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Friday, 09 January 2015 00:00

Scott's Autobody in Tehachapi, CA Named Large Business of the Year

Scott's Autobody in Tehachapi, CA was recently named "Large Business of the Year" by the Greater Tehachapi Chamber of Commerce.

Winners of the 2015 "Citizen of the Year," (Dorothy Morris) and "Small Business of the Year" (Linda's Cake 'n Things) were also announced.

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The awards will be given by the Tehachapi News and the Chamber during the Chamber's Installtion and Recognition Gala to be held Saturday, Jan. 24.Tickets for the event -- which sells out every year -- are available from the Chamber for $50 each. The event will be held at the Chavez Center in Keene beginning at 5:30 p.m. with a no-host social hour followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m. with the installation and awards ceremony to follow.

After operating 32 years in the same location, Scott's Auto Body has withstood the test of time.

When Scott Richmond first purchased the business, located at 117 E. "H" St., it had only one building on the property. Over the years, it has grown in size with the addition of three more buildings. As Scott's Auto Body continues to grow, so does its staff. Now operated by Scott's son, Philip, the business boasts 11 employees, and has been named "Large Business of the Year" for 2015 by The Greater Tehachapi Chamber of Commerce and Tehachapi News. Each year, the award is given to a local company with 10 or more employees.

"I have been in this industry my entire life," said Philip, 38. "More or less, it's all I've done. I started working in the back when I was 12 or 13, every summer and during the holiday breaks at school."

Before moving to Tehachapi, the Richmond family owned and operated a shop in Mammoth for many years, which they sold before their move. After opening the shop on "H" Street, Scott opened another auto body shop in Ridgecrest, and spent the next eight years commuting back and forth every day. Finally, all that driving became too much, so he sold the Ridgecrest shop.

"My dad was a great guy," said Philip, "a phenomenal guy. He was fun, active and never slowed down, much like his son. He grew it (the business) over the years, and about 10 years ago, he started stepping out and retiring, and five years ago, he passed away."

Philip took over the shop after his father died.

"We have continued growing it. Since he has passed away, we have added another building and have added another employee or two. We just keep the good work going."

Philip has remained in Tehachapi for the majority of his life, with the exception of time he spent at college and a short time he spent in the midwest building wind turbines.

"I thought there was something better out there, but what I realized was that I really enjoy this," he said.

He and his wife Jeni have been married for 14 years and have four daughters, Olivia, 12, Chloe, 11, Madeline, 9 and Natalie, 8.

"The girls keep us busy," said Philip. He credits his wife's ability to run their often hectic homestead when she is not working as a notary."

Being a mother of four young girls is a full time job," he said. "But, it's fun. The oldest is really big into soccer for the American Youth Soccer Organization."

When he's not working, Philip acts as the referee coordinator for the AYSO and also coordinates the maintenance of playing fields.

"I spend the better part of my summer and fall doing that," said Philip. "My oldest really excelled at it this year and wanted to go on, so we haven't stopped. We are getting ready to start another Spring season in January... that's two nights a week... and off we go..."

"We are busy all the time," he said. "This summer I was fortunate enough to take three weeks off. We went into Canada and drove up into the Canadian Rockies, came down through Yellowstone and went out to Mount Rushmore. We took a long time and saw a ton the Northwestern U.S. and into the Midwest a little bit. The six of us put just over 6,000 miles on the car, and a little over 100 hours on the engine."

The Richmond family also enjoys waterskiing and snow skiing, and try to squeeze in a trip or two to the river or on the slopes of Mammoth. In his spare time (you're probably thinking, what spare time?), Philip stays heavily involved in the local Rotary Club.

"I am the event planner for any type of social event that we do," said Philip. "That's a great organization."

He and other Rotarians strive to remain active within the community, and work hard to improve and enrich the lives of its people, even if that means driving down to Tiajuana to deliver much needed supplies to a struggling orphanage.

"It was really something different, something I have never done before," said Philip about the Mexican adventure he took with his wife.

But when it comes right down to it, what makes Philip's life complete is having the opportunity to embrace a lucrative career which you love doing.

"I enjoy fixing cars," he said, "I really do. It's never the same thing twice. Sure you are doing a lot of repetitive work, but every car is different, and when it gets hit, it bends different. You are always learning and you are always have to think through the process of whatever you are doing, and I enjoy that."

Philip attributes much of his success to the capabilities of his growing team.

"They are phenomenal in what they do," he said. "They are all crucial keys in how the whole thing works, and its always changing due to technology."

Five years from now he says he will still be found working at his shop and continuing to grow to an adapting market.

"I don't see myself going anywhere else," he said. "My kids were born here and they will probably graduate from high school here and continue on with it."

Asked if one or more of his daughters would continue the legacy by taking over operations once he retires, Philip says, "I certainly hope they will. Women in this industry is a good thing and there's not enough of them. I would like to see more."

So, how did Scott's Auto Body really stand the test of time? Philip has a clear answer. Something his father taught him that he will always remember and stay true to.

"You stick by what you say you are going to do," he said. "You stand behind your work, no matter what. Good, bad or indifferent. If you say you are going to do something, then do it, and don't ever half-ass it. That goes all the way down to customer service. Do it right the first time. You're never going to satisfy everyone, but you got to do your darndest," he said.

Scott's Auto Body is 'Large Business of the Year.'


The Autobody News staff would like to thank for giving us permission to use this article.

Click HERE to view this story on their website.

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