STANDARD AUTO Receives 2012 Joe Cohen Retailer of the Year Award, presented by
SCORE WORCESTER - November 1, 2012 at the Central Mass. Business Expo
Left to right: Scott Rossiter, Jackie Cohen, Ellie Cohen, Deirdre Stultz-Tully, Karen Cohen, David Cohen.
Longtime local business Standard Auto Wrecking is the recipient of the 2012 Joe Cohen Worcester Retailer of the Year Award, presented by SCORE Worcester. The award, which recognizes a Worcester-based retail business that gives back to the community, is named in honor of Joe Cohen, the owner of Henry’s Paint and Wallpaper, an active presence in the community for more than 50 years.
The company has a long history. In 1973, Ronald “Sonny” Stultz of Ronnie’s Auto Body purchased Standard Auto Wrecking from the O’Day family. He successfully leveraged the business experience from Ronnie’s and the focused discipline he learned in his days as an athlete. Standard has become a regional and even national go-to yard for used auto parts, automotive service and reliable knowledge.
Standard also finds innovative ways to do business. The Standard yard — 40 acres on Granite Street — is probably the only yard in the United States with cars neatly arranged on a massive concrete pad, instead of just piled into a field. While Sonny would probably credit hard work and self-reliance the company’s success has also been propelled by technology including a teletype and voice communication system that was the precursor of the Internet. Standard was then one of the first salvage yards to make its inventory available on-line.
Standard is a family operation, with daughter Deirdre Stultz-Tully as treasurer and son Ronnie helping out; even grandchildren Andrew and Jordan pitch in when necessary. Certainly the key to success is all the business’ dedicated employees. People like Dick Kirby, who has never called in sick —for 25 years; Mike Williams, who balances work with his important commitment in the military reserves; Gerard Dufresne, who didn’t miss a day during a terrible family accident; and Lester Eccleston, who works with a condition that would keep most people home. The entire crew — Joey Tetreault, Paul Mars, John Roberts, Joe Plonski, James Perry, Tom Cook, Edward Warren, Jerry Chapman, Carnell Allen, Paul Loiseau, Mike Higgins, Kevin Deeds and Deb Young — show up every day, ready to serve customers and solve problems.
While the employees of Standard Auto Wrecking take good care of customers, it’s the company’s commitment to the community that makes it such a worthy recipient of the Joe Cohen Award.
It started with youth athletics, back in the days of Ronnie’s Auto Body. Fifty years later, Standard still supports Worcester and suburban youth leagues, touching thousands of kids, including the boxing program at the Boys & Girls Club. Its charitable work just keeps growing, and includes efforts for Worcester Public Schools, the auto program at Worcester Technical High School, Mass Audubon Society, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, the Shriners, Why Me & Sherry’s House, Fallen Warriors, Hole-in-the-Wall Gang and the Salvation Army. It’s clear that Standard has set a new standard for charitable support. Whether it’s the Galaxy of Stars fundraiser, the annual golf tournament, or T-shirts for kids — Standard and Sonny Stultz makes sure the support is there.
Probably the biggest focus of Standard Wrecking’s generosity is its work with Friendly House. The nonprofit provides everything from basic shelter and food to housing and jobs to inner-city families. Standard runs an auto donation program for Friendly House. But unlike the one you hear advertised on the radio, Friendly House gets 100 percent of the value of the vehicle. Unless a Friendly House client needs a car, in which case Standard repairs the vehicle, adds new tires, repairs the transmission, checks power steering, and whatever else the car may need — so the client gets a hand up instead of a handout. It’s the same deal for Friendly House shuttle trucks and vans; they are donated and repaired at no charge so they can safely transport clients, kids and meals. And when they need maintenance...Standard is there – again, at no charge.
Another example of charitable giving — stray cats somehow find their way into Standard Wrecking’s 40 acres on Granite Street. The cats are fed, examined, given appropriate shots and cared for until they find a home. So whether you need auto parts — or a cat — give the team at Standard Wrecking Company a call. Congratulate them for being great stewards of the community and our furry friends in need.
SCORE Worcester is a part of the Small Business Administration, which provides free counseling to start-ups and small businesses to help them succeed. Joe Cohen served as a counselor to businesses and as a mentor to other counselors. SCORE created the Joe Cohen Worcester Retailer of the Year Award to honor their longtime associate, who was so dedicated to the organization.
Award winners Rotman’s in 2010, Hoey Tire in 2011, and now ... Standard Wrecking and Sonny Stultz in 2012. The Joe Cohen Award teaches us about great Worcester companies that measure their success not just in profits, but also in strengthening the community and prioritizing that great feeling of helping our neighbors.