COTTONWOOD -- Long-timers in the Upper Verde Valley have always known where to get new tires and then get them fixed and, more recently, their mechanical work too. Reese & Sons Tires, the family-owned business of 40 years in Cottonwood, has worked hard to keep prices low in the face of growing competition while continuing to expand.
The Dixons, first Reese, and now his son Neil, and Neil’s son, Bradley, keep the Verde Valley’s vehicles with a smooth ride all year round.
This year, Neil has been named the Verde Pride Businessman of the Year. His wife, Hellena, recalls the family history, and it reads like a classic.
“Neil and his family have been in Cottonwood since the late 60s. He attended Cottonwood Elementary, Middle School and then Mingus Union. After graduation, he married his high school sweetheart and joined his dad in the business. While raising four kids, he worked side by side with his dad before becoming owner of the business in 2006.”
“Reese started with a gas station, where the Walgreens is today and then we moved out here.”
Neil says they have always had a policy at the shop of sending people away happy and that has always worked to grow the business.
“We have a lot of loyalty among customers, but even our employees have been on the job, some seven to 20 years. We send them to a lot of training. We had two guys in South Carolina training last week.”
“Especially during the past 10 to 15 years, we have done a lot of expansion. First we bought the upper lot to park vehicles after their finished and then we bought the Turquoise Triangle RV park on the other side in order to have room to expand in the future. We are going to be adding two more bays soon.”
But, running a good business with good will isn’t the whole story. Neil also is very involved in kids and community activities.
“He began coaching right out of high school and continues to coach high school football, 28 years later. He also taught baseball in the past, has been a coach for the Little League baseball teams and Youth Foot ball,” says Hellena.
“I started as a volunteer and just kept on coaching, “ Neil smiles.
Hellena says, “He is also a true volunteer, donating to boy and girl schools, school events, including yearbook, Strive for .5 and events such as Relay for Life, church and more. He loves this community and supports it. He wouldn’t have it any other way.”