Damien Reyna: From Technician to COO of Driven Brands Collision

Damien Reyna: From Technician to COO of Driven Brands Collision

When Damien Reyna started out as an apprentice technician at CARSTAR Mundelein, he never envisioned a world through his safety glasses where he was leading the entire organization.

When Damien Reyna started out as an apprentice technician at CARSTAR Mundelein, he never envisioned a world through his safety glasses where he was leading the entire organization. Nearly 20 years later, he has worked in almost every role in the CARSTAR network and has now been promoted to chief operating officer for U.S. Collision, Driven Brands.

“I really credit Jeff and Jeanne Silver for helping me get started and providing an opportunity for me to learn and grow,” said Reyna, who spent 10 years working with them. “They guided me on two paths — one to buy into their business and one to pursue a career at the corporate level. They expedited my training and moved me to each department to learn the front office, estimating, parts management and then the general manager role. Their confidence in me and encouragement of my potential really made the difference for me.”

Reyna, who studied collision repair in high school and post-secondary school, learned on the job and applied each new skill set to his next position. He worked as an I-CAR instructor for several years, then was recruited to join CARSTAR’s corporate team as the operations director for the western U.S. His strength in math sparked an interest in understanding the analytics of shop operations, and soon he was leading the analytics team for CARSTAR.

“My facility experience allowed me to flourish in operations, and my appreciation of the numbers helped me deliver value for our franchise partners,” Reyna said. “As I learned more about using data to drive performance, I was able to apply that to our national operations and demonstrate how changing processes and procedures could positively impact our cycle time, length of rental and customer satisfaction.”

5 Tips from Damien Reyna on How to Achieve Your Dreams

  1. Don’t ever put yourself in a box – don’t limit your skills and potential by never trying anything new. Always look for opportunities to tackle a new task or position.
  2. Get out of your comfort zone.
  3. Ask questions and look to your role models and mentors for help.
  4. Have a strong work ethic and build your values around your moral compass. Hard work and solid values are the foundation for any successful career.
  5. Work for a company that fosters your growth and has a culture that helps you develop your skills and abilities.

The next move for Reyna was to the insurance team, where he was able to bridge the gap between franchise operations, the CARSTAR network and insurers. Once again, he was able to apply both his technical and operations knowledge and analytical skills to drive participation and performance in a variety of DRP programs for Driven Brands’ U.S. collision business.

“I was fortunate to earn respect from the franchise partners because I related on a different level and had firsthand knowledge of what they were dealing with on a daily basis,” said Reyna. “And I was able to understand what the insurers needed in terms of performance metrics.”

Reyna, who is a major advocate of continuous learning, constantly focuses on his own growth and development. A voracious reader of business and leadership books, he is always studying how he can become a better champion for the Driven Brands franchise partners and his team. Working under mentors throughout his career is another contributor to his success, and he also hopes to be that same kind of role model for the next generation working in partner facilities or on the corporate team. Sharing his story, he hopes to inspire young men and women who are looking for opportunities to build a career in the collision industry.

When Reyna took the COO position, he already had a vision for how he wanted to serve the franchise partners and the organization.

“I want to continue to build our culture of success and foster that spirit of our entrepreneurial owners and their families who have built this organization,” he said. “My focus is on driving our franchise partners’ growth and expansion and making sure our customers are well taken care of. It’s about delivering quality and safety in everything we do. We have a unique advantage at Driven Brands, it’s our secret sauce, and my goal is to infuse that in everything we do.”

For Reyna, his career path has always focused on the art of the possible, and whether that vision was through safety glasses or the glass walls of the boardroom, he knew his work ethic and values would aid in his continued development.

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