“I’m Happier Now Working for Garber”: Shaun Crayton’s Story

Shaun Crayton likes to win.

That’s why he works for Garber-owned Volvo Cars Rochester in New York. As a service technician, he competes every day. It’s Shaun vs. the vehicle’s problems that he needs to solve.

“Every day is different, which I like,” he said. “You get a problem and you want to beat it. I want to win. It’s frustrating sometimes, but you push through it.”

A solutionist of sorts, Shaun has been solving vehicle problems as a tech for 29 years.

He said the best years of his career have been the last two years. That’s when he became a Garber team member.

Now Shaun solves problems, but he doesn’t have to do it alone.

“If you have a problem car, you know you can count on your fellow people to help you,” he said. “If they have a problem, they can count on me. If I don’t know the answer, we all come over and try to figure it out. We are not competing with each other.”

A Fresh Start

Before Garber acquired the Volvo dealership, Shaun was a technician under different leadership.

His role was the same as it is now. His experience was not.

“Before Garber came in here, it seemed like everyone was working against each other,” he said. “Sales was against service. It was like we were the bad guys.”

Along with a not-so-team-oriented atmosphere, Shaun didn’t feel valued. It took a toll on him mentally.

“I was getting fed up before Garber came along,” he said. “The owners didn’t care anymore. They said they did, but sure, everyone is going to say that at the Christmas party. Saying ‘thank you’ never happened. Now, with Garber, it is.”

While the work days were often challenging during that season of ownership, Shaun sensed a change was coming soon. He just didn’t know it would be Garber.

“We saw the writing on the wall,” he explained. “The owners were getting older. We knew they were going to sell the store one day.”

When Garber acquired the dealership, Shaun said the transition was smooth…and a refreshing change.

“Garber made it as easy as they could,” he said. “Nobody came in and tried to change the world. Everybody worked together instead of against each other. Erika [Erika Foley, General Manager of Volvo Cars Rochester] is a phenomenal general manager. She’s down to earth. It’s nice.”

He said the challenges he faced mentally at work are now eliminated.

“Now everyone is working for the same team,” Shaun said. “To come in and not have to fight mentally for whatever we need to get done, it’s been a big relief.”

Family Ties

Now under Garber’s leadership, Shaun has noticed a significant shift in the culture.

“A lot of people say it’s like family, but it really is,” he said. “We really are all like a family here. We all see each other here more than our families. If someone needs something or to stay late, we do it. We support each other.”

While his fellow team members are like Shaun’s family, there is one individual that is Shaun’s family member. Literally. His son Miller is a custodian at the dealership. 

The team is not just a family that works together. They break bread together too.

“I cook for all the guys,” Shaun said. “People bring in food all the time. We have lunches. It makes it easier to connect and be together. I like it.”

Two Words

Aside from support from all angles, what is the key difference that makes Garber stand out?

Appreciation, Shaun said.

“Garber actually appreciates us, which is huge,” he said. “For 27 of these 29 years of being a tech, I really didn’t feel appreciated. We were the guys out back. It got frustrating. It makes you not want to come in. Now with Erika and Garber, everybody is working together and breaking records. It’s nice. People notice.”

He said the appreciation – whether it’s a lunch outing or a verbal thank you – makes him want to get up and come to work each day.

“I’m happier now working for Garber,” he said. “The work environment and the people I work with are much better. I’m calmer. Being appreciated is a huge thing. Just two words – thank you — goes a long way. We never had that before. It’s life-changing.

Service techs who are looking to work at a dealership where they will be fulfilled and valued should look into Garber, Shaun said.

“I would totally recommend working for Garber,” he said. “It comes down to the appreciation thing. You need to feel appreciated to want to come to work. If you don’t want to come to work, then what’s the point? But here, we are appreciated. I tell my son all the time, ‘Find something you like to do and make money at it.’ I’ve achieved that for the most part. I like my job and I like working for Garber.”

Fast Five

First job? Worked at Top’s supermarkets as a produce guy.

First car? I bought it when I was 15. ’71 Camaro. Gold. It wasn’t a great car but I thought it was cool.

Three things you can’t live without? My son, my job, my house

Favorite meal? Pierogies

Best piece of advice? Work ethic is a huge thing I try to instill in my son. “Work hard and aim high.”

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Lindsay Henry

Lindsay Henry

Lindsay is the Digital Communications Manager for Garber Automotive Group.

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