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Be Like Brayden

Work ethic opens doors

BY CHELSEA STEBNER

June celebrates fathers—something this industry has quite a lot of. The dad I’m going to share a story about is my brother from another mother. I want to celebrate an exceptional father and role model in the shop: my co-worker Brayden Neufeld, Parr Auto Body’s shop manager and co-owner of the business.

When we first met, Brayden was a young kid coming from a country shop. He showed up to the shop on a Monday morning, and no one knew he was coming. He was thrown into the fire for sure! In those early days, Brayden says he feared me; that I meant business. During his first few months at Parr, Brayden managed to bend a truck frame in half, attempt to remove a windshield moulding and crack a windshield and finally; set a quarter glass in a vehicle and have it shatter and that one was in the boss’s daughter’s car! Somehow, despite this mess, the autobody gods smiled on Brayden. We kept him on board. There was just something endearing about the kid, and our boss knew he was a key to our future.

Over the years, Brayden’s persistent work ethic has allowed him to secure every opportunity he could find. He was eager to step into each area of the shop: “Oh the disassembly tech is off? I’ll try that,” he’d say. “There’s no painter? I’ll try it out,” and so forth.

One day, I was attending roundtable meetings with our paint company and I asked Brayden to tag along for a meeting. He did not disappoint. He showed up, listened far more than he talked, asked some questions, and began learning more about the ‘soft skills’ side of the business.

Fast forward a few years and some of the Parr team were asked if we wanted to buy into the business. Brayden was one of them. Today, Brayden is an integral part of Parr Auto Body, with the ability to estimate vehicles, care for customers, refinish cars and everything else in between. His passion, skill and commitment to our team and shop are outstanding attributes.

As a leader in our business, our young team looks to him for his wisdom, words of advice or let’s face it, sometimes a kick in the butt. His mentorship of our team and ability to always shift perspective and find the positive are outstanding attributes.

With customers, he always finds a way to be kind and compassionate. Quite frankly, he’d give people the shirt off his back. Brayden chooses to quietly volunteer his time with Skills Saskatchewan, Skills Canada, our provincial auto body association, along with coaching hockey and baseball.

He really is a mentor to our young team, an amazing dad to three little boys and husband to Nikki. If anyone wonders if our shop’s values are practiced daily, you just look at Brayden and watch him you’ll see those values are lived out daily. In celebration of the dads of the industry, know that our young staff are watching. They are learning and they are following in your footsteps—so make them good ones.

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