We are excited to celebrate our 10th anniversary this month at our East Tutt Blvd location! So how did we get here…
Dan Kane and his wife, Rondi Stratton, partnered with Randy Schillinger, original owner of Honest Accurate Auto Service (doing business at that time as Hondac) since 1993. Randy and his wife, Vicki, had been gracious enough to volunteer for the Rocky Mountain Concours, a vintage car show held on the golf course of the Broadmoor Hotel that Dan and Rondi organized and produced from 2006-2008. The car show had an exceptional line-up of vehicles for 2+ years, but the economic downturn of 2008 spurred Rondi and Dan to seek a business that was a little more recession resistant.
The original Honest Accurate Auto Service (HAAS or Hondac) near the corner of Nevada and Garden of the Gods is/was owned by Randy and his twin brother, Rob Schillinger. Randy’s wife, Vicki, has been involved throughout the years in the business, doing accounting, shuttle driving, lots of cooking for staff and helping in many ways around the shop. Both of Randy and Vicki’s daughters, Briana and Kristin, have worked at the West shop, and Kristin still helps with payroll and accouting. Rob and Randy are both mostly retired, and the day-to-day operations of the West shop have been taken over by Rob’s son, Jesse. It really has been a “family affair”!
With Dan’s strong background in business and love of vehicles, we approached Randy to discuss possible automotive shop business possibilities in early 2009. As we talked, Randy expressed an interest in a shop that would serve Colorado Springs customers on the East side of town, and the partnership was formed. Dan started exploring buildings and locations and found that we would be best served by building our own custom space to serve our customers and employees. Planning for the automotive shop took nearly two years, with building plans drawn and permits pulled before the start.
Dan and Randy finetuned the design of the building, taking what worked best in the West Nevada Mesa shop and improving it where possible. Along with David Fiedler, Project Manager, Open Range Construction (Dan and Martine Vogel) as the General Contractor, and Dan as the Site Superintendent (which simply means that he was there day in and day out from 6am-6pm plus!), we broke ground in June of 2010. July was the wettest month in history, or at least it seemed that way! Dan had to pump the foundation hole 4 times before they could pour concrete. He and our sons, Austin, Mack and Conor, did a lot of shoveling mud from the foundation to get it dry.
Over the next 6 months, through all of the construction and site development and inspections, many decisions needed to be made each day. There were many challenges and lots of hands-on work by Dan, Randy and our sons. Anyone who has built a commercial or residential building knows that even when you think you have all your bases covered and planned for, things come up on a daily basis that need attention, immediate decisions need to be made, and lots of site cleanup! The completed building is 8900 square feet, with 12 bays for technician use, our front office, and upstairs is an administrative office and a break room.
The building has many “green” features: high-efficiency in-floor hot water heat, insulated concrete foundation forms, high-density closed cell foam insulation in the floor,walls, ceiling and roof top. Built with efficiency and flow of work in mind, the building has served us well over the past 10 years!
Opening day for the Tutt Blvd. location came on Jan. 10th, 2011. Initially, Dan and Rondi worked full-time at the east shop, and Randy split his time between the two shops. The first couple of years were pretty tough, working through the great recession – it always takes longer than you expect to get a business going, even with the existing relationship of the established West shop. However, with help from people who knew how to get us found on Google and the support of many loyal customers, who have become our friends, we went from servicing a few cars per day to over 20 per day. We now employee three Service Advisors at the front desk, eight Technicians, and several support staff (shuttle driving, answering phones, parts management, accounting, car cleaning, and more!) that keep us running smoothly. We are very thankful for the skill and dedication to excellence of our staff and owners.
Paul Pharris, Randy’s son-in-law, was one of our first technicians and is now one of the three younger owners. Paul works as our Quality Assurance manager, checking out vehicles after they have been serviced. His attention to detail (some call it “anal”!) helps make sure that each car is serviced correctly and is ready to be returned to our customer in good condition, minus any grease smudges!
Roy Keiser, also one of our younger owners, started with us in the fall of 2012, in the capacity of Shop Foreman. Roy is an excellent diagnostician, as well as a Ford and Diesel specialist and has taken over numerous administrative and managerial duties that Dan used to perform.
Dan and Rondi’s son, Austin (who started as a technician with us in October 2013), has also bought into the business. In addition to Austin’s technician work, he is responsible for the business marketing/website and facilities/equipment repairs and replacement. Each of the younger owners has other areas of responsibility (Accounting/Bookkeeping, Facilities Management and Marketing/Website, IT, Human Relations/Benefits, etc).
Our Honest Accurate Auto team are like family to us…we probably spend more of our waking hours together than apart. Family or not, we have a close-knit group of owners and professional staff that work well together and are present in the shop, day in and day out.
Our “customers and employees” first philosophy started from day one and continues today. Ted Slosky, our intrepid Service Manager, is a fine example of personal dedication to our business philosophy. Since day one in early 2011, Ted as been arriving early, staying late and doing whatever it takes to make our customer’s experience positive and memorable. And it doesn’t stop with Ted. This philosophy extends throughout our entire organization.
Being voted “Best of the Springs” ten years in a row doesn’t just happen by itself. You can see it through our customer service programs, like the shuttle service provided by our wonderful drivers, Susan, Glenn, Don, and Jackie. And, your car doesn’t just happen to look clean without the close attention and care from Chris.
Our dedicated support staff of Justin, Chloe, and Tiffani help to make your automotive repair experience appear seamless. Our Service Advisors are the “face“ of our business… Ted, Heath and Marcia rely on their years of automotive experience and training to offer you sound advice and counsel when prioritizing and scheduling the services and repairs that keep you and your family safely on the road.
Then there’s the backbone of our business, the Technicians that actually do what most of us feel is the impossible…diagnose, repair and stand behind their work on the ever increasingly complex systems operating within your vehicle. Each Technician – Max, Luis, Dylan, Jonathan, Kolton, and Bergin – individually and collectively are the finest and most talented group of Technicians you will find. We would put them up against any other shop in the country, hands down.
Dan, Rondi, Vicki and Randy are all mostly retired, but still contribute on an as-needed basis as consultants. When you have built a business literally from the ground up, you always have a connection and interest in the business that never goes away.
We could not have succeeded if it were not for our loyal customers and our dedicated and loyal staff – our customers are the reason we are in business and our goal is to help you keep your vehicle running smoothly, safely, and reliably.