Kris Cesena is owner of Auto Medics – Asian Car Specialists, a Diamond Certified company since 2007. She can be reached at (650) 450-8949 or by email.

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SAN MATEO − Host, Sarah Rutan: If you’re thinking about purchasing a used vehicle, there is a list of things you’ll need to know. Today we’re in San Mateo with Diamond Certified Expert Contributor, Kris…Watch Now

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Kris Cesena: A Mechanical Inclination

  • Kris Cesena is owner of Auto Medics - Asian Car Specialists

  • Kris Cesena is owner of Auto Medics - Asian Car Specialists

Kris Cesena: A Mechanical Inclination
"Because of my background in mechanical drafting, learning about how cars work and explaining it to customers came pretty easily for me.”

SAN MATEO − While Kris Cesena spent years working as a mechanical drafter, she never thought one day she’d be applying her knowledge toward repairing cars. “I’ve been mechanically inclined ever since I was a kid,” she says. “I went to college to be an engineer, but I didn’t want to do that much math so I became a drafter instead. Later, when my husband, Dan, bought out his partner at Auto Medics, I quit my job and came to work full-time at the shop. Because of my background in mechanical drafting, learning about how cars work and explaining it to customers came pretty easily for me.”

Today, as co-owner of Auto Medics, Kris says her favorite part of her job is interacting with the shop’s clientele. “I really enjoy dealing with customers, which is something I didn’t have the opportunity to do in my previous career. It feels good to give peace of mind to customers who are concerned about the safety of their cars.”

Originally from Minnesota, Kris moved to the Bay Area in 1980 and today resides in San Mateo, where she appreciates the character of the local population. “I love the people who inhabit this area,” she affirms. “Dan and I have made a lot of friends over the years, many of whom have been customers at the shop.”

Outside of work, Kris engages in a variety of pastimes that include golf, skiing and boating. “We love anything water-related, whether we’re jet skiing at the Delta or houseboating on Lake Shasta,” she says. In addition to outdoor activities, Kris enjoys personal hobbies such as scrapbooking. “I love taking old photos and arranging them on a page—it really brings those memories back.” She also makes a point of staying active in her community. “I’ve been on the Downtown San Mateo Association board for six years, and I was president for two years,” she explains. “They’ve done a really good job these past couple years at reviving the downtown area, so it’s been exciting to participate in that.”

In her professional career, Kris says true success entails both ethical integrity and professional enthusiasm. “We operate by the Golden Rule here, which means we’re always honest, upfront and fair with our customers. We’re also very passionate about our work, and we take a lot of pride in the cleanliness of our shop and care of our customers’ vehicles. That’s why our tag line is, ‘Meticulous maintenance by passionate professionals.’”

When asked the first thing she’d do if she could retire tomorrow, Kris says she’d seek out new opportunities to volunteer her time. “I would like to do more volunteer work with local nonprofits, whether in regard to helping animals or another social cause. My sister is executive director of the Down Syndrome Guild of Greater Kansas City, and I’d love to spend some time helping her with projects and events.”

Ask me anything!
Q: Are you a dog person or a cat person?

A: Definitely a dog person. We have two Chihuahua mixes, Rocco and Buddy, whom I take to work with me every day. They’ve basically become mascots for the shop—when they’re not here, the customers are always asking about them.

Q: What was your first car?

A: A Honda Civic. I called it my Bondo-mobile.

Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?

A: Fuji Sukiyaki in downtown San Mateo.

Q: What’s your favorite television show?

A: The Big Bang Theory.

Q: Pancakes or waffles?

A: Waffles. More nooks and crannies for the syrup.

Q: What’s your favorite newspaper comic strip?

A: Calvin and Hobbes.

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