The Shop: C.J. Vermaak of Dan's Paint & Body - BodyShop Business

The Shop: C.J. Vermaak of Dan’s Paint & Body

C.J. Vermaak
Production Manager
Dan’s Paint & Body, Tucson, Ariz.

What accent is that?
I’m from South Africa. You know, where all the good golfers and swimmers come from.

Are you a big golf fan?
No, I’m more into rugby. South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, England – we’re all rivals and go back and forth with the world championship.

Have you ever played rugby?

Yes, through college.

It’s a rough sport, isn’t it?
Yes, you pay for it the older you get: knees, shoulders, neck, etc. But it’s a fun game.

What’s the worst injury you ever got from playing?
I broke my nose and cracked my cheekbone, so I was out for awhile. That pretty much ended my rugby career.

When did you come to the U.S.?
I moved here nine years ago when I got married. I was a professional hunting guide in South Africa, and that’s where I met my future wife, who would take hunting trips there with her father and mother. Dan, her father, owns Dan’s Paint & Body.

How did you go from hunting to collision?
The parts manager who worked for my father-in-law quit and walked out, so he said I needed to come and help out. I started in the back lot checking parts and ordering parts and eventually became parts manager.

Are you a big hunter?
Yes. My great-grandfather had a cattle ranch that got passed down through the generations. And when you work on a ranch, when you’re not working cattle, you’re hunting.

What’s the best animal you ever bagged?

There are a lot, to be honest. I got a very big African leopard all by myself when I was 18. That was a big accomplishment for me.

Do you have a trophy room?

Yes. My wife is an avid hunter, too, although she prefers to archery hunt more than rifle. I do both.

Did you ever have any “close calls” while hunting?

I had one incident where an African leopard bit a guy next to me, but we eventually killed it and that was the end of it. But I got lucky and didn’t get a scratch.

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