Through: Maaco Collision Repair and automotive painting | 0 Actions 210 readings
June 16, 2021 // Franchising.com // CHARLOTTE – Maaco, the American coachbuilder, is home to many family franchises. One of the perks of owning a self-employed business is the ability to work alongside your family. Two family members share their experiences as they prepare to celebrate Father’s Day.
Persevere during the pandemic: Carlisle’s father and daughter team learns and grows together through difficult times
Keith Carlisle grew up working with his family at his father’s auto dealerships, where his father, uncle and brothers all worked. It was there that he first learned to detail cars. When he accepted a job as a designer in a Maaco store 28 years ago, he had no idea he would one day own a Maaco franchise.
First a draftsman, Carlisle eventually learned all aspects of the repair process on his own. He attended vocational school and then worked through all the different production and painter roles. After 12 years painting vehicles, he rose to production manager, estimator, store manager and then regional manager, overseeing four stores in a group of five owned by Steve Chertock.
“My goal was to own my own store, and eventually my boss sold me one of his stores,” Carlisle said. “I had opened stores alongside Steve and managed stores for him. Now it was my turn, and I couldn’t wait!
Carlisle’s daughter Cassie started working for the franchise part-time, hauling vehicles between stores, then taking on an office administration role, overseeing multiple store bookkeeping, fleet accounts, and then becoming a estimator. Now she plays a key role in running the business with her father and manager Kevin Fennessy.
“Before I worked for Maaco, I worked at the Disney Store,” Cassie said. “What I learned from working there is that it’s so easy to make someone’s day a little bit better. At Maaco, I try to do everything in my power to best help our customers. I speak to insurance companies on behalf of the client, drive clients to their homes or to a car rental agency so they don’t have to wait for an Uber. I even took kids to visit our site so their parents could talk to Keith or Kevin without interruption. A few months ago, we were able to help a client, a palliative care nurse, by repainting her vehicle for free. We were so inspired by what she does for other families, we wanted to thank her for her hard work. I just like helping others and making their day a little better.
The Carlisles have been in business for a year and a half and they love the idea of working together.
Besides the obvious joy of working as a team, father and daughter have learned a few things from each other along the way.
“What I learned from working with Cassie was seeing firsthand how women in this industry are not always treated the same because they have to work harder to prove themselves,” said Keith . “I want our store to be a place where everyone feels safe and valued. No matter who you are or where you are from, we treat everyone with respect.
“I also learned from working with Cassie and my son Nick the power of social media,” Keith said. “Cassie launched our Instagram account in July 2019, and it’s now managed by my son Nick. Customers discovered us through our Instagram account and inquired about our services. We try to keep our content interesting by showing before and after photos of vehicles and various photos and videos of our team working on cars. Our most popular content is the paint mixing videos.
Cassie gained a lot of hands-on experience running a business by working alongside her father, but the most important lesson she learned from him was persistence.
“The biggest lesson I learned from my dad is that no matter how difficult things get, if you keep persevering and having faith, things will work out,” Cassie said. “He bought a business and four months later a global pandemic struck. We know so many body shops and other businesses that have been around for over 20 years that unfortunately haven’t been successful, but we continue to be strong. No matter what I do in the future, the story of how my father started with Maaco as a designer, then became an owner and kept the business strong during a pandemic while supporting the family is inspiring. . I will always think “if he can do all of this, I can make my dreams come true”.
“I love working with my dad,” added Cassie. “I can’t imagine it being any other way.”
Maaco franchisee John Terrizzi III attributes success to lessons learned from his father and grandfather
John Terrizzi III successfully operates two Maaco franchises in the Philadelphia suburbs of Bridgeport and Manayunk, PA.
“I can truly say that all I am is due to my dad and my grandfather,” Terrizzi said. “As I grew up, my dad made sure we all knew about our family history and how hard my grandfather worked to be successful. I saw how hard my dad worked and saw what he sacrificed so that my mom, my brother, three sisters and our four cousins had what we did. He first taught me about family and the importance of working hard to build a good life for your family.
In 1957, John Terrizzi Sr., built a building in South Philadelphia that became Terri-Pinto Auto, a machine shop that still exists today. Because he had little money, he would scavenge supplies like bent nails from old construction sites and straighten them up for use in building his store.
In the mid-1960s, John Sr. expanded and built a car wash in North Philadelphia. When John Jr. was old enough he entered the car wash business.
“My grandfather didn’t believe in ‘giving’ part of his business to my father,” said John III. “He invested knowing that he would also invest time and hard work to make it better than it was. It was my grandfather’s philosophy.
John Jr. did, and within two to three years he revamped the operation, adding a longer tunnel and self-service facilities.
John Jr. had always been in love with Maaco’s business model. Ten years ago, when John III was in college, his father called him to tell him he was interested in opening a Maaco franchise and asked if he wanted to get involved. Like his father before him, the inclusion of John III was not a given. His father needed a business plan and a commitment to invest time and money to make it a success, because for them, making a business thrive was about supporting the family.
John III and his father opened their first Maaco in Bridgeport in 2013. At 20, John III began running operations with his father and grandfather as investors.
“We only used the words ‘Son’ and ‘Dad’ outside of office hours,” said John III. “My father believed that in order for employees to respect a 20-year-old, I had to prove myself as a leader and manager, and not be seen as the boss’s son.”
The family has expanded their Maaco franchise to three locations and, after selling the third, operates two. John III attributes all the success they had to his father.
“I have learned so much from my father, more than I can tell you,” said John III. “He treats everyone the same – with respect – and because of that so many people in the community are reaching out to me to tell me how amazing he is. They come to ask him for advice. He and my grandfather have employees who have been with them for over 20 years. If there were any spots early in their careers when times were tough, they still did payroll, even if they didn’t take paychecks themselves. He always gives 100% and expects that of others. And if you are one of his employees and give yourself 100 percent, he takes care of you like family.
John Jr. is still “the hardest working man in the gym,” his son says. “If we run out of people, he’ll jump in and sand a car or do whatever it takes. He’s a successful businessman who runs several businesses, but he’s also an ordinary, humble guy who works hard. And this is the best model I could have had.