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Happy Retirement Barry!


For anyone who’s had a really bad day in your truck or decided on a custom paint job, you’ve probably met Barry Porter, our Calgary Body Shop Manager.
Today we say farewell, and wish him the best on the fairway. Before we let Barry head for the hills, we got him to sit down with us and spend sometime chatting with us about the past 40 years he’s spent with GreatWest Kenworth.

Follow along with us as he reminisced in some of the best memories:

I started at an autobody shop in 1977 right out of high school. After six years at We Three autobody Ken Sinclair, Al Baker and I moved into the west end of the main shop and converted 6 bays into the body shop here at GreatWest Kenworth. The Storwicks took a chance on us and gave up their pre-delivery inspection space. It originally was for small body work jobs, but very quickly expanded. We moved a small paint booth from our Grande Prairie shop and then upgraded the booth a few years later. They both are still in operation today.

I needed a job, Barry giggled. A bodyman that was currently working at We Three autobody let me know they had an open position and so it began.

I enjoy building and fabrication. I was always very interested in how something can start from the bottom and be completely rebuilt. My days are never the same, none of the wrecks are ever the same and we have a great group working here at GreatWest Kenworth.

It’s been almost 40 great years.

The Storwick family has allowed me to run the department as if I own it myself. They do not micromanage, and they trust our staff to make the right choices when it comes to business. In addition to that we’ve always had great employees and over the 40-year period I’ve had a lot of fun. Our Leadership is always on board to support the staff.

Find a good, reputable place to work and find a good mentor. You know it’s not like the “Vegas Hot Rods” show, but it’s a very rewarding career. You get to build something from the ground up and when that’s done, you have a great sense of accomplishment.

The people for sure. Both the staff and customers are alike. Usually if a customer is coming to the body shop, they haven’t had a very good day. My policy is, let’s make this a pain free repair process for our customers. From the minute they notify the insurance company to the day they pick their truck up, we take care of it all. It is a rewarding feeling when they leave with a positive feeling about GreatWest Kenworth.

There’s been many different projects we have worked on, and it seems every one of them is unique in how it happened. One of which got struck by a crop-dusting airplane. Everyone was okay, but the landing gears took out the sleeper. That was a crazy one to fix. Here’s a recent one we did:

Probably the staff functions! All the laughs over the years with both our internal team and our great customers.

Sales perhaps… maybe not in the heavy-duty industry, however I love meeting customer needs and problem solving so it makes sense to me!

I’ve really procrastinated retiring because I don’t want to be bored, however; I have three grandkids so I’ll spend as much time as I can with them. Golfing a lot and joining some sort of activity or club to stay as active as possible. Travel when I can.

My wife hates the cold which means, we’re heading wherever it’s warm! We’ve been lucky to travel to cool places.




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