Oct. 3, 2017—On a visit to Houston on Sept. 27, Advance Auto Parts president and CEO Tom Greco met with team members who were affected by Hurricane Harvey or led the company’s relief efforts. Greco visited several stores in the Houston area, local customers as well as the company’s new distribution center, which will begin shipping to stores on Oct. 23.
Greco’s visit continued a long-standing culture of support and proactive recovery efforts by Advance, which has now raised more than $400,000 to support internal hurricane relief efforts for the company’s team members in impacted areas.
Funds have already been distributed to support team members and their families that were impacted by Hurricane Harvey. The support distributed by Advance came from the company’s non-profit Team Member Assistance Fund, which provides help to team members who experience hardship due to a natural disaster or other events beyond their control.
Advance operates nearly 100 stores in the greater Houston area and has more than 900 store team members that work in the market. In addition, the company employs an additional 125 team members in their new distribution center and Worldpac branches.
Thanks to the efforts of the entire Advance team as well as the support of the community, all Houston area Advance locations are now open to serve DIY and professional customers in the area. The Advance Auto Parts store located at 503 Rayford Rd. in Spring, Texas, was the final Advance store to reopen on Sept. 28. The Rayford Road store had been closed since Aug. 26 due to extensive flooding by Hurricane Harvey.
“I could not be prouder of our Houston team for showing all of our customers and team members across Advance Auto Parts what ‘Houston Strong’ means,” said Tom Greco.
Greco was joined at Advance stores by executive vice president or supply chain strategy and transformation Leslie Starr Keating, south division president Maria Ayres and southwest regional vice president Mike Cooper. In addition, surprise guests included NHRA Funny Car Drivers John Force and Courtney Force of John Force Racing, and NHRA Pro-Stock Driver Alex Laughlin of Gas Monkey Garage who joined the visit. The Forces and Laughlin met Advance team members and signed autographs during the multi-stop, daylong visit.
“Advance Auto Parts has everything in place to help their team members and customers prepare for a hurricane and has all of the necessary supplies to help them recover,” said Courtney Force, driver of the Advance Auto Parts Chevy Camaro SS Funny Car. “I felt so inspired because they treat each other like family. They work together as a team and were most concerned about the safety of their employees and their families.
Support from Advance for the Houston community is ongoing as Advance works with customers to ensure product availability and the emergency supplies needed to do business are available to the region’s automotive industry.
To aid the recovery efforts, Advance used its Houston distribution center to stage relief supplies and is also helping professional shops replace or finance damaged shop equipment and tools, so these professional installers can reopen their own businesses. Advance also paid all full and part-time team members for their scheduled hours, even if a location was closed due to the storm and flooding.