SUNNYVALE − While many automotive professionals start out by working for a family-owned or independent business, Pete Hurwicz received a more formal industry education…but not before working his way up from the ground level. “While in college, I got a summer job parking cars at a local dealership,” he explains. “Over time, I gradually moved up through the ranks, learning about new aspects of the industry as I went. After 12 years working for multiple dealerships, I had been everything from a warranty clerk to an assistant service manager. Finally, I became a body shop manager, which is how I ended up in this field.”
Today, 30 years after founding Silicon Valley Auto Body & Tow, Pete credits much of his company’s success to the comprehensive instruction he received in the dealership setting. “From the hands-on work to the business and customer service side, working for various dealerships allowed me to develop a well-rounded set of skills, which ultimately gave me the confidence to step up and open my own shop.”
Originally from Boston, Pete moved to Los Angeles as a teenager before later relocating to the Bay Area, where he currently resides with his wife, Linda. Between working in Sunnyvale and living in Morgan Hill, Pete says he enjoys the best of both worlds. “I appreciate Sunnyvale for its business climate, whereas the Morgan Hill area is still somewhat rural, so you get more of a country feel. The only issue is having to commute between the two!”
Outside of work, Pete enjoys a variety of hobbies, from riding his Harley-Davidson to attending sporting events. “I’m a season ticket holder for the San Francisco Giants and the San Jose Sharks, and I recently became a 49ers season ticket holder as well, so you might say I’m somewhat of a sports fan,” he laughs. In addition to his active interests, Pete enjoys simple things like working in his yard and hanging out with his French Bulldog, Louie.
In his life and career, Pete lives by a quote passed down from his father. “My dad used to say, ‘Be big in little ways,’ which is something I apply daily in my professional life,” he says. “When it comes to long-term customer satisfaction, it’s often the little details that make the biggest difference. You don’t always have to be a hero, you just have to take care of your customers’ needs, and that’s what I always strive to do.”
When asked what his future retirement might look like, Pete says he would set sail for an extended trip. “I have a fantasy of getting on a sailboat and sailing around the world. However, given my age and lack of qualifications, that’s probably not going to happen, so instead I’d do the next best thing and go on a cruise!”