When George Melendez isn't writing estimates at Regal Collision in Vallejo, CA, he is working as a security specialist for the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park.
When he works at the shop, he is estimating the costs of repairing a damaged vehicle. When he performs his role for the Major League SF Giants, he is using similar skills, he said.
"When I do an estimate, I'm thinking about potential issues with the car that may not be easy to find and make sure I look for everything," Melendez said. "When I am working for the Giants, I am also looking for issues that might occur in different parts of the stadium. In both positions, I have to be thorough and detail-oriented, so my career in the collision repair industry has helped me be a better security specialist for the team."
A lifer in the collision repair industry, Melendez has been the head estimator at Regal for the past five years, but has more than 35 years of experience in the industry. He is the only estimator at this busy shop, but works closely with Bill Hasma, the company's blueprinter.
"We work well as a team, like the Giants do," Melendez said. "I get a lot of help from everyone here, and that's why we succeed. Regal Collision is a top shop, and the Giants are a top team with three World Series titles within the last eight years, so I guess I surround myself with champions."
Melendez's biggest champion is his father, who introduced him to the body shop business in 1983 even though his plans were not headed in that direction initially.
"I was fresh out of the service and wanted to be a San Francisco cop, but while I was waiting to enter the academy, my dad asked me to come work with him at his body shop, G and M Auto Restoration," he said. "I started liking it and decided that I wanted to be an estimator, so I went to V-Tech, a school in Fresno, CA, to learn the trade. I noticed that most of the other students that were there were training to be insurance adjustors, so I learned about estimating and how their business worked as well. I learned how to estimate from the front bumper to the back bumper and everything in between, and the education I got there was invaluable."