Robert Walne’s grandfather, Herb Walne, founded Herb’s Paint & Body in 1956. The business encompassed a Humble Oil (Exxon) service station, a full-service mechanical shop, a drive-through car wash and a paint and body shop in northeast Dallas, TX.
It quickly became known for its knowledgeable professionals, outstanding customer service and quality repairs.
When Exxon purchased the mechanical shop in 1969, Herb focused his time and energy on the collision repair side of the business. Since then, the operation has grown at a fairly steady pace. When Herb passed away in 1986, his son, Alan, currently the chairman of Herb’s Paint & Body, took over the business. Today, Herb’s Paint & Body has eight locations. Robert, president and COO, manages the day-to-day operations with a focus on strategic planning.
Autobody News sat down with Robert to learn more about how the business sets itself apart from others in the industry and its recent enrollment in the General Motors Collision Repair Network.
Q: How did you get involved in the family business?
A: I grew up working at Herb’s and spent most of my summers at the shops washing and working on cars. After I graduated from Baylor University in May 2004 with a BBA in finance and real estate, I joined the company full-time. Today, we have 187 employees at our eight locations, and I serve as president and COO.
Q: To what do you attribute your company’s success over the years?
A: I think it’s a combination of our focus on the community and being a family business. Our core values and mission/vision are centered on these two aspects.
We are really passionate about being a family business and how we treat our employees. We have a motto that we treat them like family. They are part of the team. We often say, ‘You aren’t just a number; you are a name.’ That perspective was passed on by my dad. We have always been very much involved at the store level, being seen by employees and engaged in the business. Our employees are an extension of everything we do.