New and old owners

The new owners of Auto-Lab Complete Car Care Centers of Fenton, (from left) Kitty and Brad Brokaw with retiring owners Dave Gilles and Barb Bishop.

It was time.

Dave Gilles, 66, of Brighton, and his sister, Barb (Gilles) Bishop, 62, of Fenton, are retiring. The brother/sister due have been business partners at Auto-Lab Complete Car Care Centers of Fenton since 2005.

While they both worked together on the administrative side of Auto-Lab, they each had their own areas of specialty.

Brad Brokaw recently purchased the franchise business and Gilles and Bishop are in the process of training him with everything he needs to know about the Fenton business and their valued customers.

Brokaw, 51, is originally from the New York City area. Currently, he’s moving from a small lake town called Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, to Fenton. He said the towns are quite similar. He and his daughter, ShaiAnne, 20, arrived to the area just a few weeks ago. He’s been married to Katharine (Kitty) for nearly 24 years and they have an 18-year-old son, Brayden.

They have three Labrador Retrievers: two yellow labs, Brodie and Madison and 3-year-old black lab puppy, Bina that they adopted from the Aramco security service as an “almost” bomb-sniffing dog.

Brokaw said his family just returned stateside from over a decade working in the Middle East for Saudi Aramco. “We had wonderful adventure working and playing in countries like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain (where we still have a place), the UAE and even Egypt,” he said. “Before heading into corporate communications, I had the privilege of being a television journalist for over 15 Years.”

He said the opportunity to work with Gilles and Bishop just kind of came to them out of the blue and his whole family believes that everything happens for a reason.

Brokaw said Gilles and Bishop have put their heart and soul into that business, willing it into one of the best stores in the entire Auto-Lab franchise family.

“It has been obvious to me how much the two of them will be missed by their multitude of clients and customers who have become such good friends over the years,” he said. “Barb and Dave really are a Fenton institution and the entire Brokaw family knows that we have very big shoes to fill.”

When asked what he wants Auto-Lab’s valued customers to know about him, he said, “A simple three sentence maxim has always served Kitty and me throughout life: 1. Do it right the first time. 2. Do it for the customer. 3. Always do the right thing. We are striving to keep the high quality, fair priced, personal customer service that Barb and Dave have made their staple over the past 15 plus years.”

He said he will not be making any changes with the successful business. “We are thrilled that all four of the auto technicians will be staying on to help us continue to serve our large client base. Scott, Mike, Rod and Luke have really helped ShaiAnne and me (along with Barb and Dave of course) make the ownership transition as smooth as possible.

Katherine Villeneuve, director of marketing and store support for Auto-Lab Complete Car Care Centers, said, “Barb Bishop and Dave Gilles have built a successful business that has been part of the Fenton community for 15 years. They have been an integrated piece of the community by giving back and sponsoring various organizations and have been active members in the Fenton BNI group.

“We wish them well in their retirement and thank them for the hard work and dedication.”

“Auto-Lab Complete Car Care Centers of Fenton will continue to serve the community under the ownership and leadership of Brad Brokaw. We are excited to keep the Auto-Lab Complete Car Care Centers brand name in Fenton and want the residents of the community to know that they can expect the same great service that they’ve received over the past 15 years.”

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