Back in 1976, Ted Thornton and a partner bought the body shop business in Boise, Idaho, where Ted had worked for a decade. Years later, Ted’s son Matt Thornton worked part-time at the shop while in school, then full-time as a painter, before leaving to work for local paint jobbers for several years. Matt eventually returned to the shop, becoming partners in the business with his dad in 1998, and buying out his dad’s stake in the business in 2002.
Ted Thornton has continued to work part-time for his son at Parks Royal, writing estimates and conducting outside sales calls. “The relationship has worked pretty smoothly,” Matt said, although he sees himself as having a very different management style than his father, both Ted and Matt Thornton believe the differences in their management styles are fine as long as employees see that certain things – such as a commitment to quality and integrity – aren’t changing.