In 1977, father/son duo John and Aaron Clements founded C & C Automotive. Forty-five years later, Aaron’s daughter, Amanda Drake, carries on the family legacy as she serves as co-owner/district manager/president of C & C Automotive.
At a young age, Amanda began working at the original shop doing odd jobs and at age sixteen, she started working in the office. Amanda attended Augusta University, where she earned a degree in biology with a minor in business followed by a Master of Business Administration degree, which gives her a distinct skill set to run the business side of the operation. Since joining her father as co-owner, C & C Automotive has expanded to five locations with hopes to open more locations in the future.
Amanda splits her work week among four of the locations, with her dad overseeing all the operations at the downtown Augusta location. “I'm doing weekly audits of operations and making sure the shops run smoothly by checking parts inventories, reporting, and repair orders,” explains Amanda. “I'm talking to the managers and checking in with employees; sometimes helping at a shop if they are shorthanded. I really enjoy the people aspect of my job because I enjoy helping customers with their car, getting to know our employees and helping them meet their goals, and interacting with people at networking events.”
“I also oversee the on-going projects at each shop because we constantly reinvest in our business,” she adds. “We might need a piece of equipment here or another lift there. We also try to have state-of-the-art equipment in all our shops and are one of the few businesses that invest in all the major manufacturer scan tools, because we want to be able to do essentially the same things that the dealerships can do.”
When it comes to being a woman in a predominately male industry, Amanda says, “Our industry has changed so much in the last ten to fifteen years. While it was challenging at one point, it has changed a lot and it's great to see that there are more women, even female technicians.”
“As I proved myself by helping grow the business, I've received more and more respect from those with extreme technical knowledge,” adds Amanda. “I know a fair amount about cars because I grew up in the industry and my father showed me the internals of an engine and how an engine works when I was only eight years old, but I've just never been out there working on cars as part of my career.”
In her experience, Amanda believes women have something special to add in the business world. “From a business standpoint, I feel like women bring a great management leadership style to the industry,” says Amanda. “I would like to see women getting more involved on multiple levels in businesses that have traditionally been male dominated.”
Amanda spends hours each week through her various networking and local service opportunities. She serves as a member of the Ambassador Committee with the Aiken County Chamber of Commerce, as a member of the local chapter of Business Networking Institute, and on the Events Planning Advisory Committee and co-chairs the Ambassador Committee with the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce.
In her spare time, Amanda enjoys spending time with her family camping and riding on the Motocross circuit while also making personal care and fitness a priority.
C&C Automotive has five locations, four of which are in the CSRA, and provides automotive care for both foreign and domestic vehicles that ranges from oil changes to both minor and major repairs. Follow C&C Automotive on Facebook and visit www.ccautomotive.com to find the location nearest you.