We are excited to begin introducing you to our people! So much of C&R’s story, past and future, is anchored in our employees. As a family owned business, we hope to provide a place where our employees feel at home, but also one that allows them to devote their greatest energy in their own homes, with the people who matter the most. We are ever thankful for those who make the wheels at C&R turn, and we value the skills they bring to our small, family owned business. We’ve told you our history, and now we’d like to give you a glimpse into our future – through the lives of those who are helping us to grow. It’s only fitting that we start with our General Manager, Shawn.
Shawn, the youngest in our family of six, has been in the midst of the family business since he was a toddler. As a young boy, he could most often be found following Dad or his older brothers around in the shop. He loved going to the auto auction with his dad (back in the days when children were allowed inside), and was a regular customer at the bank. Friends and neighbors noticed his love of the business, and teased about his constant involvement. One family friend even made him a little blanket with an image of him in work overalls and a C&R hat. In Shawn’s mind, he was just as involved in the running of C&R as his daddy was.
When I asked him what led him to want to be involved in the business as an adult, he smiled and quipped that it was the life of glamour it promised :). In seriousness though, being a part of the family business wasn’t an immediate decision. Following high school, he spent two years in Korea as a missionary for his church. Once he returned, he decided to get some space while he decided what he really wanted to do. “I didn’t want to just join the business because it was easy,” he explained. He moved to Salt Lake City and enrolled in college, with the idea of pursuing an international business degree. However, the longer he was away from the family business, the more he wanted to be a part of it. “My heart was in small business,” he said. He kept going to school as he grew increasingly interested in moving back to his roots, slowly becoming more involved with C&R again. He started working part time in the transportation side, traveling to Las Vegas and California to haul vehicles, and then progressed into buying. Today, he works as General Manager, where he “likes being a little part of everything”. He has always enjoyed dealing with people, and enjoys being part of the processes, customer relations, working with employees, and helps manage the business side of things.
Shawn is married to his best friend and wife, Kelsey, and the two of them are happy to raise their two children, Gray and Gibson, in the country. He enjoys anything in the outdoors: snowmobiling, horses, classic cars, boating, and of course, Harley Davidson motorcycles.
When asked what his favorite memory of growing up in the business, he said it would be following his dad and brothers everywhere. He feels that because of those experiences, he learned from a young age to work hard, to be dedicated to something, and to follow through what you start.
Shawn and I visited about his goals and priorities for C&R. He is passionate about helping to develop systems and train employees so they can be successful at what they do and provide good customer service. He said, “I want our employees to feel that they work to live, not live to work.” Along those lines, he explained that as a personal goal, he hopes that as these systems and the business get more established, he too will be able to spend more time with his family and kids. He wants to be able to be involved in his children’s lives as they grow, and once again, doesn’t want to be forever living to work. He wants to work to live!
Shawn would be the last person to toot his own horn, and there are probably very few people who really know the number of hours he spends keeping things at C&R running and growing. It goes without saying, but his wife Kelsey, also spends untold hours supporting him and working behind the scenes (and can often be found in her off hours picking up or delivering a trailer!)
Those who know Shawn would say that he has an uncanny ability with people. This was evident at a young age. I remember going to visit our grandparents when he was elementary age. They lived in a trailer court and each day, Shawn would make the rounds, meeting the neighbors. He has always been quick to make friends and enjoys meeting and talking to people. His oldest brother, Ronnie, told me that Shawn’s greatest strengths in the business are the hard work he contributes and an “unusual ability to relate and work with other people”.
When asked about Shawn’s contributions, his brother Chris said, “Shawn is very adaptable to all areas of the business. He can work a deal with many of his personal customers, work with the employees, roll up his sleeves and get dirty if he needs to and has even been known to climb in the big red semi and take a turn”.
One thing is for sure, C&R is fortunate that Shawn ended coming back to his roots – to the small business that captured his heart as a young boy. His vision and gift in relating to others is a great asset to our family and to the little, family business our dad started so many years ago.