto USA announces top performers

Fix Auto USA announces top performers

Fix Auto USA announced the top performers in the Fix Auto family on the final day of the Fix Auto USA conference, naming three store owners and their teams with the honors.

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Vatche Derderian, a second-generation owner who has multiple Fix Auto USA locations in the Los Angeles area, received the Arrow Award for his long-term leadership and commitment to the Fix Auto USA family. He is a founding franchisee and a committed leader on the advisory board of Fix Auto USA. Derderian has shown that he is able to blaze a path forward and take his team with him no matter the challenge ahead.

“As an arrowhead, Vatche Derderian is a natural mentor and has consistently demonstrated his leadership skills within his stores and across the network,” said Sabrina Thring, CFO at Driven Brands. “He is fully committed to the Fix Auto USA vision and not only applies it to his business, but also encourages and promotes the vision to others. Congratulations to Vatche and his team for this prestigious award.”

(From left to right): Jennifer Paulino, Dean Fisher, Sabrina Thring, Dennis O’Mahoney, Vatche Derderian, and Lesa Laird

Derderian shared his keys to success as part of the Fix Auto USA family.

“I saw my father work so hard as an independent owner and I knew there had to be a better solution,” Derderian said. “Working as an independent owner in the body shop was like just having a book, and when you joined the Fix franchise system, it was like having access to the Internet. I am always looking for new tactics to improve our operational process and I always want to learn and grow from my colleagues in the US. I also take classes outside of our industry to learn more about running a business. This taught me to always look at the numbers and pay attention to the back of the business. Now I balance my books every day.”

The Community Award was presented to Gary Leger, a multi-store owner with four Fix Auto USA locations in the greater San Diego area. He joined in 2015 and has continued to grow both independently and in partnership with other franchisees. Known for his passion for giving back, he focuses on the military, first responders and children.

(From left to right): Dean Fisher, Sabrina Thring, Dennis O’Mahoney, Jennifer Paulino, Gary Leger and Lesa Laird

“I’ve been in this industry since I was 14, doing all kinds of odd jobs, then became an estimator and worked my way up from there,” says Leger. “I’m always looking for community involvement. I have completed seven NABC Recycled Rides and enjoy getting my team involved. We got involved with the local YMCA to rebuild one of their vans. I also got involved with a local school that has an auto body program where I helped them put together the curriculum, teach classes and hire interns from the school.”

Thring added: “Gary Leger is a role model for all of us. He is a founding member of the San Diego Army Advisory Council (SDAAC) and the US Firefighters Association, partnering with PaYS and partnering with local schools that give back to their body repair programs and training students. We are honored to give the Community Award to Gary Leger.”

The highest Length of Rental (LOR) Award, presented by Enterprise, went to Fix Auto Lake Forest and owner Bryan Wendt, who, along with Richard Fish, also operates Fix Auto Kearny Mesa. The LOR award recognizes that the speed of a repair can make or break a customer’s repair experience. The LOR award winner will be selected based on the shortest average rental length, based on Enterprise LOR data.

(From left to right): Dean Fisher, Sabrina Thring, Dennis O’Mahoney, Jennifer Paulino, Gary Leger and Lesa Laird

Wendt started out in the automotive industry as a mechanic and has always been focused on the repair process.

“I’ve seen big changes in the vehicle’s technology,” Wendt said. “My team and I are always working to keep up with technology to make sure everything is done right to protect our customers. Planning is key to having the shortest possible LOR, and the planning process ensures we look at every step required in the repair process. We pre-order cars based on initial estimates, buy the parts before taking the vehicle in – if possible, pre-scan the vehicle and prepare the detailed repair plan. We also have visual cues within our team where members wear different colored hats to keep our team focused on moving cars efficiently through the repair process.”

Thring added: “We are proud to present the Enterprise LOR Award to Bryan Wendt and his team. This exceptional speed would not be possible without a commitment to standardized processes, and we are happy to celebrate their operational excellence.”

More than 300 Fix Auto USA franchise partners, vendors, corporate team members and collision industry leaders gathered at the Loews Coronado Bay Resort near San Diego for the 2022 Fix Auto USA conference. It was the first time in two years that the Fix Auto USA family had come together.

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