Making a Difference
Local business owner and volunteer Mike Sommers gives his time to helping others
Whether he’s running Double D Body Shop, or working on a volunteer project, Mike Sommers is thinking about how he can make a difference in someone else’s life. Mike lives in Aberdeen with his wife of over 30 years, Carol, and two children, Austin and Carley, and is active in organizations like the Aberdeen Area Boys & Girls Club, Spurs Therapeutic Riding Center, Aberdeen BMX, and the Aberdeen Ambassadors. His voice lights up when he recounts the experiences he’s had in seeing these groups provide positive impacts on the community, especially when it comes to our youth. “It’s all about creating programs for kids that give them something to look forward to and be involved in,” he says.
Mike is a former president and the current vice president of the Boys & Girls Club. He’s served on the board of directors there for many years, and says one of the highlights for him was getting to be present when they showed the kids their club’s new building for the first time. “As a board member, to see their faces and excitement walking through that door was an incredible experience.” When asked why this cause is so important to him, he says it has always been dear to his heart because he was a member of the Boys & Girls Club as a kid in the 1970s. “It’s just a great, safe place for kids to go, be involved in good programs, and hang out.” He’s also a board member at Spurs and an energetic part of BMX’s capital campaign to raise funds for their new facility and updates. “My daughter participates in BMX, and it’s a wonderful organization that helps kids build self-confidence.”
His desire to make someone else’s life better doesn’t stop at his volunteer endeavors, but is also an integral part of his professional work. Mike has owned Double D Body Shop since 2010. He first got into the auto body business when he was 17, and after changing career paths, which included operating the computer franchise business Expetec for five years, he decided to return to auto body repair with Double D. The shop repairs automobiles, semis, campers, boats, motorcycles and golf carts. If you get into an accident, they’re the ones who can fix dents, replace your windshield or glass, and paint your car to look like new. They also provide Penske truck rentals, and are dealers in club car golf carts, meaning they sell, customize, and service all makes and models of electric and gas golf carts.
Mike explains that they’re focused on taking their customer service to the next level and making the process of getting your vehicle back in shape after an accident as painless as possible. “For most of us, our vehicle is our second biggest investment, and it can be traumatic when a car is damaged because we depend on it and want our vehicles to look good. When someone gets into an accident, it can be hard to know what to do, so we guide them through everything from loan cars, insurance paperwork, and the repairs to make it easier for them.” He also speaks highly of his staff of seven and the pride they take in setting high standards for their work. “They genuinely care about the customer and their automobile. They’re picky and want things done the right way, so that when we put a car out there it looks as good as it did before the accident.” He adds, “We really enjoy what we do, and the best part of it at the end of the day is being able to help people out.”
One challenge they frequently overcome at Double D is keeping up with the always evolving equipment and technology needed to do auto repairs. For example, Ford recently changed the make of their new pickups from a steel body to one made of aluminum, so staff at Double D underwent training for aluminum repair and updated their equipment to be able to work on these new vehicles. Mike says, “We’re always training and striving to stay on the cutting edge of knowledge and equipment needed to do the best repair job.”
The support his business has received in Aberdeen is another factor that influences Mike to continue volunteering and finding ways he can give back to the area. “Aberdeen is a great place to own a business because the people here are so nice to work with. Even if you don’t have the deepest pockets, you can still make a difference in the community by giving your time.” //–Jenny Roth
For more information on Mike Sommersí Double D Body Shop, located at 424 N. 4th Street, visit www.doubledbodyshop.com, or call 605-229-4488.