Women In Business 2012

Randi Mitchelson brings honesty, education to automobile repair

By From page D11 | January 25, 2012

Randi Mitchelson loves NASCAR, drag racing and Mario Andretti. It makes sense that she’s in the automotive business, owning and operating Automotive Excellence with husband Ross Mitchelson since 2008.

It all began when Automotive Excellence — a full-service car repair shop —  opened in 1999. Back then Randi was working for her brother, the owner at that time. Randi learned the repair business as a secretary and manager, overseeing the whole shop from front to back. In 2008 Randi and her husband decided to take over as owners of Automotive Excellence and have since doubled the size of their repair facility and hired more employees.

“It’s tough to be in a man’s world. Being a woman in the automotive business you have to take criticism. People say things like ‘You don’t have any grease under your nails,’” Randi, 46, said, also noting that to the contrary customers have also expressed gratitude for her down-to-earth explanations of necessary car repairs. “In this business I have learned an incredible amount about cars and people.”

And she’s had an excellent mentor as her husband Ross, 41, has been in the auto repair business since he was 19. Most days you’ll find Randi in her office drumming up a new marketing strategy or keeping track of the books.

At Automotive Excellence mechanics are thorough and eager to report what’s going on under the hood and the necessity of any repairs. “We are big on educating clients and letting them make decisions,” Randi said.

“Maintenance is very important. You have to have a trustworthy place,” she added. “We have a great reputation. We are very trustworthy. We have customers that have been coming here since we opened — they know they can trust us. That makes us feel so good; we are proud of our shop.”

At Automotive Excellence every car gets a thorough inspection with a printed report for customer review. Showing a stack of car inspection reports Randi pointed to many cars that were in good shape and well-maintained, but others scattered throughout the stack weren’t. Maintenance isn’t an option if you want longevity for your vehicle.

“If you work really hard you can reach your goals. I’ve worked my tooshie off to get where I’m at,” Randi said, noting long hours and long weeks at the shop.

The most recent news to hit Automotive Excellence has been the birth of the Mitchelson’s third grandchild earlier this month and there’s one more on the way — much to the excitement of the grandparents.

Last year Automotive Excellence hosted a car show and cake walk to raise $2,000 for M.O.R.E. and New Morning Youth and Family Services. Randi is planning another fundraiser this fall that will also take place in their spacious parking lot.

For more information call 530-622-2701 or visit their where customers can take advantage of a  new service that allows them to log in and view their service history. Automotive Excellence is located at 4600 Missouri Flat Road, Suite 14, in Placerville.

Krysten Kellum

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