Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-07-18
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

LGBTQ-owned car repair service aims to expand nationwide
by Bronson Pettitt
2018-06-20

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Chicago-area resident Brian Moak is working to change the perception that the car-service industry and LGBTQ individuals do not mix.

A year ago, he rebranded Duxler Complete Auto Care, the company he bought from his father, and renamed it HEART Certified Auto Care, with the aims of promoting tolerance, respect and diversity as well as creating a comfortable, accepting environment for both his employees and customers.

"The real message is that everyone is celebrated here," Moak told Windy City Times. "When we named the company 'HEART,' it's because we are a heart-led company," he said, adding that HEART is an acronym for 'Helping Everyone Achieve Reliable Transportation.'"

In addition to the company's values, HEART's business model is also transparency-driven, Moak said: Mechanics take photos of what they're working on and provide easy-to-understand explanations to customers. HEART also has a fleet of 23 loaner vehicles, a shuttle service for pickups and drop-offs within 10 miles, and a two-year warranty on repairs.

"Most people don't understand what's wrong with their car; most people are not mechanics. They are buying your word, your reputation, they're buying your level of service. But really, they're buying you. That's a huge level of vulnerability," Moak said.

With three locations in Evanston, Wilmette and Northbrook, Moak said he wants to take his vision nationwide and expand to 100 or more franchise locations in 10 years.

"The biggest challenge is getting the brand going," he said. "The good news is our foundation is exceptional and we're stronger than we've ever been, so we're primed and ready to do this."

Moak said his company is in a unique position to do this: HEART has over 15,000 active customers, a "99 percent approval rating and 94 percent customer retention rate," along with an average employee tenure of 13 years.

"There are other brands that have been out there for a long time—and I'm not using hyperbole, but none of which have individual store performance at the level we have," Moak said, adding the typical customer retention rate in the car care industry is only 40 percent.

With these numbers in mind, Moak has high standards for franchisees.

"I'm looking for someone who's very driven, who has an incredible sense of empathy, high values, a strong work ethic, creativity."

Despite his ambitious plans and unique values, this is nothing new for the family; Moak bought the company from his father in 2009, and those values were present even before he took over.

"I'm grateful for the foundation [my father] taught me and the things I learned from him, and that plays a huge role in taking what I wanted to create to the next level," Moak said.

For Moak, the next level meant being one of the few LGBT-owned car care shops around.

"My friends' impressions is that if you're gay, it's just as hard or it could be even harder [than for women], because if you're a more effeminate man …you have someone who's talking down to you, with a little bit of disrespect, sarcasm, passive aggressiveness and maybe even patronizing you—that happens all the time."

He added: "If you feel intimidated to get your car repaired, imagine what it would feel like to go to work every day in that environment."

Brian came out at 21, while he was a junior in college.

"My dad had a company meeting while I wasn't there and flat out said, 'My son came out of the closet—he's gay. The gay jokes have to stop while he's around,'" Moak said.

A year later, Moak graduated and returned to Duxler as a salesperson.

"The environment hadn't changed that much. That made me work harder and smarter, it made me work more hours than anyone else, it made me work to prove that I was as capable or better than anyone, regardless of the fact that I was gay," Moak said.

He purposefully won people over, one at a time, on both a personal and professional level.

"When you grow up closeted, you learn to be a chameleon. You learn how to pull different dimensions of your personality out in different situations to excel in that environment," Moak said.

By the time he was 27, he was general manager of one of the stores and bought the company from his father—something that wasn't supposed to happen until he was 40.

"I personally have two customers: the one who comes in the front door as my consumer, and the one who checks in through the back door, at the time clock," Moak said. "They both have to buy what I'm selling, and I have to give both of them the best possible experience anywhere."


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

ART Derrick Woods-Morrow, provocateur and disruptor, by design 2018-07-11 - Talking with queer artist Derrick Woods-Morrow is an exercise in exploring boundaries. This is, by no means, a criticism—it's simply an observation. That ...


Gay News

Out and Sober, beating dual stigma 2018-07-11 - Tucked away on Chicago's West Side, the Gateway Foundation's Chicago Independence location is helping recovering addicts from the LGBTQ community get back on ...


Gay News

Donald Strzepek on jewelry business, early LGBTQ activism 2018-07-11 - Lifelong Chicagoan Donald Strzepek has been in the jewelry business for more than 30 years and is currently the owner of Tucker Inc., ...


Gay News

Boxer Orlando Cruz leading Chicago's Pride Parade 2018-06-20 - Professional boxing's only openly gay star is coming to Chicago. Orlando "El Fenonemo" , of Puerto Rico, was the grand marshal in ...


Gay News

A brief history of LGBTQ students and proms 2018-06-20 - In recent years, many LGBTQ students have attended their high school proms across the country without any "controversy" but that was not always ...


Gay News

Jan Dee looks back on 45+ years as custom jeweler 2018-06-20 - For as far back as Jan Dee can remember she has always been interested in arts and crafts and has parlayed that into ...


Gay News

Lauren Heckathorn on being a genderqueer special-education teacher 2018-06-20 - Lauren Heckathorn's ( pronouns they/them/their ) dream of becoming a special education teacher began at a young age when their third grade class ...


Gay News

Dual Spirit Style helps all people find their menswear look 2018-06-14 - Tanisha Hawkins has always taken her image—and her clothes—seriously. "I'm really passionate about being able to express your gender. If you see ...


Gay News

Praxis Group helps business professionals go beyond inclusion 2018-06-13 - An emerging Chicago consulting firm composed primarily of activists within the LGBTQ community has the goal of getting workplaces to think "beyond inclusion." ...


Gay News

Washington Heights artist on her work, studio, future event 2018-06-12 - Washington Heights resident Hana L. Anderson ( who was born and raised in the Chicago neighborhood of Hyde Park ) has always considered ...


 



Copyright © 2018 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.