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Equalizer Provides Training, Tools and Support to Help New Glass Repair Business Hit the Ground Running

June 2022 Shop & Product Showcase
by Autobody News Staff
Moreno Family
Windshield Replacement
Back glass replacement

Jesse and Nadine Moreno opened Moreno Auto Glass, a mobile auto glass repair and replacement service, in 2021, serving the East Valley region of the Phoenix Metro Area.

The husband-and-wife team combined their skillsets—his in auto mechanics and hers in business management—to successfully launch their own company, which they run with the help of their two teenage sons, Giovanni and Vince.

Jesse started working on cars when he was a teenager himself, rebuilding a '75 Chevy Nova on his own. After working as a mechanic for repair shops and dealerships, he started working on cars out of the family's home in 2018, but that was not an ideal fit.

"Running an auto repair shop out of your house is expensive," Nadine said.

Nadine worked as a contract office manager for a couple of companies, but she wanted to work for herself. She opened a home tutoring business for children with special needs in early 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic tanked it.

Nadine said the couple prayed about what they should be doing instead.

"Auto glass kept coming up," she said.

Nadine looked into training ​courses for Jesse, whose experience at that point went as far as fixing windshield chips. She found schools in Texas, Florida and California, but nothing closer to home.

One day, Nadine was searching online again for courses, when she found out Equalizer-whose Auto Glass Academy is based in Round Rock, TX-would be hosting a class in Tempe, AZ, a month later.

"I reached out to [Education Program Director] Shannon Kern to confirm the location and submitted his application and payment that day," Nadine said.

Jesse said he went into the five-day, 40-hour course with zero knowledge of auto glass replacement. The other students' experience ranged from also having never replaced glass to more than 25 years in the industry.

"[Global Education Director] Gilbert [Gutierrez] asked on the first day how long I had been in [glass replacement), and I said 28 minutes," Jesse said.

Jesse said the weeklong class was a "bit of a crash course," but the instructors answered every question, and he came out of it confident enough to start a business with Nadine, rather than going to work for another company.

"It helped me make up my mind that yes, I can do this myself," he said. "It was money well spent."

Nadine said the class also allowed the fledgling business owners to make invaluable connections in the industry, both with Equalizer employees and other people in the class.

"Jesse got the education out of it, but we also got a community out of it, and that was really a blessing," Nadine said.

In April 2021, Moreno Auto Glass officially opened, offering mobile-only, low- or no-contact glass replacement, chip repair, window regulator replacement, headlight restoration and mirror replacement.

One of the perks of completing Equalizer's training course was a tuition credit on tools.

"That's what I learned with, that's what | was comfortable with," Jesse said. "I never had an issue with the tools, and everything has been working. So far everything l've gotten from Equalizer, I just really like, and it's been easy to use."

Jesse said he uses Equalizer's ZipKnife cold knife to cut out windshields, and the Raptor cord and wire auto glass removal device to break tight seals.

He also uses Equalizer's visual vacuum plunger cups, super-size vacuum cups, heavy duty windshield stand, hook and pick set, sharpening stone and BTB Winged Pinchweld prep kit, and the deluxe windshield repair kit. He purchased his DeWalt caulking gun and reciprocating tool from Equalizer as well. 

The Morenos said the support they continue to get from Equalizer is second to none.

"I was considering two setting tools," Jesse said. "Shannon sent me both tools and only asked us to cover the shipping to send back the one we didn't want.

"Whenever I've had a question on how to use a tool, they've been very helpful," he said.

"Equalizer has gone above and beyond," Nadine added.

Coming up on the one-year anniversary of opening Moreno Auto Glass, Jesse and Nadine said things are going well, despite having to deal with the same supply chain issues-at times, having to wait three months for OEM replacement glass-and increases in prices as any other business.

Most of their first customers were people they knew through their local church, but as Nadine worked on getting the company's name out there through social media and Google, their customer base has grown. They are getting repeat customers and word-of-mouth referrals as time goes on, too.

"Our customers tell us often that they appreciate that we are family owned and operated," Nadine said. "They like seeing the whole family involved."

The Morenos put integrity first in everything they do, staying active in their community, sponsoring their son's high school hockey team and supporting other local, small, family-run businesses.

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