Mike Campbell is looking to turn a new West Chester-based Christian Brothers Automotive location into a something more than just a business.
After losing 15-year-old son Johnathan Joseph (JJ) in a car accident four years ago, Campbell and his wife Florence searched for a commercial venture to pursue that would honor their faith, God and JJ.
When they found the principles of the Christian Brothers, they had their answer.
”The principles of the Christian Brothers Automotive franchise matched our priorities,” Campbell said.
The 150-foot long, 105,000-square-foot, nine-vehicle garage is set to open this week at 8127 Highland Pointe Drive, just north of the Cincinnati Dayton Road exit of Interstate 75.
The couple first became aware of Christian Brothers four years ago while living in Atlanta. Impressed with the brand, they researched how to get involved with the franchise, but didn’t do so until a year after JJ’s death.
That’s when daughter Rebecca, who survived the crash, suggested her father pursue working with the franchise again.
“We were examining our faith and it seemed like the right time to revisit an opportunity with Christian Brothers,” Campbell said.
After investigating the Lexington and Louisville, Ky. markets, the Campbells opted for the West Chester Twp. location.
Through their franchise ownership, the Campbells hope to be a resource for other people who have lost children.
“Being new to the area, we have just begun the process of working with the West Chester-Liberty Chamber Alliance and are learning about the many opportunities to interact with the local community,” Campbell said. “Our hope is that we can partner with the local schools to actively serve the teaching population, as well as the student families.”
They’re also seeking other outlets to reach individuals in need.
“Our faith grew stronger through the loss of our son and part of the reason is that we had a local family reach out to us that had also lost a son approximately four years before,” Campbell said. “That family was able to provide support throughout our healing process. My wife and I would like to provide the same service for others.”
The family already have a scholarship fund in JJ’s name that is maintained through Atlanta-area Gwinnett County Foundation. Every year they award $1,000 to a student at Lanier High School, which is in the same school district where JJ and Rebecca attended high school at the time of the crash.
Founded in 1982, Christian Brothers Automotive’s 145 locations in 20 states repair about 15 to 22 vehicles a day at an average cost of between $350 to $380, company officials said.
Hours of operation for the new West Chester Twp. location are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday and, for the first three months, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. After 90 days, the business plans to be closed on Saturdays, Campbell said.
Thank you for reading the Journal-News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Journal-News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.