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Mast Service Center Celebrates 15 Years in Business

Photographer / Jubilee Edgell

Having operated an auto service center for 15 years, and having worked in the auto industry for nearly 25, Leonard Mast has a refreshingly simple answer for what keeps him motivated to be the best he can be in his chosen profession.

“I love solving problems,” he says. “Any mechanic that’s successful loves solving problems. It’s not fun for a customer to have a breakdown, but we love solving the problem and I think that’s what drives us.”

Born and raised in the Etna Green area, Mast was tinkering with automobiles on his family’s dairy farm at a very young age.

“As a little kid I would tear stuff apart and seldom get it back together,” Mast says laughing. “I found out early on that I liked digging into stuff and trying to find out what was going on and solving the problem or issue.”

It didn’t take long for a young Mast to begin cultivating a dream of one day owning his own auto service shop.

“When I was on the dairy farm, I did a lot of diesel rebuilds for my dad, and that’s really how I started out,” he says. “When you start out learning by doing like I did, I think that’s a really good foundation for an auto education if you will. Since then, I’ve done everything from home automotive courses to night school, and our training at the service center is ongoing throughout the year.”

Prior to officially opening Mast Service Center in Etna Green, Mast worked for an auto fleet company for nine years, troubleshooting and repairing trucks, trailers, forklifts and other equipment. During that time, he slowly began accumulating a list of clients who would request service on their automobiles, and eventually, Mast got the itch to strike out on his own.

“By around 2005, I had a client base of people who wanted me to work on issues they had, and since I had that nine years of good experience, I stepped out and started doing it on my own,” Mast says. “We started out small and it was just me and one other guy, and by 2009 we branched out to a second location. After that, we came full circle and went back to just one location at the beginning of 2019. We built our facility to be able to bring all of our employees together and do all of our work under one roof.”

Mast Service Center offers both fleet and general auto service, with a current staff of 12. The six bays on the facility’s east side are dedicated to general automotive service for cars, trucks and vans – including service for brakes, air conditioning, oil and filter changes, alignments, transmissions and more, and the area on the building’s opposite side is devoted to fleet service. The center offers a pickup and drop-off service for local passenger vehicles.

Mast says the biggest challenge for servicing fleets is completing repairs as quickly as possible.

“With fleets, somebody’s making money with their vehicles and they want it to be a fast repair process,” he says. “Being able to service that vehicle and repair it in a timely fashion is what those customers really want. We do everything on fleets from suspension to transmission. We have the software to be able to take care of any computer issues or electrical issues. We cover the whole vehicle – everything except body repair.”

Mast adds that staying informed on, and equipped with, the most optimal technology for servicing a wide range of vehicles presents another ongoing challenge.

“Changes and upgrades in technology is a big challenge, and we invest between $2,000 and $3,000 a month for subscriptions to have technology and vehicle information,” he says. “They say most automotive shops and after-market shops are somewhere around $150,000 behind in equipment and technology.”

Mast says the key to his company’s steady growth over the past 15 years has been an unyielding focus on customer care, as well as a high priority on valuing each and every employee.

“Other than in 2013, we’ve had growth every year and we continue to grow,” he says. “We do our best to take care of everybody that comes in. We try to be a blessing to our community and a blessing to our employees. I believe growth will always continue if you keep that in mind. We fix cars and take care of customers’ issues, but our number-one goal is to build relationships.”

Mast Service Center is located at 8608 North State Road 19 in Etna Green. Hours of operation are Mon. Through Fri. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 574-907-0040 and visit mastservicecenter.net.

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