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Bittinger Goes the Distance

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Left to Right: Owner Lowell Hiebner, Susanne Hiebner, and Clay Bittinger
Left to Right: Owner Lowell Hiebner, Susanne Hiebner, and Clay Bittinger

Hiebner Body Shop runs a tight ship here in Henderson and is a staple of the business community.  They would like to take the time to acknowledge Clay Bittinger as part of their success.  Bittinger has been employed at Hiebner Body Shop for 25 years and owner, Lowell Hiebner, would not want it any other way.

It all began when Hiebner got burnt out on looking for good, well-educated help.  This was a few, short 25 years ago and he just assumed he would have to run this entire business on his own and do all the work.  Just as that decision was made, a brand new, Milford SCC graduate walked through his door and inquired about a job.  This college grad, Clay Bittinger, filled out the application as Hiebner looked at it and said, “Thanks for stopping in.”  Hiebner knew in the back of his mind that he had already decided on no more hiring…at all.  It was fate the Monday that Bittinger returned to check up on his application status.  Hiebner was swamped with work and chose to take one final attempt at a new employee.  He told Bittinger to come back on Thursday, he got the job.

Boy, is Hiebner happy about the decision he made that day.  Bittinger has since been at the Body Shop for 25 faithful years.  He excels in auto body repair and finishing.  He can do it all, start to finish, on collision repair and he is involved in every aspect of the business.

Bittinger, originally from Benedict, NE, has a very persistent, yet calm demeanor, at work and more than likely at home as well, since he lives with his wife, three daughters and a dog (which happens to be a girl).  That is FIVE females at home!  Bittinger gets five stars–at work and home!

Photo: Bittinger working on a project in the shop.

He works hard and is extremely reliable.  One of the biggest aspects that makes him so valuable is that he enjoys what he does–not too mention he is really good at it.  Something that makes someone great at what they do is to always be looking to better themselves, even after years and years of practice and expertise.  That is exactly what Bittinger does.  He says that after 25 years, he still learns new things everyday.

Owner, Susanne Hiebner said of Bittinger, “The advantage of having Clay is that we do not have to check his work and we can expect the finished product is at its highest level.”

The Hiebner’s never thought they would be so lucky as to have Bittinger around for 25 years and right out of school even.  Bittinger chose to look into moving to Henderson after graduation because he and wife, Jackie wanted to be in the school district.  He had a friend, at the time, that was student teaching at the Henderson Elementary and was raving about how great the school and town was.  Bittinger has noticed over the years, the loyalty the community of Henderson shows to the local small business.  They see so many repeat customers.

After 25 years, Bittinger has numerous great memories. One of his most fond moments was the hailstorm of June ‘91.  Owners, Lowell and Susanne were on vacation in Michigan which left Bittinger alone to run the shop.  “It was a pretty crazy week, I learned a lot of things in a short amount of time.”  He remembers returning from lunch at 1pm and the storm hit.  “I’ll never forget it,” he says.  That week, Hiebner Body Shop put out 180 estimates.  Pretty crazy indeed.

Congratulations to Clay Bittinger for 25 years of service and also to Hiebner Body Shop for having such a great employee and positive example of your business.

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