I am a 54-year-old lifelong Lynn resident and a 1981 graduate of Lynn Tech’s Auto Body program. Two years after leaving Tech at the age of 19, I opened Rick’s Auto Body, now Rick’s Auto Collision, Inc. in Revere. I am proud to say Rick’s is thriving in its 34th year of business.
In 1996, at the prodding of then Lynn Tech Director, Al Malagrifa, I became a collision repair instructor at my alma mater. During this time, the Auto Collision Program at Tech reached new heights, going from an average program to a nationally recognized, state of the art, certified training program that exceeds the offerings of high priced technical colleges. I left my teaching position in 2010 to become more involved in the rapid growth of my business.
Even though I was out of Tech, I still had deep concerns that for the entire Lynn Public School system. With those concerns in mind, I successfully sought election to the Lynn School Committee and served six years in that position. My time on the school committee opened my eyes to what it takes to make our school systems thrive; handling $120 million budgets, working with city staff, as well as the families of students at all our school. I quickly became known for my pro-active community and constituent service.
My commitment to the city extends far beyond the Lynn School Committee. In 2016, Mayor Kennedy appointed me to the Lynn Economic Development and Industrial Corporation (EDIC) Board. I am a long-time member of the Lynn Area Chamber of Commerce and currently serve on the Chamber’s Board of Directors and co-chair of their Economic and Workforce Development Committee. For the past seven years, I have served on the Board of Directors for the Lynn Youth Street Outreach Advocacy (LYSOA) and currently serve as their President. Since 1992, I have been a part of the Lynn Tech Alumni Association, chairing their scholarship committee and co-chairing the golf tournament committee. I have been a lifelong member of Christ United Methodist Church, now Grace United Methodist Church in Lynn, and currently serve on the board of trustees. In 2012, I was proudly inducted into the Lynn Tech Hall of Fame and earlier this year, I was awarded the Lynn Chamber of Commerce Chairman’s award for my service to the Lynn community. I have been a generous financial supporter of many Lynn based organizations that benefit the citizens of Lynn.
During my career as a business owner, I have become heavily involved in automotive industry issues. I have served over 25 years on the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Auto Body Association now the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers (AASP-MA) of Massachusetts, including six years as President. I am involved in several local and national initiatives and legislative movements to improve my industry and consumer protection. In 2015, Governor Charlie Baker appointed me to the Commonwealth’s Auto Damage Appraisers Licensing Board.
I have been married to my wife, Lois, for 32 years. Lois is a graduate of Lynn Classical High School and after a career in the insurance industry now works a special education aide at Sisson Elementary School. Together, we have two beautiful daughters who each graduated from Lynn English High School. Jessica went on to attain her Bachelor’s degree from Northeastern and works in Boston. Stephanie graduated from Bridgewater State University in 2016 and recently retuned from Ireland where she spent the last year working in marketing. I am proud to have the whole family back in Lynn.