Scott Yeaman: An Educator at Heart
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
PALO ALTO — Soon after he started doing auto body work to supplement his day job, Scott Yeaman realized he could make a better living if he made it his main career. “I used to be a math and science teacher in Palo Alto and Los Gatos,” he recounts. “I’ve always enjoyed working on and driving cars—I restored my ’55 Chevy and raced Porsches. My uncle had an auto body shop in Oakland and offered to give me some work to help me make ends meet. After training with him, I started doing auto body jobs on the weekends and during winter and summer breaks. Pretty soon, I realized I was making more money on the side than I was from my day job. When a shop location in Palo Alto became available in 1980, I decided to quit teaching and opened Yeaman Auto Body.”
Although decades have passed since he last taught in a classroom, Scott is still an educator at heart. “I’m very passionate about educating my customers, especially about insurance,” he says. “I explain how the insurance companies operate, what kind of coverage they should have on their policies and other helpful information.”
A resident of Sunnyvale (where he lives with his wife, Doris), Scott spends his time outside of work on a variety of pastimes. “When I was younger, I used to be into extreme sports like racing and whitewater rafting, but I’ve backed off a bit in my later years,” he explains. “However, I still like snow skiing and riding dirt bikes. Doris and I also enjoy live music and often go out dancing on the weekends. Plus, we have seven grandkids between us, so they’re a big part of our lives as well.”
In regard to his professional career, Scott shares his simple formula for success. “My first priority is making my customers happy, because that’s how a business grows,” he says. “If I make a customer happy, they tell their friends and family, and so on down the line. Naturally, a big part of it is performing quality work. We’re so confident in the quality of our workmanship that we offer a lifetime transferable warranty, which no other shop I know of offers. That makes customers feel even more confident about their choice to bring their cars here.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Scott says he’d move to Italy. “Doris and I bought a house in Italy last year, near Tuscany. It’s practically brand-new—it’d been built just three years before we bought it. So, we’re looking forward to spending a lot of time there in our retirement years.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: Cook’s Seafood in Menlo Park.
Q: What was your first car?
A: A ’55 Chevy. It didn’t have a transmission when I bought it, so I had to rebuild that before I could drive it.
Q: What’s your dream car?
A: I’ve always been into Porsches and I own a 914/6 that I restored myself. However, I’d love to own a Cayman or 911 because those are basically full-on race cars.
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
A: Probably to some of the European countries I haven’t visited yet. I’ve been to Germany, Italy, France and Spain, but I still want to see Portugal and the Scandinavian region.
Q: What’s your favorite thing to eat for dessert?
A: Chocolate mousse.
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