Tuesday, 03 November 2020 19:36

20 Under 40: Andrew Tylka Making a Big Dent in Auto Body Repair World in NW Indiana

Written by Phil Wieland, NWI Times
Andrew Tylka Andrew Tylka Tony V. Martin


The family business


Tylka told his dad, instead of selling the business, how about letting the younger Tylka sell his home in Indianapolis and move back north to run it.


Andrew said his dad started the business in 1983 with a friend, the Ed of the title. The elder Tylka had been working as an engineer and doing auto body work as a hobby. When the engineering company downsized, it was time to turn the hobby into his job.


Tom bought out Ed a couple of years later and eventually expanded to three locations in Lake County. Andrew said his dad was spending less and less time at the shop and was looking to retire when he called his son, who became the second generation operator of Tom and Ed’s.


“I got the opportunity to learn the operation from the staff,” Tylka said. “I learned the business for one-and-a-half years. Then we moved out of the old body shop and built a new one behind it.”


While building the new shop, Tylka got calls from two other body shops asking if he would be interested in merging, giving Tom and Ed’s five locations. The business has continued to grow, recently closing a deal on the acquisition of the Riley and Sons in Indianapolis, adding four more locations to the Tom and Ed’s chain.


What had been a $2.5 million business when he took over in 2009 is now a $22 million business. It includes a towing operation, working with area police departments to turn what at one point had fallen by the wayside into a good income source. His mom used to handle the bookkeeping for the business, but three years ago Andrew bought their share of the business and they have finally retired.

Read 787 times