Half a Century of Parts: Ravenna Volvo's Will Judd Celebrates Golden Anniversary of Service
Parts Manager still going strong after a half century of service.
By: Team Watkins PR
Judd, a resident of Edmonds, has spent nearly all of his working life in the Parts Department at Seattle’s Ravenna Volvo, 47 of them as Parts Manager. He’ll be 70 years old on July 28 and he hasn’t really thought too much about retiring.
Why not? He loves what he does.
Judd stepped back from his manager position at the end 2011 and says he’s a happy man working behind the counter, helping Volvo owners find the right part for their cars. “Working the counter is just a lot of fun,” the amiable Judd said with a smile.
It all began in 1963, when the company was Ravenna Motors, and Will, an Ingraham High School graduate and student at Everett Community College, took a full time position washing cars.
“In those days,” he recalled, “the dealership sold MGs and Austin-Healeys along with Volvos. Cars were shipped from overseas with Cosmoline (a corrosion preventative)
He stayed on when Bob Byers purchased Ravenna Motors in 1972. “It’s been great working with the Byers family all these years, first with Bob and now with Doug and Sue (Doug Byers and sister Sue Byers purchased the company from their father in 2002). It’s a family atmosphere.”
“We’re thrilled to congratulate Will on this amazing accomplishment. You just don’t see employees staying at one company for 50 years,” said Sue Byers. Byers also noted that three staff members working for Judd had been with him for 24, 29 and 45 years. Two others have 10 years or more at the company.
Judd recalled Ravenna Volvo’s very first annual Garage Sale, now called the dealership’s “May Sale,” when he and Bob Byers talked about getting rid of old parts. “It became a pretty big deal,” Judd remembered, “and people with older Volvos looked forward to finding parts for their cars.”
People did, in fact, show up early for those sales, getting in line for the best deals, noted Sue Byers. She also remembered Judd and her father coming up with other innovations, including an open shopping concept for the parts department back in the early 80s. “They merchandised it like a department store, which was very progressive at the time,” she recalled.
Just 19 years old when he took the Ravenna job, Judd had a few part time jobs during his high school years, and never imagined a career that would extend a half century.
“We’ve been through five inventory systems during that time,” Judd said, “each time getting a little more sophisticated.”
What’s a top seller? “Oil filters, for sure,” he answered. “Volvo owners still want their factory filters.”
Judd’s employment longevity is mirrored by his 37-year marriage to wife Jeanne. They have two children and two grandchildren.
Jeanne does tours for the city of Everett Parks Department, taking residents on gourmet food trips around the Northwest. Will is the volunteer driver of the van. So when he does decide to retire at some point, he figures he’ll keep busy, just the way he likes it.
“I’ve had a great run here and feel very fortunate to have worked with some great people,” he said, again with that friendly smile.
A smile that undoubtedly has helped sell a lot of Volvo parts.