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Shade Tree Auto

Gold Stevie Award Winner 2018, Click to Enter The 2019 American Business Awards

Company: Shade Tree Auto, Grimes, IA
Company Description: Shade Tree Auto has been named one of the top 100 small businesses in the country by the US Chamber with the Dream Big Small Business of the year award for 2015 and 2016. Beginning in a small garage, Shade Tree Auto is currently expanding into a $3M facility that will triple current capacity. Winner of the 2016 BBB Torch award and numerous local awards for community involvement.
Nomination Category: Company / Organization Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Company of the Year - Retail - Small

Nomination Title: Shade Tree Auto

Tell the story about what this nominated organization has achieved since January 1 2017 (up to 650 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms.

2017 was an incredible year for Shade Tree Auto. The beginning of the year marked a new era for the local auto shop as construction on their first stand-alone facility finished in early March. After 11 years in Grimes, Shade Tree Auto was finally moving into a custom designed building along one of the busiest highways in the state. The new facility increased capacity by 300%, and allowed technicians to operate more efficiently on multiple vehicles.

While this was the most important move Shade Tree Auto had made in its history, it still wasn’t the biggest cause for celebration last year.In 2017, the Urbandale Chamber of Commerce named the shop "Best in Class" for automotive services, despite the fact that the facility has been located in the neighboring city ofGrimes, IA. In addition, Shade Tree Auto was named Business of the Year by the Grimes Chamber and Economic Development for their involvement in the community, and investment in the city. It had been an honor that came with a letter from State Representative Steve Young that had read the accomplishment into the National Congressional Record in October. Certainly a proud moment, but the year was still not over for the auto shop.

Sales increased and incredible 42% almost instantly and has continued to climb. Customer service indexes continued to range from 95 to 100% from multiple sources. Community involvement increased with the first Shade Tree Auto scholarship for High School students interested in a 2-year degree. The owner led the Greater Des Moines Leadership Program’s non-profit projects, helping 10 local organizations, as well mentoring local students in high-school and college programs. The new shop was well suited to host a variety of free community events, such as a bike rodeo for grade schoolers, chamber meetings, and even the city Mayor’s retirement party. Each event was an honor to host, and yet, the biggest recognition was still to come.

In September, Shade Tree Auto received notification that they had been recognized with a Bronze Stevie International Business Award for Retail Company of the Year. It had been a long and tumultuous journey for a small business that began in an old garage behind the owner’s home, to a 13,000 square foot facility with international recognition. Helping customers with car problems had been rewarding, helping the community grow came back to the shop ten-fold, but the recognition received meant much more. Having an auto repair shop become successful because of customer service and community involvement has raised the bar for other local businesses, it has shown high school students that success can be found in trade industries, and it has provided a secure future for the employees and families of Shade Tree Auto.

In bullet-list form, briefly summarize up to ten (10) of the chief accomplishments of this organization since the beginning of 2017 (up to 150 words).

-Moved to a brand-new, company owned facility which increased capacity 300%
-Named Best in Class through the Urbandale Chamber of Commerce
-Named Grimes Chamber Business of the Year
-Read into the National Congressional Record for community accomplishments
-Increased gross sales by 42%
-Established scholarship for students seeking a trade degree
-Actively participated in regional leadership training, including work in 10 local non-profits
-Hosted multiple free community events at new location
-Winner-Bronze in the Stevie International Business Awards- Retail category

Of the following measures of success, which ONE do you want the judges to most appreciate about your organization's story of achievement since the beginning of 2017? Corporate Social Responsibility