Diamond G Auto Repair of Montrose, Colorado Goes Above & Beyond for the Team!

Owner, Dennis Goodhue, knows his success is due to his employees

Sherry & Dennis Goodhue in Hawaii

It’s always inspiring to hear about business owners and how they show appreciation for a terrific crew. But some owners take it a step further. Diamond G Auto Repair owner, Dennis Goodhue, goes above and beyond to make sure his employees feel valued and appreciated.

Dennis knows the success of his shop is due to his team. He sets high expectations. And his crew meets – and exceeds – those goals. And what happens when the team does meet those goals? Well, they get on a plane and fly to Hawaii! That’s right. Dennis puts goals in place and tells everyone that if they are met by the end of the year, they will all go on an all expense paid trip to Hawaii. The whole team.

By shutting down the shop for 10 days while taking everyone on a paid vacation, it’s certainly a budgetary expense that Dennis notices. But the results speak for themselves. Big profits and team members that are invested in the success of the business.

Let’s allow Dennis to explain further…



Dennis, your team hit their goals for 2022 and you took them to Hawaii. Are you transparent with them week to week, month to month, so they know how close they are to the shop’s goals?

Our team hit their goals for 2021 and 2022. We plateaued from 2016 to 2020 and I wanted a way to continue to grow. I post weekly billed hours for individuals and the team, weekly sales, monthly sales and year to date sales for all to see along with the goals, so yes I think I am transparent.


Diamond G team on the beach in Hawaii

As the shop got closer to its goal, did your crew get more and more excited?

Of course, we all got excited about going, as soon as it looked possible. I believe that is why we had 10 of 12 months as record gross sales in 2022.


This is the second time you’ve done this. From a business perspective, what do you see as the advantages? And also personal…you’ve got a great team and it must be really terrific to see them have fun and know they are appreciated.

Well, a 27% in 2021 and a 33% increase in 2022 of gross sales certainly is an advantage to me!  Along with a small increase in gross profit every year is a bonus. This shows me that it is not just the back putting out more work, but the front selling more and better. Personally I get to make more money, I get to go to Hawaii and my business is worth more every year. What’s not to like? Yes, it is very gratifying to see them all have a great time, become better friends, be able to share the experience and as an added bonus I got to pay them more earned bonus every year. Yes, I appreciate them. We spend more waking time at work with them than anyone else, so they become family.


Have you already set your goal for 2023? And is a trip to Hawaii in the cards again?

Absolutely I have set this year’s goal. 2021 I set a 10% increase goal and they did 27%. In 2022 I set a 14% increase goal and they did 33%. This year I have set a 12% increase in gross sales and expect them to make it with 1 technician short and lots of interruptions due to us expanding. We are in the middle of adding on and increasing by 2 bays with one of them a large bay for medium duty and buses. Yes, Hawaii is in the cards again, however they want to take families along (at their expense), so there are a lot of places to choose from and we will be discussing that.


Diamond G team visit John Starkey’s shop in Hawaii

You visited John Starkey of Starkey’s Auto Repair in Honolulu. Was that not only enjoyable but beneficial for your employees to visit another well-run shop?

We loved visiting John’s shop. It was informative and enjoyable. We are in the rust belt with snow, salt, mag-chloride and mountains. John’s shop is in the tropics. Cars are different, procedures are different, weather is different and some of their operations are different. And the best part is that I didn’t lose any employees to Hawaii.  LOL


Do you tell perspective employees about this when you interview them?

No, I don’t tell prospective employees about this. I don’t want to entice them with a trip. I want to hire good people and retain them by rewards and a good place to work. After all many of them already know about it. Word travels fast through the community. In fact, we have been complimented by many of our customers for doing this.


Name a couple of highlights of your recent trip?

Diamond G team out on the town with John Starkey middle front. Dennis Goodhue front right. Sherry Goodhue front left.

This year we went to Oahu so we could see John’s shop and we toured Pearl Harbor. Last year they all commented that they wanted to see the history “stuff”, so we did. We then went back to Hawaii, and the 2 highlights to me were going snorkeling and visiting the volcano. Our first trip I/we were winging it and they had never been there. They did not know what to do. This year I played tour guide on Oahu, but in Hawaii they all got together and planned out all of our days. I was happy to let them plan what they wanted to do instead of me running the show.


Why do you motivate your team with a trip? As opposed to something else.

This is a long story, so I will try to be brief. Since our son John was born my parents, my wife Sherry and John have traveled…as a party of 5 every year on vacations. We have gone to various locations, but to Hawaii a lot. On one of our trips, we were driving around the island and I thought, what would it be like to take our crew to Hawaii instead of telling them stories about our trips while they were at home working. So, after plateauing for a few years, I was looking for a carrot to dangle. I said in a meeting that if we could reach this goal, we will all go to Hawaii. They all looked in dis-belief, so when it looked like we might actually make it, they confronted me and asked if I was serious. As I swallowed deeply, my response could be nothing but YES. When we returned from the first trip, I was asked the first day we got back to work, “What’s next year’s goal”. Is this a perpetual thing? Who knows? Whatever they want (within reason) is what we will shoot for. However, it makes a great team building event.


How do you think an incentive like this motivates your team?

Yes Dennis…look at these numbers!

Look at the numbers and the pictures and you tell me!!! When we got back, they wanted to know “What’s next year’s goal”? Is this for everyone? I doubt it, but so far it is working.


As a DRIVE client, how did that factor into being in a position to bring your team to Hawaii?

Being a DRIVE client has given me the business knowledge to make things better for myself, my employees and our community. Business is business and the automotive business is no different. It’s affected by many more factors than other businesses, but the basic principles are the same. Had I not been with DRIVE, I would still be running my business from a “technician’s perspective”, which is vastly different than an owner’s. The biggest hurdle to learning is yourself.


It certainly is working Dennis! Congratulations on a very successful and profitable business and a team that not only meets and exceeds goals, but also know how much they are appreciated! Well done.






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Dennis Goodhue and Diamond G in ShopOwner Magazine link

Diamond G in ShopOwner Magazine newsletter link

Dennis Goodhue on DRIVE FACEBOOK LIVE link Shop Tour

Dennis Goodhue on DRIVE FACEBOOK LIVE link


Carolyn Gray/DRIVE