Dave Palmer: Bill, first of all, thank you for inviting us out here and letting us invade your space, as I like to say, and thanks also for providing lunch today.
Bill Mertz: Thank you very much, a pleasure to be part of this. I don’t think I’ve ever seen my parking lot so full.
Dave Palmer: Yeah. It’s amazing. A lot of people have come by and…
Alright, Bill. Boy, I’m almost out of breath. So, what else do we got to say? Did I describe the location well enough because I know it’s a little confusing for some people? You said even the delivery people have a hard time getting here sometimes.
Bill Mertz: Yes. We have wrecker drivers and customers just constantly calling us on the phone. They put it in their GPS, but they’re standing in front of the Hobby Lobby, which is where the GPS put them, and they don’t see where we’re at. And, for those of you Plano long timers, you might remember Hobby Lobby used to be Montgomery Wards here at the Collin Creek Mall. Directly behind their big department store, they had the automotive repair, a standalone business. So, the City of Plano decided to keep the address on 15th Street for me, but gave me a B. So, it’s 900 B, as in BOY. I guess there’s an A over there now, a C, D, E, and F because they’ve split the rest of the Hobby Lobby up — excuse me — the Montgomery Wards up to several different venues now. But, I think Dave put it best. It’s directly across the street from the front door of St. Mark’s Church.
Dave Palmer: Yeah.
Bill Mertz: I’m very well situated being behind a Hobby Lobby and across from a Catholic Church.
Dave Palmer: Yeah. You got a lot of graces flowing down on the place, don’t you?
Bill Mertz: Yeah.
Dave Palmer: Well, you’ve been a sponsor for many years now. We appreciate you. People have heard your voice and Liz’s voice. I love the story about your wife, Liz, and what some of the kids at the school say. You can tell that story when you want to. But, first of all, tell us about getting into this business because, correct me if I’m wrong, but you were not — this is not something you’ve been doing forever and you did not originally plan to have this kind of business. You kind of fell into it in a way. But, how did that all happen that you became the shop owner?
Bill Mertz: Well, it used to be a pretty long story, but I’ve told it so many times it’s kind of a short story now. But, yeah. I didn’t, as they say, grow up in the business. I’ve been in telecom all my career. I started at MCI when it used to be MCI back in 1979. Somewhere around 2000, I think there was a big layoff in the telecom quarter they call it, a real big layoff, and I was affected. I decided I needed to find another business because telecom just wasn’t hiring and I knew a little bit about cars. I knew a lot about people I thought and marketing. So, I decided to stretch my wings, and go off down that venue, and started the business. About three months after I bought it, I got a call from one of my former employers and asked me if I’d like to come back to work for them. So, I’m thinking insurance with two kids and a wife, a 401K. Gee, that sounds great. So, I packed my bags up and went back to telecom. But, I had already spent — and I did have a love in the business. I spent a lot of money on it. Well, I went out and found a very good service manager, Wayne Johnson, and he’s been very successful and helpful. So, I’m basically what they call an absentee owner. I know he’d wish I was more absent than I am, but we get along great. We’ve got a great relationship and he’s a good Christian man too.
Dave Palmer: Um-hmm. Very good. Again, Bill Mertz, owner of MasterTech Auto Care in Plano, right across the street from St. Mark’s Parish.
The main reason we’re here — well, a couple of reasons. We love to highlight our sponsors, and thank our sponsors, and draw people out to come visit, and meet Bill and the other staff members here. We’ve got a lot of folks who have already come by to purchase some tickets.
Thanks for listening.