Happy New Year! Here’s a look back on our top stories of 2016:
LaMettry’s Wins, and So Do Automotive Students at the AASP-MN Race for Education
LaMettry’s Launches Bodyshop Revolution: Q&A with Darrell Amberson
LaMettry’s Hosts Advanced Vehicle Technologies Seminar for Insurance Personnel
Cars for Neighbors
LaMettry’s Participates in Summer Charity Golf Events
LaMettry’s Announces 9th Location in Chanhassen
SMASH Car at Lakeville North High School
Continuing Ed for Insurance Agents with Speed Volunteering
Toys for Tots Twin Cities 2016 was a Success!
As part of our company vision of “Leading the Automotive Repair Industry,” we have a focus on Automotive Manufacturer (OEM) Certifications. In fact, we have the most Manufacturer Certified programs in the Twin Cities Market. And we are currently working on a few more!
What this means for you is that we are experts on your vehicle. Manufacturer Certifications usually require training, specialized tools and equipment, and the proper facility to ensure that the vehicle is repaired to manufacturer specifications. Automobiles are getting increasingly complicated, but you can be confident that we know exactly how to fix your vehicle.
Our current Manufacturer Certifications and Recognition include:
Audi Authorized Collision Repair Facility
Cadillac Aluminum Repair Network Facility
FCA Recognized Collision Repair Facility – Fiat Chrysler
Ford National Body Shop Network
ProFirst Collision Repair Facility – Certified by American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
Hyundai Recognized Collision Repair Center
Infiniti Certified Collision Repair Network
Lexus Approved Collision Center
MOPAR Recognized Certified Collision Repair Facility – Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep, Fiat
Nissan Certified Collision Repair Network
Volkswagen – VW
The 2016 Twins Cities Toys for Tots campaign was a success! All 8 LaMettry’s shops were drop-off locations. Thank you to everyone who donated! Our collection boxes were overflowing! We live in a wonderful community.
According to the Marine Toys for Tots Twin Cities, the 2016 Campaign distributed 248,739 gifts to 163,271 children, with an average of 1.52 toy(s) per child.
Construction continues on our 9th location at 1651 Motorplex Court in Chanhassen, MN. Windows were delivered last week to be installed this week. It won’t be long now! We have plans to open in the first quarter of 2017.
Empathy is often defined as a person’s ability to recognize and share the emotions of another person. And that’s how Valisity LaMettry approaches life each day saying, “I imagine myself as others, and more than that, I imagine myself in their situation, and that starts with at least some knowledge of who people are.” That empathy makes the 39-year-old well-suited in her role of Customer Service Trainer at LaMettry’s Collision, as well as being a wife, and mother of two active and growing boys.
Perhaps it all started with her unique first name. “My Dad loved the names Felicity and Charity. So they named my sister Charidy, and changed letters in Felicity to come up with Valisity. It was a challenge as a teen and led to a lot of nicknames, but as an adult, it’s a source of pride and compliments.” So much so, that Valisity LaMettry only allows a very short list of people in her life to call her “Val.” Born in the Twin Cities, she spent the first 10 years of her life in Oklahoma as her family cared for a grandparent suffering from ALS. “While I was too young to understand much, I think those years deepened a sense of ‘others’ in my being.”
She graduated from Apple Valley High School where she created life-long friendships, then spent the following years in a variety of jobs, often two at a time, but all the positions involved serving others. “Whether I was waitressing, bartending, or in a salon, I always engaged with my customers. I wanted to hear their stories and understand their lives.”
In 2003, she joined LaMettry’s Richfield location as a Customer Service Representative, eventually working with J.R. (Justin Richard) LaMettry. “We got along famously, and I thought he would be a great match for my roommate at the time, so I set them up on a date. Well, they never made that date, but J.R. and I got to know each other much better.” And the rest is LaMettry family history. Valisity Wood and J.R. LaMettry were married in July 2006. In the process, Valisity also gained the “world’s greatest mother-in-law.” Said Valisity, “Besides my own mother, Joanne LaMettry is one of the most amazing women I know. Both inspire me tremendously.”
Valisity needs to run on inspiration in her role as Customer Service Trainer because the job really has no formal playbook. When the task of creating and opening the LaMettry’s Customer Call Center was thrown to her, she had to self-guide the process by researching other operations, visiting call centers, and establishing a game plan for the company.
Doing customer service training for LaMettry’s employees at 8 locations across the Twin Cities, she starts by creating empathy with those she works with. “I travel to and spend time at each location, observing, listening, and talking with LaMettry’s people who are on the front lines with customers. I try to coach them to think what it’s like if they just had a car accident or suffered damage. To slow down and tune into people. If the process starts there, everyone is happy with the results,” said Valisity.
At home, she tunes into the lives of two very active and bubbly young boys. “Jackson is in 5th grade, and he’s almost as big as me, and his feet are bigger than mine, so he may become a double to his Dad, but looks like me. Mason is in 2nd grade, and talks like me, and acts like me, so he may be my mini-me, but looks like his Dad,” said Valisity. Both boys are in Tae Kwon Do, while Jackson loves football and basketball, and Mason plays hockey and flag-football. “They keep us moving, like all parents with youngsters in school and sports. J.R. and I drive to fields and arenas day and night, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Recently we hosted a Continuing Education (CE) class for insurance agents on Ethics and Pay As You Drive Insurance. This class was sponsored by LaMettry’s Collision along with Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Ungerman Restoration.
At the full day class, agents learned about ethics in our modern world, as well as the pros and cons of utilizing the pay as you drive technology feature and the impact it may have on drivers and insurance companies.
Before lunch, there was a speed volunteering exercise for Children’s Dental Services and the United Way. At their tables, the agents worked together to assemble Kid’s Dental Kits which were then donated to Children’s Dental Services (CDS).
According to the speed volunteering flyer, “Children’s Dental Service is the only community dental services agency in Minnesota dedicated exclusively to providing oral health outreach, education, and treatment to children and pregnant women across the state. CDS targets kids who are not being served and brings dental care directly to them in the school, where they are comforted by familiar surroundings.”
For this annual homecoming week event, Lakeville North High School students take turns smashing a car with a sledgehammer over their lunch break. They pay $1 for approximately one minute to inflict as much damage upon the vehicle as they can. The DECA program is donating the money raised this year to Lakeville area food shelves. LaMettry’s Collision worked together with Allen’s Towing to provide the car, make it safe for the smash, and get it to the school.
Before the event started, the DECA students had fun spray painting the car. Then it was game on. Check out the before and after! Wow!
Watch our facebook video of one of the teachers taking a swing at the car.
And they did!
Thank you to Lakeville North High School DECA for including us again! We are always happy to help!
Gina Jacques wears many hats, and loves to help people in her Sales/Marketing/Office Support role at LaMettry’s New Brighton, Minnesota location. Along with her sales duties, she also fills in when needed at customer service, production assistant, and staff training. “I feel like I’ve really found my calling in life, and a place that respects and rewards my desire to work hard,” said Jacques.
It would be an understatement to say it wasn’t easy for this 37-year-old wife and mother to get to this point in her life. “I grew up in the Frogtown area of St. Paul. I was raised by my Mom, Cindy Shortridge, and my step-dad, Lee Shortridge. He spent his summers on the golf course when he wasn’t working. Mom was always working at least two jobs and my grandmother cared for us. My brother, Charlie, and me would shovel St. Paul neighborhood walks and driveways in the winter, and mow lawns with a push mower in the summer to earn money. I taught myself to focus on the goodness of the present moment. Maybe that’s why I enjoy being busy, meeting and helping people so much,” said Jacques. She also took great comfort in soaking up the wisdom of her neighborhood elders. “I listened to their stories for hours. I understood early on to accept the bad and good. It’s why friends always hear me say, ‘It is what it is.’ ”
After graduating from Roseville High School, Gina went into sales for Comcast Cable for two years. Of that position she said, “It wasn’t so much sales as in helping people, but sales as in just getting orders, but it was great experience.” When her daughter Alexis was born, she stayed home and did cleaning to help pay bills. Eventually, she took a job with a national collision franchise and started working her way up the industry ladder. For 13 years, she did everything she could to prove herself worthy, including many ten hour days and six day weeks that meant missed family events and dinners. All the while, unbeknownst to her, she was building her reputation in the business. “I knew I couldn’t sustain the stress my work was creating at home. Then a couple of vendors said I should talk to LaMettry’s. So, I picked up the phone and one thing lead to another, and here I am.”
In her Sales and Marketing and Customer Service position at LaMettry’s New Brighton, Gina Jacques does what she always does. Part of “my job is to find the people and companies who need our help and then create a valued business relationship based on their satisfaction. And that’s really the LaMettry’s difference and why I am so grateful to the LaMettry family and leadership team to be here. There are plenty of places to get vehicles repaired, but I know LaMettry’s is the only one focused completely on the customer from start to finish. There’s never a doubt about that, with our dealer-partners, agents, suppliers, or individual customers,” she said.
Back on the home front, life never slows down. Her husband, Bob Jacques, works for Vinyl Art in Plymouth, Minnesota. They started dating in 1996, but didn’t get married until 2008. Gina explained, “I wanted to wait until we could afford a wedding. I think that’s when Bob knew I was the one for him.” The Jacques 18-year-old daughter, Alexis, recently joined the U.S. Navy and is in basic training in Illinois.
Their son, 12-year-old Dylan, loves to be outside. Gina said, “I want him to grow up independent. In the summer, he hops on his bike in the morning and is off for the day fishing or playing football.”
Gina also loves to be outdoors with her family whether hiking or biking. “On the weekends, I bike 15-20 miles of trails winding through Coon Rapids, Maple Grove, and Osseo. Biking is great exercise and keeps me busy, but what I love most is being busy with others where I can make a difference in their lives.”
Coming Soon: LaMettry’s 9th Location
Work has begun on the 9th location for LaMettry’s Collision & Glass. #9 will be located in Chanhassen, MN off of Audubon Road, and right by the AutoMotorPlex.
They broke ground in June, and now the walls are starting to go up. Our anticipated opening date is this winter. Check back for updates!
LaMettry’s Collision is proud to sponsor and participate in many local Twin Cities charity golf events.
Some of the events we participated in this year included
- Children’s Hospitals Golf Benefit Audi Quattro Cup at the White Bear Yacht Club in Dellwood
LaMettry’s sponsored the lunch and sent golfers to this event.
- BMW of Minnetonka 2nd Annual Drive Away Lyme Disease Golf Tournament at Midland Hills Country Club
LaMettry’s sponsored a hole and sent golfers to this second annual event.
- Enterprise Rent-A-Car Golf Tournament at The Links at Northfork benefiting the Greater Twin Cities United Way
LaMettry’s sponsored a hole and sent golfers to this annual event.
- 22nd Annual Alliance of Automotive Service Providers-Minnesota (AASP-MN) Golf Outing at Keller Golf Course in Maplewood
LaMettry’s sent golfers to this event where money was raised for Minnesota Careers in Auto Repair & Service. Our team even won first place!