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Driven to Make Customers Happy

Heath Harris, the owner of Heath’s Auto Service in Flagstaff, calls himself a classic overachiever. He may be right.

He starts his day five days a week weightlifting.

“I do it every morning at 5:00 a.m. to get my whole day in focus. It sets the pace and the intensity,” he said.

Then he goes to his car repair business and works for 12 or 15 hours a day.

“I am a mechanic and manager. It depends on what hat needs to be worn that day,” he said.

Harris said he has the ability to compartmentalize his life and business and get things done by concentrating on certain areas.

“I say, ‘today I’m going to concentrate on this compartment,’” he said.

“I have an incredible amount of drive. I am very determined. I have a vision and I get it done.”

He opened the business 10 years ago. Now, at age 36, he has four employees, including his wife, Tobey, who does the books.

“It’s something I had a dream to do, own my own business,” he said. “I had been managing gas stations in high school. I was able to go to school, play sports and went to trade school while I was in high school.”

Harris grew up near Philadelphia, with one older brother, one younger sister and a younger half brother.

Always athletic, he played football and wrestled, earning his letterman’s jacket.

He graduated from Conestoga High School in 1994.

Working around cars is something that comes naturally to him.

“It was just kind of something I’ve always done. I’ve had relatives who own service stations on the East Coast. It is something I’ve been into my whole life,” he said.

He says growing up in the East gave him an extra something.

“Where I am from is different from the West Coast. You have to have street smarts. I think I am much wiser than my age,” he said. “Street starts are important to me because it kind of takes a lot of the logic out of things. It’s more a gut feeling.”

Following his gut seems to be working for him.

“Business is better than ever. People are fixing old cars.”

He says that he is known for customer service.

“You really have to take care of every one of your customers. We pride ourselves in on that. We keep people in the loop. Sometimes when you are right, you have to be wrong.”

Harris works hard to keep his business growing by hiring quality people and providing quality jobs.

“I have two employees who have been with me eight out of the 10 years,” he said.

He met his wife in 2005, just after opening the business. The couple later married and now has an eight-month-old daughter, Hallie, and a two-year-old son, Hayden.

“Right now, we are just parenting together. We used to run together and work out together. It’s amazing how children change your life. It’s great. I wouldn’t change it for anything, but it is a lot more involved than you would think,” he said.

Before having children, Tobey was an elementary school teacher.

“I still work 12 and 15 hour days, but on the weekends, I hang out with them,” Harris said.

“I have a house in Lake Havasu City. We go there all the time. I am a pretty avid boater. Boating is one of my passions.

“I am just a hard-working guy. I adore my family. It makes me so happy. I’ve been with my wife for 11 years. She is a wonderful lady and I am a lucky guy. It’s nice to be married, and it works.”

Harris is a member of Flagstaff Professionals and the Aspen Valley Golf Club.

“I don’t know that I am that good at [golf], but it is something I have done all my life. My wife is really a good athlete and comes from a family of marathon runners,” he said.

The first time she picked up a golf club, she amazed him.

“She took a seven iron, whacked in onto the green and then two putts for a par. I told her she should take up golf because she was a natural. She said she had no interest.”

Of course, he doesn’t get to play golf as often as he would like because he is busy with his business and family.

“It takes four hours and then your buddies want to have a beer…” he trailed off.

Harris said he loves Flagstaff.

“You don’t know how blessed I feel to live here and make a living here,“ he said. “It’s the best place to live in the world.“

At his age, Harris believes he is in the right place in his life plan.

“I never dreamed I would be where I am today. Well, I dreamed it, so that’s probably why I’m here.” FBN

 

Heath’s Auto Service is at 1840 W, Kaibab Lane.

Harris can be reached at 928-214-8150.

 

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