A Social Media Sensation
At the age of 26, Jordan Wincek has accomplished more than many with 20 plus years of experience. Fresh off graduation from WyoTech, Wincek was hired as a painter’s helper at Nagy’s Collision, an 10-location MSO in Ohio. That was in November of 2013. Fast forward a few years to September when a job offer for lead painter at another Nagy’s Collision location in Akron was presented to Wincek.
In less than three years, Wincek moved up the ranks and created a name for himself. As soon as he joined the Nagy’s Collision team, president Ron Nagy says it was clear that he had a talent for painting. Under his mentor, Larry Loudin, lead painter at Wincek’s original location in Wooster, Wincek learned everything there was to know about becoming an effective leader. Since Wincek joined the Akron team, the shop has experienced a growth of over 28 percent and the shop holds a 96 percent CSI. Out of the 10 shops in the Nagy’s network, Wincek’s shop is second in paint and materials, second only to his former mentor.
Not only has Wincek impressed the Nagy’s staff, he’s also built up quite the following in the collision repair industry. During his free time, Wincek does custom work; he made his SEMA Show debut in 2015 and has had one of his vehicles on the cover of Diesel World. He’s also built up quite the following on Instagram. With 4,987 followers as of May, it’s clear that Wincek’s quick rise to the top was no fluke—he has the talent and skill that it takes to go the distance.
During my interview at Nagy’s, they asked me where I saw myself in five years. I said lead painter. It’s only been three years and I’m already there. I was able to do this thanks to my mentor, Larry. He’s been at Nagy’s for 27 years. I paid attention to everything that he did. Basically from the moment I started as his assistant, it was go time. He was grooming me for leadership. When they offered me the job as lead painter in Akron, I wasn’t sure if I should take it but Larry told me I was ready.
Right now, I’m a one-man show. It’s just me. There are plans to hire additional staff to help out and when someone new comes in, I plan on mentoring them like Larry did with me. Right now though, things are a little crazy. Since it is just me, I’m at the shop by 6 in the morning.
As soon as I punch in, I turn on my computer and start mixing toners while I wait. I go through whatever work was in the booth the night before and unmask them and get them out. I look at what vehicles need to get done first and I’ll start with that one. I was taught at my old location to aim to do a minimum of two cars before and two cars after lunch. That’s stuck with me. A typical job will usually take around three hours.
We have a morning release meeting where we give updates on the work that needs to be done in the shop. The vehicles are numbered by priority so I know on which one to start working. I’ll start working on the first car and whenever there’s a good place to stop, I’ll start on the next vehicle and stagger the work. I might start priming a car in between masking the other one. It’s a lot of planning, but coming from the other location really helped me. It was more hectic there, whereas this shop is a little slower paced so I’m able to handle everything. Working there really shaped me.
I’m the No. 2 lead painter as far as paint and materials at Nagy’s, which is pretty cool because I’m only 26. Larry is No. 1 and I took a lot of his methods along with me. I try to never overmix. I know that a new bumper will usually take 14 ounces to get it covered in the amount that I need. If I end up needing more, I’ll mix more at the end. Same goes for clearcoat. Larry always taught me that it’s better to mix twice than have a bunch left over. You can always mix again, but you can’t get back wasted material. I’m always trying to be more efficient. I work smarter, not harder.
Another thing that I do when I’m painting to be more efficient is taking panels off the car to paint rather than cutting. That way, everything can be done in one shot and the paint job is complete in one cycle time versus two.
Throughout the day, I’m working on vehicles that I can post on social media. I use Instagram and Facebook. I’ve been looking into Twitter to see if there’s anything there for me. I’m constantly dabbling to see what I can do to help me grow. I’ve noticed that the key times to post are 6-7 a.m. when everyone is on their way to work and around dinner time. I’ll take photos throughout the day and then post them at those key times.
There’s no way I would be where I am without social media. When I was starting out, a SATA rep asked me if I was on Instagram and when I told him no, he said I needed to get on immediately and start hashtagging. At that time, I didn’t know what a hashtag was. But, I took his advice and started taking photos of anything that I could. That’s how I got my name out there. I’ve met amazing people through Instagram. I’ve grown relationships with different vendors like SATA and have picked up so many tips from other painters out there. It’s a great resource. There are so many people that you can reach out to and make connections.
When I’m here, I’m running around like crazy. Work used to be my whole life, but I recently got engaged and I’ve had to prioritize. I’m transferring into family life instead of just constant work.
I’m big into custom work, so with my schedule and new family, I’ve had to make some sacrifices when it comes to that, but I’m still able to find certain times to pursue it. My fiancé works late certain nights, so on those nights I’ll work on my custom jobs. Last night, I helped someone buff a car so that his little brother could take it to prom. I try and base what I do and the nights I work around her availability so we can still spend time together.