Shade Tree Auto has gone international - at least to accept an award.
The auto repair shop won the Gold Stevie Award in the Company of the Year - Retail - Small category. The award ceremony took place on Saturday, Oct. 20 in London, England.
Owner Clint Dudley, along with the repair shop store manager Dustin and service adviser Pam, attended the glamorous event.
“It was over the top,” Dudley laughed.
The international business award ceremony featured a red carpet, trays of champagne, a multiple-course meal and interviews, according to Dudley.
There were approximately 400 people in attendance from about 40 different countries.
“It was interesting to see all the different companies that were there. It’s such a wide-spread award ceremony, we were meeting people from all these different, not only industries, but different nations, too,” Dudley said.
However, not many people knew where to locate the small auto-repair shop in Grimes.
“I don’t think anybody could put Iowa on the map that we talked to,” Dudley said. “We just told people it was in the middle of the country.”
The ceremony was made extra special by the attendance of the Urbandale Chamber of Commerce President Tiffany Meinke, who traveled to London from a trip in Vienna, Austria.
Dudley was given 20 seconds to make an acceptance speech at the event.
“We were in the 4th in line to accept the awards. I had to come up with something quick,” Dudley said. “I tried to represent our staff, our customers, our Chambers, and our supporters. And on behalf of them I thanked the International Business Awards for recognizing an extraordinary company in a rather unordinary industry. That was important to get that out there.”
Shade Tree Auto found out about the award earlier in the summer.
“Pretty much everyone we talked to about the award started out with ‘Well how did you get that?’ We really don’t take too much offense to it,” Dudley said. “We have a great team and great customers. It’s easy to see from my perspective how (we won).”
Dudley said that the business winning this award is very important.
“It’s so important for us to let it be known that you can be successful, whether its an auto-repair shop or a plumbing company, or a professional electrician,” Dudley said. “A lot of trade industries have those opportunities. And if we can prove that you can go out and still win an international business award like that, that should say a lot.”
Dudley started the business in his garage in Johnston in 2001. Since then, the business has grown and recently opened a new location at 1750 SE 11th St. in Grimes.
For more information about Shade Tree Auto, visit the website shadetreeauto.biz.