The 2020 Ratchet+Wrench All-Star Awards: Susan Boone

Sept. 1, 2020

The behind-the-scenes helper that takes on any challenge that comes her way

After opening three new shops within 8 months, Matt and Judy Curry, owners of the 4-location Craftsman Auto Care, needed more hands on deck to manage the growth. Within the first six months as the shop’s office manager, Susan Boone had completely organized the shop’s bookkeeping and payroll, set up reports and the shop’s phone system, and found the best health care for the team and took on managing it.

“When I first started, it was just the two owners trying to put out fires and do it all,” Boone says. “Now, we have a system.”

Boone was already doing the job of three people right when she started, organizing the shop’s accounting and office workflows for a $7 million, four-location operation. So when you add on a pandemic and operating at 10 percent to the mix, most people would really be tested. 

But not Boone. 

She took the challenge head-on. Usually, Boone is in charge of anything HR and finances. During the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, she did everything in between.

When working at 10 percent what they normally were, adjustments needed to be made. Instead of hunting everyone down to see what hours they could work, she communicated with the team what hours the shop needed to fill and created an official schedule based on the staff’s availability, and to ensure everyone was still able to work.

Working closely with owner Matt Curry and the shop’s consultant, Jody Ruth, she formulated a plan to take on the shop’s personal protective equipment (PPE) plan and took charge of applying for the many loans the CARES Act had to offer to help finance the shop’s operations. And if you’ve been paying any attention at all, you know about the changes the Paycheck Protection Program went through on a weekly basis; once you’d complete the form, you’d have to start all over again; Roth says it was like on a path of quicksand as the rules kept changing. But through all of the chaos and recycled applications, Boone didn’t complain and got the job done.

“To me, this was a very inspirational and notable achievement not only for her, but for our whole company as she worked diligently to move us all forward in the right direction,” Judy says.

And not just with the loans, but with anything, really, Boone was there to always save the day, working 70 to 80 hours into the weekends for over two months. Whatever the shop needed, she was there.

“Our company philosophy is to say ‘yes’ and not only did she completely embrace this, but she demonstrates this every day,” Judy says.

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