SEASON 4 | EPISODE 1: “I had no idea the return we would get.” || Brett Hopkins, CEO, Ken Garff Auto Group

“March of 2020 we learned that when we come out of pocket and invest in our employees, they will give back.”

Brett Hopkins has had a fascinating career story.

He went from a try at medical school, to 3 years in Paris, to being CFO of the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Committee, where he forged a relationship with Bob Garff, then the 2nd-generation CEO of Ken Garff Automotive Group

Brett joined Ken Garff Auto Group following the 2002 games, and in 20 years, he’s helped grow the company from nearly 20 dealership in Utah to 61 rooftops across 8 states.

This episode is full of heart, as Brett tells the company’s story through pandemic. In March 2020, they lost then-CEO Bob Garff to COVID-19. In this difficult moment, leadership decided to back its employees financially during shutdown. This led to the lowest turnover and highest employee loyalty the company has ever seen.

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Episode Highlights:

  • Out of their realization about investing in employees, came a long list of benefits that Ken Garff Auto Group now gives to its employees, defying many norms of the auto industry.
  • The company began its “We’re Hear for You” campaign in early 2020, backing businesses that might not have made it through the pandemic, like restaurants, and they continue to this day.
  • We hear about the value of working at one of the country’s most well-run family businesses, with several third-generation Garff family members in the company.

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