Copart Sponsors Keys to Progress to Assist Veterans

keys-to-progress-lentzThe Lentz family, pictured above, is among more than 100 veteran families across the nation who received keys to a newly refurbished vehicle during the 2016 Keys to Progress event.

In Los Angeles, California, Andrew Lentz, his wife and Orion, their huge Irish wolfhound service dog, were among hundreds of families waiting and hoping they would receive a car. Mr. Lentz has struggled since leaving the Air Force six years ago. He said leaving the military was really difficult, but he decided to go back to school. Unfortunately, Mr. Lentz has not been able to secure a job since leaving the military.

“I had to get back into what civilian life looked like, and how I, as a service member, fit,” said Mr. Lentz.

The Lentzs have been trying to start a family, but their cars at home are falling apart and the unreliable transportation is draining his bank account. He said he felt the need to call Progressive and see if they could help. Unfortunately, the size of their service dog limited the type of vehicle the Lentzs could receive. Progressive, however, was able to find the family a car that uniquely fit their needs. The only road block now was transportation.  He would have to get to El Paso, Texas to receive it.

The opportunity to help the Lentz family in this way was presented to Copart by Progressive. Copart was able to help with their unique circumstance, by covering the Lentz’s airfare to El Paso as well as the hotel stay so that they could attend the Keys to Progress event and receive their new vehicle. Mr. Lentz said this car was immensely needed and this gift could not have come at a better time.

Copart was able to provide another unique accommodation for a Keys to Progress recipient. Last year, Copart was able to donate a shuttle bus to a special Keys to Progress recipient. The veteran that requested the shuttle bus wanted to help other veterans by offering them a ride to the VA, appointments and other activities.

As part of Copart’s ongoing support of veterans and their families, we strive to honor their dedication and sacrifices for our country in many ways. More than 22 Copart employees attended the special ceremonies at Progressive Service Centers across the country in addition to the cars that Copart donated for the event.

A vehicle not only provides transportation but also independence, which helps these heroes and their families move forward to a brighter future.

When one fights, we all fight!

Copart locations throughout North and South Carolina joined #TEAMJACKSON to support his fight against Juvenile Myelomonocytic Leukemia (JMML).


Baby Jackson became a part of the Tucker family on January 13, 2016. His doctors believe he is fighting JMML, a rare form of Leukemia in which the only cure is a bone marrow transplant. Jackson loves to laugh, listen to music and look at lights.

YD 154 Team Jackson

Jackson’s grandfather, Billy Tucker, became a part of the Copart family once he started towing at Copart’s Raleigh location when the doors opened nearly 20 years ago. Reginald “Smokey” Tucker, of Tucker’s towing, still tows for Copart locations throughout the Carolinas.

Across the Carolinas, all locations proudly displayed their #TEAMJACKSON tee’s on Jackson’s big day… transplant Day!

The Copart family asks you to join them in sending good vibes and prayers to the entire Tucker family and especially little Jackson!

When one fights, we all fight!

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Minute Monday: Meeting Tips for Outlook

Scheduling meetings can be tricky, especially finding a time that works for everybody and accommodating people coming from different locations. Thankfully, Microsoft Outlook does have some helpful tools. Wendy Ganey, our well-practiced Outlook operator has some tips to help make planning your meetings even easier in a minute or less!

Put a “hold” event on the calendar for meeting times that have been offered, but not accepted. This prevents offered times from being filled accidentally in the meantime. Be sure to go back and release the dates that aren’t chosen after one is decided upon.

Back to Back Meetings:
Try to avoid booking meetings back-to-back if possible. Travel time must be taken into consideration whether it is across the office, down the hall, or across the town. Also remember you have to eat sometime. Don’t book meeting over your lunch hour!

Travel/drive time:
Build a “cushion” before and after an offsite meeting. Map travel routes and be aware of this when planning the next meeting.

Stay tuned to Minute Mondays for more Outlook tips and tricks! Don’t want to wait, check out More Minute Mondays.

The Sum of Parts is Greater than the Whole

The Sum of  Parts is Greater than the Whole – At Least in Dismantling

Willis came into this industry as a dismantler, but he didn’t just dismantle cars, he did the parts too. Generally, when customers came to buy parts from dismantlers they got the whole package, whether they wanted it or not. Willis did not see any sense in customers paying $400 for a fully dressed motor with the alternator, starter, and other parts still hanging on it when the customer already had a working alternator.

Willis decided to make a change. If a customer went to Mather, he or she could buy just the motor for $275 and alternator for $25. When wrecked cars arrived at Mather the additional parts were taken out, restored and sold separately. By the time he was done he could get double the amount for the same parts, and the customers were happier. “This caused my profit margins to far exceed that of my competitors,” said Willis.

Life is Fragile

Willis retells a lesson he learned from his book Junk to Gold.

Willis’s older brother, Ray, who was only 37, was dying from cancer.  Willis realized that like the war, this circumstance was another example of how fragile life can be and how you need to make every minute count.  As he saw the effects it had on his surviving wife and kids, it also made Willis think even harder about and realize the real reason he wanted to be successful—so that he could take care of his family.

Minute Monday: Mobile Phone Health

You are not the only one who needs to remain healthy to live a long and energetic life, your mobile phone does too! Luke Pfaff, our IT expert, has some helpful mobile phone health tips to share in a minute or less.

Be sure to follow these tips to keep your mobile phone healthy and you plugged in to your social life!

Out with the Old: Uninstalling unused apps will free up space and reduce the amount of updates and update time.

Nothing Good Comes Free: Stay away from “free” sites and pop-ups that offer free movies, music, etc. These sites can expose your mobile devices to hackers and other harmful programs.

Once a Day Keeps the Corruptions Away: Restart your phone once a day to reduce system and data corruptions from apps and cache data by fully powering off your device.

In with the New: If you are notified of a software or app update, do not put it off. Updates address a wide range of issues and bugs such as security holes, memory leaks, crashes and battery drain.

Get More “On-Time”: If you aren’t running apps that require a lot of speed, make sure to turn on power saver mode to make your battery time last longer.

Don’t miss the next Minute Monday, our process improvement expert has some great tips to share in a minute or less!

Minute Monday: Process Improvement

Business process improvement is a systematic approach used to identify and analyze current business processes that could be improved to encourage more efficient workflow and overall business growth. Our very own Certified Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt (he is really good at it) Christopher Smith offers to share his secret process improvement formula in a minute or less!

  1. What does success look like? Before you start, ask yourself that question and nail down the scope. Many times success is making an improvement in a known metric or measure.
  2. Get a solid baseline: Record current performance of that metric… not an average across time but actual daily/weekly values for at least 25 time periods.
  3. ALWAYS….: Follow these three simple rules
    1. Plot your data
    2. Plot your data
    3. Plot your data

Process improvement is an ongoing practice to eliminate non-value adding activities and use resources in a more efficient way. When done right, the results can transform a company’s performance and be measured in terms of increased productivity, employee efficiency and customer satisfaction. Stay tuned for the next Minute Monday for tips on scheduling meetings in Outlook!

A Little Inspiration from John Wayne

Willis Johnson tells the story of the first location that began the Copart history. 

After signing the paperwork of our first location, it was time to get to work.  Curtis and I changed the name to Mather Auto Dismantlers after the nearby Air Force base.  It was truly a junkyard, at least at the beginning.  I was twenty-six, and I had big plans for that little yard.

At first, when I didn’t have a lot of money, I relied on the scrap iron to make ends meet.  As the business grew, I hoped to be able to buy better cars and build up the parts side of the business.

I used an old portable building on the property as an office. I used a Quonset hut also on the property to cut up the cars.  After seeing a John Wayne Movie about World War II when he kicked down the doors of a Quonset, it made me think of my own Quonset hut in a new light.

I thought, “Well, if they can make it look decent in the movie, decorate it all up for officers, maybe I can do that.”

I started moving all the leftover junk out of the hut.  Then, I bought new paneling to screw into the walls to make it look more like a permanent structure, poured a new concrete slab and then installed a new door. In two weeks we had a bigger, better Mather store—and it was all thanks to John Wayne!

We lived on a budget, and if we didn’t have the money, we just didn’t have the money and wouldn’t do it.  We lived to get the business going.  Mather proved to be the mother business for many successful businesses to come.

Family Friday: Robert Ramirez

At Copart, we celebrate the talent, passion and dedication of our Copart family from all around the world! Meet Robert Ramirez, our next featured Annual Service Star Winner of 2015! 

Brian Cagina, AGM, praises Robert and says that “He is always moving from project to project to ensure our facility runs smoothly and always goes the extra mile to take care of customers!”


Learn more about his story with Copart and his talent, passion, and dedication by watching his video interview!