Three Generations and Counting
Christy Davidson has worked at Les Schwab Tire Centers for seven years, but it feels like a lot longer. She is the third generation in her family to work for the company, going back to her dad, Jeff James; and before him, her grandpa, Gary Brown. Christy is extremely proud to be a part of Les Schwab: “You could say it’s in my blood.”
Christy’s grandfather started the Les Schwab family tradition in 1973 in Lakeview, Oregon. When he retired in 1997, after more than 20 years of service, he called Les “the finest businessman” he had ever met. As he recalled his career, Gary said, “It was not light work, but as time went on, I could see and believe that everything Les said and promised could be taken to the bank.” When asked what college he attended, Gary used to reply, “I went to LSU - Les Schwab University.”
When his son-in-law Jeff, Christy’s father, needed a job, Gary knew what to do. He made a few phone calls and got him an interview with Don Miller in Eugene, Oregon, in 1983, and soon the family was moving to Eugene. Jeff is currently the manager of the Florence, Oregon, store. After working for the company for more than 30 years, he and Christy’s mother are now planning their upcoming retirement.
Coincidentally, like her dad, Christy started at the Eugene store, and she now works at the Springfield store where her father was the assistant manager for 11 years. Christy’s little brother Jason James recently joined the family tradition, too, in Springfield.
Christy affectionately calls herself a Les Schwab brat. “We moved around from store to store as Dad moved up in the company. Les Schwab has always been a part of my life. I am so proud to work for this company. I knew it would be great.”
Les Schwab is a family-owned business, and being an employee means you are one of the family. We understand that if we ask a lot of people, we need to give a lot in return. If you are interested in joining us, you can apply at jobs.lesschwab.com.
Through 4-H, Family Forges Bond with Community, Each Other
Jeff and Donna Wiechman have been involved with their local 4-H Club in Jefferson County, Colorado, for nearly 40 years. Jeff Wiechman was a 4-H member as a child, and the couple’s three daughters have all participated over the years.
“So many adults gave their time to support, encourage and teach our kids, and we wanted to do the same for others,” Jeff said.
Today, the Wiechmans repay that support by donating their time and expertise to the next generation. 4-H is America’s largest youth development organization, empowering nearly 6 million young people with a consistent focus on cultivating leadership skills. Its programs allow children to perform hands-on projects in agriculture, science and citizenship, all while receiving guidance from adult mentors.
For the Wiechmans, helping to foster deep relationships — both with each other and the greater community — is the most rewarding. Their two oldest girls have both spent countless hours teaching their youngest to clip, sheer and show her animals, and have gone to new members’ homes to help them learn the same.
It was through Jefferson County’s 4-H programs that the Wiechmans were first introduced to the Les Schwab family, specifically local employees Chris Wiggins and Josh Bryant.
“Probably the most incredible part of this program is watching business people like Chris and Josh, at Les Schwab, interact with our girls and help support their 4-H and college dreams at the livestock auction,” Donna Wiechman said. “This leaves us speechless every year.”
“We believe this program helps these kids grow in responsibility, work ethic and business skills,” Jeff said. “The organization is such an example of generosity for this next generation that we believe it will be passed on for generations to come.”
Throughout the West, Les Schwab Tire Centers is a proud supporter of 4-H Club and its educational programs. For more information, or to get involved with the 4-H near you, visit the official 4-H website.
Military Dawgs, Dogs Bond Over Barbecues
Vietnam War veteran and former military dog handler Frank Wehner understands the bond between servicemembers and their animals. “Once you’re a K-9 handler, you never forget your dogs and your time behind the leash,” Wehner said.
Dogs are commonly called man’s best friend, but Wehner says for our servicemen and — women they are much more. “Military dog handlers and their K-9 partners have been responsible for saving countless lives of our ground troops and safeguarding our military installations around the world,” Wehner said.
To show his appreciation for members of the military and their canine helpers, Wehner leads the Northwest Dawgs Project. The project travels throughout the Western United States providing steak barbecues to active military working dog handlers and their families. In 2017, Wehner and the Northwest Dawgs team will serve more than 400 steaks to K-9 handlers and their families, veterinarians, vet technicians and command staff over the course of several events.
The project hosts barbecues throughout Utah, Idaho, Washington and Nevada at military bases, including Hill Air Force Base (AFB), Mountain Home AFB, Fairchild AFB, Naval Air Station Fallon, Naval Base Kitsap and Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
Les Schwab Tire Centers is honored to help the Northwest Dawgs Project serve the K-9 unit at Hill AFB in Utah.