Starting a new job can be intimidating, even when it’s one deemed perfect for you. From the time Currie Motors Ford of Valpo reached out to Cody Thiel for an interview to the day he stepped through the doors to fill his new role of porter supervisor, Thiel had a good feeling.
“Everything fit in place like a puzzle,” he said.
His intuition proved correct and has served him well in the six months he’s worked with Currie Motors Ford of Valpo.
“They were just so very welcoming. As soon as I came on to the team, they welcomed me like I was family,” Thiel said. It felt great, especially coming from such a tight-knit group to begin with.”
Cars have been a big part of Thiel’s life for as long as he can remember, and he’s almost always working on one. “I’m actually working on a car right now,” he admitted, laughing. “It relaxes me.”
From a young age, he shadowed his father and picked up a thing or two.
“My father worked on cars all the time,” he said. “He was a mechanic when he was younger. I’ve pretty much worked on cars my whole life, whether it’s detailing or mechanical work.”
Thiel’s been working professionally in the dealership industry for 10 years. From detailing cars to managing porters and lots, he’s always performed an integral role in the field, one that most people don’t even know the half of when they arrive at a dealership.
“There’s nothing like taking a dirty car and detailing it and having a customer come up to you afterward and say, ‘Oh, that looks great!’ It’s very satisfying for me,” Thiel said. “Really, working with the customers and a team at a dealership, the whole lifestyle—I love it.”
As porter supervisor at Currie Motors Ford of Valpo, Thiel’s responsibility entails organizing the day’s projects and overseeing both the service porter and sales porters. He’s the mover and shaker behind creating a clean, organized, and enticing lot.
“I love it, it’s a perfect fit for me,” Thiel said. “The people are great, customers are great. It doesn’t feel like going to work every day.”
Thiel said that, more so than even the job itself, he loves everything about Currie Motors Ford of Valpo.
“Currie Motors Ford of Valpo is very different from other places I’ve been. They’re so focused on making sure their customers are happy. A lot of places aren’t that customer oriented,” he said. “The general manager, Leo [Sfikas] is one of the best managers I’ve ever had. He takes everyone under his wing and shows them our way, the Currie way.”
In Thiel’s words, that mindset means to work together for the customer.
“It’s such a tight-knit group—you have to have complete teamwork, from sales to bodyshop to service,” he said. “And it’s all for the benefit of the customer, so you’re doing a lot of thinking from the customer’s perspective.”
As a fellow team member, Thiel has been especially moved by the supportiveness of the Currie Motors Ford of Valpo staff. Shortly after his employment with the dealership began, he suffered a great loss.
“At the beginning of my employment, I lost my father,” Thiel said. “They [the Currie Motors Ford of Valpo team] were there for me every step of the way. They were very supportive of me. That’s why I say, they’re my family now.”
Even in times like this, where the dealership industry along with every other business has had to adjust drastically to a worldwide pandemic, Thiel said the Currie Motors Ford of Valpo team’s care for its customers and team has never once slowed down. The dealership also acts as a foremost provider for first responders—it features one of the only service centers equipped and certified to service ambulances, fire trucks, and other large vehicles designed for emergencies.
“They’re our top-priority right now,” Thiel said.
Having the ability to work on vehicles that serve such special purposes carries Thiel’s appreciation for his work to another height. And even when he’s not working, you can still find him hanging out around Currie Motors Ford of Valpo, often with a tiny shadow at his heels. Thiel’s 3-year-old son, Brodyn, is turning into as big of a car connoisseur as his dad.
“He loves working on cars, too, always watching what I’m doing. On my off days, he loves coming into the store with me,” Thiel said.
Brodyn has a special fondness for the super-duty trucks loves seeing those first responder vehicles receive maintenance. Does Thiel think his son will follow in his footsteps and always love working on cars, as Thiel followed in his own dad’s footsteps?
“Absolutely,” Thiel said.
For more information about Currie Motors Ford of Valpo, visit https://www.fordofvalpo.com/.