Women is...: Camille Eber A Woman and Her Cars

Camille Eber A Woman and Her Cars

who she is: Owner, Roth & Miller Autobody Inc.

beginnings: "My parents bought the autobody shop in 1963. I began working for them in 1986 for minimum wage -- sweeping shop, doing bookkeeping -- with the understanding that at sometime in the future I would have the opportunity to buy in or buy them out."

turning point: "A year after I started working there, my mom unexpectedly died. A lot of her responsibilities fell on me. About two years later, Dad decided to sell, and I purchased the business."

about Roth and Miller: "Our main focus is to repair collision-damaged cars. You can have a severe collision without damaging your engine. The quality of work we offer is a cut above your average repair shop."

quality control: "We demand that our technicians do a good job. We have a comprehensive checklist to make sure that everything is put back together securely. I or one of the technicians personally check each car before it leaves the shop."

overcoming distrust: "Every industry has its bad apples and unfortunately ours has a lot of them. Too many mechanics look at the short-term goal. I don't operate that way."

on being a female shop owner: "Every once in a while I run into a customer who can't believe I'm the one who's going to look at the car. Sometimes it works to my advantage. I had one guy come back and tell me I got the job because I was a woman and because I seemed to care about his job."

advice to future shop owners: "Remember that you're in business to serve the customer and treat them fairly and honestly."

marketing secrets: "I had to apply for some of the awards I received. And I take extra effort sending out press releases to announce the award once I get one." She won the Northwest Motor Magazine's 1998 Shop of the Year award and the Better Business Bureau's 1997 Integrity Award.

on auto appeal: "A lot of it is visual. I also like the feel of driving certain cars, ones that handle well and accel nicely."

dream racer: "I didn't race formally, but I've had my share of speeding tickets."