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The Prineville business was previously founded and operated by the Ray Bishop family for three generations

RAMONA MCCALLISTER - Brad Estes, Regional Manager for Gill's Point S Tire and Auto Service works at the front counter of nthe Prineville storeGills Point S Tire and Auto Service changed ownership in April 2022.

The business was previously founded and operated by the Ray Bishop family for three generations. Ray, Regina and Levi Bishop worked as a team to build the tire store that is now Point S Tire and Auto Service. Fred and Eileen Bishop started the business in 1956, and Ray began working full time in 1971, with wife, Regina working full-time since 2000. Ray purchased the welding shop in 1974, and the family, including son, Levi, continue to operate the shop with Regina's brother, John Poling.

"The Bishop family has been serving Prineville for three generations," commented Ray Bishop. "We would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to all of Prineville and Crook County for making Prineville such a good place to live. It is people and friends you make that makes it enjoyable to live here. It was important for us to sell the company to someone that has shared the same traditional values. It has been a pleasure serving our community and watching it grow."

Levi is actively pursuing the welding shop business to expand it and make it more profitable. He was co-owner of the tire shop and had been there for 16 years.

Gills Point S provides a myriad of auto services, including oil changes, brake services, shocks and struts, alignments, changing wiper blades, under hood services and front-end work and of course — tire services. They have also added road service for commercial trucks. Point S also offers tire products, including brands such as Toyos, Nexen, Nokian and Falken and other main brands. In addition, they offer a number of car accessories.

RAMONA MCCALLISTER - Brad Estes is the Regional Manager for Gill's Point S Tire and Auto Service"We do Weather Tech, we do lift kits, leveling kits and air bags on stuff," pointed out Brad Estes, Regional Manager for Gills Point S. "We can get just about any aftermarket product through a CSI. It is really nice to have an outlet to offer the same things for any accessory component out there that you would want."

Prior to April, the tire and auto service were already a Point S, specifically Bishop Point S, but the signage will be changing to Gills Point S within the next year.

RAMONA MCCALLISTER - Kenny Harris, store manager for Gill's Point S Tire and Auto Service, works on a tire installationKenny Harris, store manager, noted that there are not many changes but most involve logistics like the computer system and the process of compiling purchase orders. He added that they still have most of the crew from prior to the changed management and gave kudos to the hard work of the Bishop family for leaving the business in a good place.

"The crew was really good, just stepping right in, which speaks a lot of Ray and Levi in running this place, because this was a really well-run machine when we took it over," emphasized Harris.

Current mechanic, Travis Coyle, who lives in Prineville and was actually working in the Bend office, transferred to Prineville when the changeover was made. Harris said that their techs are amazing, and Marcus Villagomez is now assistant-manager. RAMONA MCCALLISTER - Mechanic for Gill's Point S Tire and Auto Service, Travis Coyle, works on an auto for a customer

The changes that did occur were not changes like policies or practices, but the corporate structure of the company made it possible to offer health insurance, 401k retirement plans and more opportunity for growth in other stores.

"We have done everything that Ray, Levi and Regina have done — it is just Eric (Gill) has done it on a bigger scale," added Estes.

Gill owns approximately 40 Point S stores, including locations in La Pine, Bend, Redmond, Madras, The Dalles, Hood River, Portland, Grants Pass, Medford, Cottage Grove and Albany. In addition, the Gill Point S is under a Point S coalition. There are 4,100 locations across the globe. Estes said that it is a tire-buying coalition. A customer can come to another location and have a warranty honored, among other benefits from the coalition.

"That is one thing I like about this place; we will help other stores out. You get to know everybody from the other stores in the company," said Harris.

He indicated that he has worked at every store in Central Oregon, except Madras. He also noted that during COVID, it was a huge benefit, because they could draw from other stores when an outbreak occurred. They also have access to more resources as a corporation.

"We are very unique — we are still a mom-and-pop shop, and we still kept our core values of our employees and our customers, but we are big, that's it."

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