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Meet Blake Blankenship, General Service Manager at Virginia Tire & Auto of Bristow
When you come into one of our stores, the Sales Associates are the first people you see. And, of course, there are Technicians and Inspectors working in the shop to fix and inspect your car. But don’t forget about one of our most valuable teams—our General Service Technicians!
Our General Service jobs are entry-level positions, but from there you can go anywhere! We work with every associate to help them discover and achieve their career goals.
Blake Blankenship, the General Service Manager at our Bristow location, is a great example of a GS Tech who came in with little automotive experience and thrived.
Blake’s Journey at Virginia Tire & Auto
Blake started working at Virginia Tire & Auto of Bristow in September 2016 as a GS Tech. Before joining Virginia Tire & Auto, Blake had worked as a retail sales associate for five years. He was ready to get out of sales and shorten his commute, plus he’d always loved cars.
When he started at Virginia Tire & Auto, Blake’s knowledge of car care was limited to being a “shade tree mechanic.”
“I did stuff on cars with my grandpa when I was growing up, restoring cars and stuff like that, but never in a shop,” Blake says.
Despite his inexperience, Blake learned quickly and became the GS Manager just one year later.
Service with a Smile
As GS Manager, Blake is in charge of everything that goes on in the GS bays—tire-related services, oil changes and other routine vehicle maintenance service.
Besides working on cars and managing five GS Techs, Blake says his main responsibility is managing workflow.
“That includes knowing how many cars we can take within a certain hour and making sure that the cars coming in are getting genuine recommendations,” Blake says.
Jimmy Mundis, the Store Manager at Bristow, says Blake is a big reason why Bristow’s GS team has consecutively ranked No. 1 in GS efficiency across all of our stores.
“Blake knows how to have fun while working but steps up and gets things done when things go crazy,” Jimmy says. “He excels at getting his team excited and all on the same page.”
We asked Blake what he likes best about his job. He said that for him, the best part of working for Virginia Tire & Auto is the people.
“Cars can be difficult to work on, but the people here make it easier and a lot more enjoyable.”
Career Paths at Virginia Tire & Auto
Blake originally thought he wanted to become a Technician, but he soon changed his mind and chose to pursue a management position.
“In my interview with Ben [Wilson, the store manager at the time], I told him I wanted to take his job one day,” Blake says.
Ben Wilson later became a General Manager, and he is now the Chief Operating Officer at Virginia Tire & Auto.
“I’m still going to stick to what I said, but it might take a little longer now,” Blake says, laughing.
With that goal in mind, Blake says he wants to become a Service Manager next so that he can get more experience with customers before eventually becoming a Store Manager.
“Virginia Tire & Auto has provided steppingstones to get to the next level,” Blake says, “and I’m hoping that I can get to the next level.
“When I started, I was so young, and I didn’t really know where I wanted my life to go,” he says. “I feel like Virginia Tire & Auto has helped guide me on where to go.”