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From left) Ryan Ocepek, McKay NAPA Auto Parts Regional Manager; Scott Mountford, General Manager, Genuine Parts Co./NAPA Distribution Center; Ed Keck, McKay NAPA Outside Sales; Jim McKay, McKay Corporation Chairman of the Board; Bob Kirschner, Store Manager, Granite City/North location; Earl Flack, President, McKay NAPA Auto Parts, Jim Cuppett, McKay NAPA Regional Manager; Paula Noel of AdVantage News; Ed Hammann, Vice-President, McKay NAPA Auto Parts; Ron Branding; Norman May, McKay NAPA Outside Sales Manager; and Jeff Hundley, Genuine Parts Co./NAPA Distribution Center.
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GRANITE CITY — On May 28, McKay NAPA Auto Parts officially celebrated the opening of its 19th location, as 1601 Branding Drive transitioned from CARQUEST to the newest McKay NAPA Auto store.
“The participation from the community and the excitement we saw that day was overwhelming,” McKay NAPA President Earl Flack said. “I think we had over 300 people at the grand opening, including both old and new customers, curiosity seekers, supporters from local businesses and kids. It was great.”
Some 300 pork patties and 150 hot dogs were served, ensuring the crowd left with smiles and full bellies. Door prizes were given, and the Make-A-Wish top fuel funny car was on display.
Flack says he was able to retain the entire former CARQUEST staff for the new McKay location, including Ron Branding, Howard Bogt, Ed Keck and manager Bob Kirschner.
“Ron was ready to retire (as owner), and we were looking to expand, so it just worked out great for everyone,” Flack said. “We also brought some of the people from McKay NAPA Auto Parts to blend the staff.”
The new store will continue in the footsteps of the other locations, offering automotive through heavy-duty replacement parts, accessories, paints and service items to the Granite City community.
Community is something close to the heart of the team behind McKay Corporation. For years, the company has organized fundraisers for Make-A-Wish Illinois, a nonprofit foundation to arrange the granting of “Wishes” to children battling life-threatening illnesses. In 2012, Make-A-Wish Illinois presented McKay NAPA with the Make-A-Wish Community of the Year Award for the State of Illinois, and to date, the McKay company has raised more than $216,000 for the foundation through the help of customers, employees, friends and business associates. Each of the wishes costs approximately $6,000 per child.
This year, the company is hosting the Wishin’ Golf Car Raffle on Oct. 8 at the annual McKay NAPA Auto Parts Tool and Equipment Show.
The street legal cart, featuring a custom, four-seat club car, customized paint job, sound system and more, is up for grabs to the winner who purchases a donation ticket for $10 at any of the 19 McKay NAPA locations now through Oct. 8.
Established in 1937, 2015 marks the McKay Corporation’s 78th year in business.
“The only way to hang around this long (almost eight decades) is by having great people work with us,” Jim McKay said. “I’m sure my father, founder Vincent J. ‘Mac’ McKay; and my brother, former president Bob McKay, would have agreed that we’ve had the best team together throughout the years.”
In the 1950s, the company expanded into warehouse business, acquiring the Litchfield warehouse in the 1960s. Eventually, this helped allow McKay to supply more than 90 percent of its own needs.
The relationship with NAPA/Genuine Parts Company occurred in 2003 and offered the company the hands-on capability to obtain more than 350,000 parts through the NAPA system. Today, several of the McKay NAPA Auto Parts locations, including Godfrey, Collinsville, Edwardsville, Bethalto and right here in Granite City (the north location), serve as warehouse hubs.
“McKay NAPA Auto Parts is grateful to (our) customers, communities and employees for their dedication to the NAPA brand, which helps our McKay NAPA stores continue to reach new levels of success,” Flack said.
With 175 team members (ASE-certified parts specialists) scattered across the 19 area locations, eight delivery trucks on the roads every day, and the grand opening of the new Granite City location, that level of success certainly is rising for McKay.
“We are glad to be part of Granite City and we are looking forward to the future and our part in the community,” Flack said.
McKay NAPA Auto Parts (including the new Granite City north location) is open 7:30 a.m. until 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday, and 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call (618) 931-6891 or visit www.napaonline.com.