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Celebrating 20 years of operation, co-owner Karen Johnston also gets community service award

PMG PHOTO: TERESA CARSON - Karen Johnston, co-owner of Greshams All About Automotive, greets customers at the downtown shop.

All About Automotive is celebrating its 20th anniversary, just racked up another award and is looking for a new spot to do business for the next 20 years and beyond.

"We love being in downtown," co-owner Karen Johnston said, noting that it is convenient for many people to drop off their cars and walk to work or do some local errands.

But Johnston said the land where All About Automotive is located has been for sale "on and off" and the shop is looking for another location.

Restrictive zoning laws make it challenging for the Johnstons to find a new site. That, coupled with high land prices, has made finding a new spot for the repair shop a headache.

All About Automotive, founded in October 2000, repairs and services foreign and domestic cars and trucks at 139 N.W. Second St., tucked away in downtown Gresham.

But All About Automotive has been successful for two decades and Johnston is confident that will continue.

"Our philosophy and code of ethics is that we treat customers the way we would want to be treated," said Johnston.

PMG PHOTO: TERESA CARSON - Johnston was one of 20 national winners of the Community Pillars Aware from Synchony, a financial services firm. The award is given to small businesses who support the community through times of change.

All About Automotive does that with thorough vehicle inspections and giving customers the full story on their cars so they can make informed repair decisions, she said. All About Automotive strives to treat everyone the same, both men and women, making sure everything is explained in a way that each customer can understand.

Johnston said the business strives to develop long-term relationships with customers so they'll keep coming back and recommend the shop to others.

The mechanics at All About Automotive are all ASE Certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence and complete continuing education classes to keep up with the ever-changing technology in today's vehicles.

"Our industry changes every year," Johnston said.

That not only requires employee education, but updates on equipment and tooling.

All About Automotive can handle jobs from air conditioning to wheel alignment and from simple battery replacement to suspension work.

The Johnstons are also active in the community. They use students from the automotive technology program at Mt. Hood Community College and hire high schoolers interested in automotive careers as interns to help out in the shop. Supporting the educations of these students is one way they support the community.

"We love our communities. We support local schools, charities and events," Karen said.

Johnston was recently honored with the "Community Pillars" award from Synchony, a financial services firm. She was one of 20 winners nationwide.

The Community Pillars award is given to owners of small businesses who have supported their communities through times of change.

Co-owner Steve Johnston attended Gresham High School, while Karen went to rival Barlow. Steve began studying automotive technology at Gresham High and went on to get a degree in auto technology from Mt. Hood Community College. He worked at multiple auto repair jobs until founding All About Automotive two decades ago. Steve Johnston also taught automotive technology at Reynolds High School and MHCC.

The Johnston's secret to success, she said, is to give "good customer service and support our community."

Sidebar

All About Automotive

Mission statement: "Striving to take care of customers by providing top quality maintenance, service and repairs one car, customer and family at a time."

Location: 139 N.W. Second St., Gresham

Hours of operation 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday

Contact: 503-465-2926

email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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