Ellis & Salazar’s Employee Highlight: Shop Co-owner, Wayne Burklund
The owners of Ellis & Salazar Garage & Body Shops are a testament to how important hard work and dedication can be when chasing your dream. For our inaugural E&S ‘Person of the Month’ feature, we thought it fitting to start with one of the three owners. Wayne was able to take some time away from his busy day as “A Captain”, to tell us about what it took for him to own his own business, the importance of community involvement in Austin, and to let us in on a few of his personal achievements and passions.
How did Ellis and Salazar get started?
When I first got into the Austin auto body shop business in 1977, I knew this was something I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I wrote a little statement on a piece of paper that read, “by the time I am 35 years old, I will own my own shop.” and taped it to my mirror so I could see it every morning.
I worked hard to make it happen and in February of 1989, I received a call from Jack Nash (another of the three Ellis & Salazar owners) who wanted to partner up on buying a body shop — so we did. Jack and I purchased the original Ellis & Salazar shop in 1989, which had been in business since 1953. Then we partnered with Joe Lewright (third owner) and opened a second location in 2000 and the third in 2008.
What is your favorite thing about being an E&S owner?
What I like about being an owner is getting to tell people what to do ha ha! Being an owner just makes me feel good. Over the past 23 years, we’ve been able to hire so many good people, who love to show customers how much we care about repairing their vehicles.
What do you do outside of being a shop owner?
My time now is spent helping and watching my beautiful wife, Tami, rodeo, keeping my grandbaby as much as I can, and volunteering. I volunteer a lot! I’m on the rodeo board (STFR), head of the Cowboy Breakfast, chair director on the Dripping Springs Ranch Park, on the construction board of DSRP building committee, work with the Firefighters Relief Fund Fishing tournament and I’m co-coach of my church’s softball team. I just enjoy helping people in need in any way. I’m not patting myself on the back, I just like doing it!
I used to enjoy bull riding and clowning in rodeos, now I focus on anything outside like hunting and fishing. I’ve been to Colorado, Wyoming , Montana ,Alaska and Africa on hunting trips. I am a country boy at heart!
What is something about you that not many people know?
I played all the sports in high school. I played varsity football and basketball and ran track. I won’t say I was a sports hero or anything, but I was an all district football player two of the four years in high school I also played semi-pro baseball because we didn’t have a baseball team in Manor. I blew out my knee and wasn’t able to advance my career in baseball any further, so I started playing fast-pitch softball. I played for twenty five years and went to 3 world tournaments! Now I just play slow-pitch for my church’s team.
Thank you Wayne for letting us in a little on what has made you, you!
You can find Wayne every day of the week at the Ellis & Salazar on South Congress- stop in and say hi!