When longtime islander, Dick Strom was a teenager, he was introduced to metalworking and from that point on he was hooked. It was a natural progression for him to make a career out of it, and in 1974, Dick opened his auto body repair shop, Modern Collision Rebuild & Service. Repairing and rebuilding cars wasn’t the only thing that kept Dick busy, he also enjoyed working with any type of metal to create beautiful pieces that are functional and decorative. In his personal life, Dick and his family have always been committed to helping the community on a variety of levels.
When Dick’s sons, Micah and Aaron were young, they frequently came to the shop to work after school. Aaron loved doing auto body work—as his brother Micah put it, “he lives and breathes it 24/7.” Micah on the other hand wasn’t so taken with auto body repair and decided to go to school to study auto mechanics.
When Dick started contemplating his retirement, he turned to his sons to take over the business. Aaron was already working there, but because Modern Collision (MC) didn’t currently provide auto mechanics, Micah was working elsewhere. Dick suggested that they create a secondary division at MC to incorporate Micah’s specialty and expand the business. In the mid-2000s, the brothers began working full-time to help their father transition into retirement and in January 2010 they officially purchased Modern Collision Rebuild & Service.
Micah and Aaron inherited more than just their father’s talent for auto work, they inherited his love and support of their community as well. MC is a financial supporter of the Bainbridge Island Historical Museum and Bainbridge Performing Arts. In addition, they donate their time and MC services to the annual Bainbridge Island Rotary Auction, including the days-long process of reconditioning (heat cleaning and seasoning) donated cast iron cookware for sale at the auction.
During the month of October, the Modern Collision family of employees all wear pink in support of Breast Cancer awareness. As prominent supporters of Helpline House, MC offers a discount to customers who bring in food for Helpline’s food drive during the months of November and December. They also sponsor an annual scholarship in the automotive field to a Bainbridge High School graduate.
Another non-profit organization close to their heart is Project Backpack (via Helpline House), a program that provides essential school supplies and new clothing to local students in need, as well as assistance with school fees.
The Classic Car Cruise-In: It probably isn’t surprising that Aaron and Micah are a big part of this fundraising event. It all began in 2003, when local islander and car enthusiast, Jim Peek started the Cruise-In as a way to raise funds for Project Backpack. Micah and Aaron had been participating for years and took over management of the event approximately 2013.
The Cruise-In takes place from May through August on the last Tuesday of the month from 5pm to 8pm at the Bainbridge First Baptist Church on the corner of Madison Avenue and Highway 305. The event is open to the general public (with or without a classic car). No fee or advanced reservations are required, however if you’re planning to show your car, they do recommend you arrive early as space fills up quickly. Hamburgers and hotdogs are served, and donations are always appreciated and will benefit Project Backpack.
It’s not just a business, it’s a family: At Modern Collision, employees are like extended family, some of them, like Tim, who works in their auto body division and Brenda, their office manager have been with MC for over 20 years. And like all families, they celebrate their employees’ birthdays, have frequent company BBQs and throw a fantastic Christmas party.
They’re hiring! MC offers a positive and fun work environment as well as top pay and fantastic benefits, click here for more information.
Modern Collision Rebuild & Service are members of the Coalition for Collision Repair Excellence (CCRE), the Automotive Service Association of Washington (ASA-WA), and is an EnviroStar 5-star (highest rating) shop. They continuously provide training to their personnel to keep up on the newest industry trends, including state of the art computer diagnostics, allowing them to service vehicles of any age, make and model. Click here for a full list of their services.
“Modern Collision Rebuild & Service continues to thrive as a non-Direct Repair (non-DRP) shop by striving to surpass the expectations of every customer, knowing it is the customer that keeps us in business.”
Did you know they have rental cars as well? MC has 20 vehicles available for their customers and out-of-town guests to rent. Click here for more information.
Although Dick Strom has retired, he still keeps busy. His love of metalwork has parlayed into a fun post-retirement career continuing to create his functional and artistic metal art. His work has been shown at various art venues around the island, including the bi-annual Studio Tours. Click here to learn more about Dick’s work.
CALL:(206) 317-5436 – MON – FRI: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
*Images provided by Modern Collision Rebuild & Service, the Bainbridge Island Chamber of Commerce and Margaret Millmore