Rich Lezcano: An Unexpected Calling
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
CONCORD — While many automotive professionals get into the industry with full intent, for Rich Lezcano, it was anything but expected. It all started when he was a college student working at a bicycle shop in Lafayette. “One morning, a man came in who was having a problem with his shifters,” he recounts. “After looking at the bike, I told him he’d have to leave it and come back later that afternoon to pick it up. However, since he was set on going for a ride right then, I made a quick temporary adjustment and sent him on his way.”
Thinking nothing of the interaction, Rich was completely surprised by what happened next. “Later that day, the man returned to the store and invited me to have dinner with him. It turned out he was the owner of a local auto body shop. He was impressed with how I’d handled the situation earlier, and he wanted to talk to me about coming to work for him.”
While flattered, Rich was hesitant about accepting the offer, particularly in light of his current academic path. However, it was only a week later that another chance occurrence left him struggling to distinguish fate from coincidence. “I was all set to register for classes and had a great schedule lined up,” he remembers. “As luck would have it, there was a glitch with my registration and my whole schedule got wiped. In the end, I decided to take the quarter off and give auto body work a try. Twenty-two years later, here I am!”
Rich assumed ownership of Simply Superior Auto Body in 2007, and he says he still enjoys providing the kind of quality that naturally generates good word of mouth. “I really like when we get new customers who were referred by their friends or family members. When a customer appreciates the service we’ve provided, they tend to want to talk about it, and it makes me really proud to know we have that kind of positive reputation.”
A lifetime resident of the Sun Valley, Rich resides in Walnut Creek with his wife, Jennifer, and their sons, Joshua and Nicolaus. Outside of work, he likes to spend as much time as he can outside, particularly on the golf course. “I really enjoy golf—even though it drives me insane, it still puts me in a relaxing place,” he laughs.
In his life and career, Rich espouses the value of a caring attitude. “When that gentleman offered me a job at his auto body shop, my initial response was, ‘I’m just an architecture student—I don’t know anything about cars.’ To this he replied, ‘I can teach you everything you need to know about cars, but I can’t teach you how to care.’ I think that really highlights the importance of taking your car to a shop where the staff has your best interests in mind and genuinely cares about the quality of their work.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: What’s your favorite sports team?
A: The De La Salle Spartans, the football team of my old high school, as well as the inspiration for the film “When the Game Stands Tall.”
Q: What was your first car?
A: A 1978 Fiat Brava.
Q: What’s your favorite holiday?
A: Thanksgiving, for two reasons: family and food.
Q: What’s your favorite snack?
A: NutRageous bars.
Q: Music or talk radio?
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A: Talk radio.