Giving Back Inside and Outside Your Shop

Dec. 20, 2018
Small town shop owner John Lamoreux built his company to give back to his community.

SHOP STATS: The Auto & Tire Doctor  Location: Truckee, Calif.  Operator: John Lamoreux  Average Daily Car Count: 30-40  Staff Size: 20  Shop Size: 12,000 sq ft Annual Revenue $3 to $3.5M  

John Lamoreux was 16 when he first started his career in the auto industry. He pumped gas and worked on cars in the back of a gas station. After moving away and then back to his hometown, he began fixing up cars out of the back of his El Camino.

Now, John Lamoreux owns a $3 million to $3.5 million auto repair shop in Truckee, Calif.

Unsurprisingly, there is a lot of story between those points. One thing is clear: John’s dedication to his craft is strong, but there is something else that you wouldn’t be able to tell from the quick synopsis of Lamoreux’s auto industry journey, which is that dedication to his community is even stronger.

That’s why his sister, and shop office manager, Jodi DeRuise, nominated him for this past year’s Ratchet+Wrench All-Star Awards.

DeRuise breaks down the exact ways that any shop can make a community impact the way Lamoreux has.

Identify Where You are Needed.

Lamoreux and his shop, The Auto & Tire Doctor, are always doing something to give back. Whether it’s donating to the breast cancer non-profit The Tutu Project by wrapping a truck in the world’s largest tutu on National Make A Difference Day, or opening up the shop to special needs adults to give a tour and teach them how to change a tire—Lamoreux is there to give a helping hand.   

“John has built this company so that we can give back to our community,” DeRuise says.

DeRuise is full of heartwarming stories of times Lamoreux put his community above himself. Years ago, he began to donate cars to a non-profit working to relocate and give new identities to at-risk women fleeing abusive situations. While seeing the impact a donated car can make, he started giving cars to members of the Truckee community in need, with the mission that the vehicle would help the recipient and their family get to their job, drop their kids off at child care, buy groceries, attend medical appointments and, in general, get around easier. Roughly five years ago, The Auto & Tire Doctor decided to make its car donations an official annual event.

Get Your Community Involved.

The holiday car giveaway gives the community an opportunity to nominate individuals and families in need of a car. Lamoreux and his staff don’t know everyone’s story, DeRuise says, so it’s the best way to find a recipient. The winner is chosen and “Santa” surprises the recipient at either their home or their work with a car that Lamoreux has either purchased or fixed up.

The event has grown in the past five years and now includes even more members of the community. In 2017, The Auto & Tire Doctor coordinated with another repair shop to get them involved. The Tahoe shop donated presents to wrap and give as gifts to three of the runner-up families. The holiday car giveaway is something Lamoreux and his staff look forward to continuing to grow each season.

Give Back Inside your Shop.

Lamoreux is also dedicated to giving back to his employees inside his shop. He makes it possible to send all of his staff to training and other forms of education. His employees attend both O’Reilly training and NAPA classes. Lamoreux also gives his staff the opportunity to learn through programs outside of the automotive industry. He encourages them to enroll in Rapport Leadership, a leadership development training organization, to become their best selves on a personal and a business level, DeRuise says.

“John has provided all of his employees with an incredible workplace, and helps us in every way become the best we can be,” DeRuise says.

Whether it’s within The Auto Doctor, or outside the shop’s doors, giving back is something engrained in Lamoreux as an individual and as a business owner.

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