Welcome back to Meetin’ Wheaton Wednesdays! We have another great edition for you this week where we meet two more of the wonderful staff members at Wheaton Honda. This week we are heading to the parts department of our Edmonton dealership. We are pleased to present to you our Parts Department Manager Eric Malkewich and Parts Advisor Jeff Karavokeres! So the next time you need a part for your specific Honda model or you simply need to know what kind of part your looking for, you will know just who you are talking to in our parts department. In the photo above, you can see Eric on the left and Jeff on the right. As always we will ask Eric and Jeff a few questions to get to know them a little better. So here they are: Eric and Jeff!
How long have you been working at Wheaton Honda?
Eric: I’ve been with the Wheaton Group for the last 6 years, and before that with the Dick Irwin Group since 1987. So total 28 years.
Jeff: I’ve been working with the Wheaton Group since May of 2014, so just over a year now. Before that I was managing for about 6 years at Sherwood Nissan in their Parts department.
How did you come to start working at Wheaton Honda?
Eric: When the Wheatons bought Mill Woods Honda I was part of the package, so I was already working here.
Jeff: Before working at Sherwood Nissan as the parts manager, I worked for the city for about 10 years. While I was doing the city of Edmonton job I worked part time at Albert Honda for about 14 or 15 years and 5 years before that full time. So I had a lot of Honda experience and I like the product so basically when I was no longer working at Sherwood Nissan anymore I contacted Eric and he just happened to have a position here at Wheaton Honda, and we got together and made history.
Jeff: So I had already known Eric. When he was at Mill Woods Honda , I was at Albert Honda, so I worked every Saturday there and Eric worked Saturdays as well. So every Saturday we would chat at least once or twice a day.
What’s your favourite part about working at Wheaton Honda?
Eric: For myself, I find that every day is a different challenge and not everything is the same. Overall it’s just trying to do the job right the first time.
Jeff: It’s a good bunch of people, I mean, back counter, front counter. The customers are good. Work hours are great. You get to spend a lot of time with your family and still enjoy your job. So that’s the main thing; enjoying your job and enjoying what you do. And working in parts, every day is a different challenge, it’s not redundant work where it’s the same day in and day out. It’s not like an assembly line job. It’s always challenging, there’s always new vehicles coming out which makes it interesting. I drive a Honda so the nice thing about it is that I can look up my own parts. You get a great deal on your parts and you can get your car serviced by people you know here, so that’s also good.
What do you like to do outside of work?
Eric: Myself, I like to travel. I also have 2 dogs, which is like having little kids again. I also have a daughter, she just finished getting her diploma for social work. So she’s finding out what that field is like and may consider another line of work too. Also, I spend a lot of time riding my motorcycle. Jeff and I both ride, so it’s pretty great.
Jeff: Yeah, we actually just did a trip last weekend down to Peter’s Drive-In in Red Deer. So we actually went on Sunday with one of the other advisors in service who has a bike. There’s about 4 or 5 of us at this dealership who ride bikes. So I like riding bikes. I like golfing too, as well, so I do that once in a while. I also work on the car in the garage once in a while if time permits. You know, kids. Kids take up a big part of your life.
Which Honda vehicle would you recommend to potential buyers?
Jeff: They don’t make Preludes anymore, I’ve owned Preludes over the years. They were really nice. But now we drive a Honda Pilot which is nice. I’d recommend it to anyone who has a couple kids because it’s great on gas, reliable, and roomy with 8 passenger seating. We’ve had it for years and never had a problem with it, it’s from 2008.
Eric: For me, I feel the Honda CR-V is a great all-around choice. It can handle all of the weather conditions that we have in Edmonton and it’s got room to spare inside.
Jeff: It’s actually almost the size of the Pilot from back in 2008. The Pilot’s a little bit bigger now too, as well. Honda Civics are nice too, the Civic is not like the Civics of the old days, it’s roomier, and nice and sporty.
Do you guys drive Honda motorcycles as well?
Jeff: They also have reliability on the bikes as well. You know, Harleys are nice, but they’re also expensive and in my opinion, I couldn’t really trust a new Harley going on a long trip because they’re a tinkering kind of bike. If you want reliability you’re going to buy a Honda.
What’s your favourite vehicle of all time?
Eric: My favourite vehicle? Well it’s nothing against Honda, but a 1970 Chevrolet Camaro. It’s a car I’ve never had and probably never will, but I like the look of it and just the character of the vehicle itself.
Jeff: I’ve got the dream car, I’m just slowly rebuilding it over the course of probably 15 years. It’s an old BMW 2002 from 1973. So it’s one step closer, I’ve got the engine in it now, but basically now it’s all suspension and the interior. So hopefully it might win a few car shows over the years.
There you have it! Two biker guys who love the Honda brand and enjoy working here at Wheaton Honda. We hope you enjoyed getting to know Eric and Jeff. If you are in need of parts for your Honda vehicle, stop in or call the parts department here at Wheaton Honda and Eric and Jeff will be happy to help you out.
We’ve had a great time once again offering you a glimpse into the lives of some more of the Wheaton Honda staff. We look forward to seeing you again next week for a new edition of Meetin’ Wheaton Wednesdays.