Shop Profile - April - 2023

The Powerhouse Behind Prescott Valley Transmissions – An Unstoppable Team

Prescott Valley Transmissions, located in the bustling town of Prescott Valley, Arizona, has become known for providing an exceptional customer experience – one that brings people back time and again. Owned by husband and wife Desmond and Shannon Creighton, this family business takes pride in delivering a standout experience with enthusiasm and care.

Famous author William Arthur Ward said, “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” At Prescott Valley Transmissions, Desmond and Shannon demonstrate their commitment to excellence by inspiring and leading their team members. It helps that the team behind them is made up of passionate individuals devoted to the cause. From their commitment to quality to the unrivaled level of service from this dynamic duo, it’s no surprise that customers keep returning to Prescott Valley Transmissions.

It all began when Desmond was just a teen, tinkering with auto repair. But his discovery of transmissions ignited his love for the mechanical world. Ever since transitioning to become a transmission technician in the 1990s, there’s been no turning back to performing general repairs — not even for his own vehicles. “I don’t even change my oil,” jokes Desmond about his dedication to focusing on one specialty.

Ultimately, his dedication to perfecting his craft led Desmond to found Prescott Valley Transmissions – a shop that stands for quality, honesty, and, most of all, customer service. The team at Prescott Valley Transmissions understands how important it is to ensure the customer’s vehicle is safe and reliable on the roads. To this end, they strive to provide the best service possible, and it shows! They feature a clean customer waiting area with a coffee bar, phone-charging station, and comfortable seating area. It’s just one of the many conveniences that Prescott Valley Transmissions offers its customers.

The shop provides the convenience of a loaner car program. They currently have five cars available to relieve the stress of loss of mobility for customers needing transportation during the repair process. Desmond firmly believes that to provide exemplary customer service, he must eliminate any potential roadblocks to ensure the best experience possible. He describes the approach, “Take away all of the reasons for a customer to say no.”

Desmond also instills the importance of going above and beyond ordinary to take care of his employees, who in turn extend this same respect to customers. The couple closes the shop for a professional training session every Friday from 12 PM to 2 PM. During this time, they treat their employees to a catered lunch. They encourage each employee to share one good thing that happened during the week and one bad experience. After discussing these points, the team discusses ways to improve and optimize processes, focusing on repeating the good ones and eliminating the bad ones. The team selects the training topics for each week. Additionally, Desmond and Shannon coordinate team-building activities throughout the year to promote unity.

The couple is proud of the team and expresses great admiration for them. Desmond has assumed the role of engaging with each team member to help strengthen their skill sets. At the same time, Shannon, who joined the company just two years ago as center manager, oversees administrative tasks naturally and gracefully. Desmond compliments her for her success and tireless contributions that have enabled them to operate efficiently. In addition to Desmond and Shannon, the extensive team comprises nine dedicated individuals.

Tony Guerra, a reliable and steadfast fixture at the company for eight years now, was initially hired as a mop boy. His exceptional attitude is infectious. He happily and enthusiastically completes any task Desmond gives him. From R&R to prepping the transmissions for rebuild, it’s clear why Desmond says, “I’ll never let him go anywhere else.”

Jason Madden is the service advisor, and he’s been a valuable asset to the shop for the past year. With his outstanding customer service skills, he prioritizes communicating with customers daily, even if there are no new updates.

After a year-long search, Desmond was ecstatic to recruit Jim Forsell as the company’s senior builder. In less than two years on board, he’s rapidly adapted to his new role due to his prior experience at a renowned transmission remanufacturing company. Together with Desmond’s pride in bringing Jim on board is an assurance that he will remain part of the team for many more years ahead.

Three months ago, Luis Ramirez became the newest member of the team. His unique combination of precision and speed allows him to do any job expeditiously. He’s a single father raising his children on his own – an admirable feat that’s gained the respect of the team members.

Brand Strutz has been the shop foreman and diagnostician for the past year. His duties include overseeing all vehicle check-ins, conducting preliminary diagnostics, as well as taking vehicles through their final test drives before they’re signed off for completion.

Desmond’s childhood friend, Gary Freburger, is an R&R technician. According to Desmond, “Gary was responsible for getting me my first job in the automotive industry.” As soon as Desmond got word to Gary that he needed help, Gary stepped up and offered his unwavering support right away. His work ethic is unmatched, and he always puts the company’s success first.

Jimmy Eilts is a talented general repair technician who has become an invaluable asset to Prescott Valley Transmissions after owning his own shop in the past. In fact, Desmond is so impressed with him that he nicknamed him “the wizard” due to his amazing ability to make old cars purr. He’s been part of the team for almost 18 months and specializes in maintaining older vehicles.

Justice Smiddy is the quality control specialist and a rising star as a technician. He test drives every vehicle, ensuring it’s up to par with Desmond’s rigorous standards. He then takes time to wipe down and vacuum each one. Justice has worked at the company for around six months, and Desmond is incredibly impressed with how quickly he can soak up new information, “He absorbs all information like a sponge.”

During their interview for this shop profile, Desmond and Shannon were ecstatic about their team’s progress. Though it’s already grown tremendously, Desmond is so confident that the business will continue to grow that he partnered with Shop Fix Academy for an extra boost in training himself and the team members.

Shop Fix Academy is a shop coaching company that assists auto repair shops with growth and training. As it turns out, this partnership has yielded truly impressive results. With this passionate couple at the helm and this powerful training program, Prescott Valley Transmission is poised for unprecedented expansion. In fact, their goal is to open another location by the end of next year–and perhaps even more.

Coincidentally, the owner of Shop Fix Academy, Aaron Stokes, is joining our slate of Management speakers for the first time, at this year’s POWERTRAIN EXPO in Nashville. He’s slated to speak on Friday, October 27th from 9:AM to Noon. You don’t want to miss this session.

When Desmond heard that Aaron Stokes is speaking, he said, “I was already excited to go to Nashville for EXPO, but now I’m twice as excited. Aaron is the frosting on the cake.”

Desmond and Shannon are also deeply engaged with the community. They’re involved with the Lions Club, the Chamber of Commerce, and several children’s organizations, such as the Girl Scouts. Desmond has introduced an innovative approach to demonstrate further their commitment to giving back: “We buy all the available boxes of Girl Scout Cookies when they come through our door, then we give them out to our customers.” This small gesture speaks volumes about their commitment to the community and its citizens.

Bursting with trust in their extraordinary team, Desmond and Shannon are confident that Prescott Valley Transmissions will achieve their desired success. They’re committed to cultivating a culture of excellence and believe each team member has the potential for greatness. With this dedication, hard work, and unwavering commitment to giving back to their community, their business is on a trajectory for long-term success. It’s clear that Desmond and Shannon have created something exceptional. Prescott Valley Transmissions is a shop people can count on for excellent service and a company that positively impacts the lives of its employees and the community they serve.

Have you ever wondered how shops are chosen for this column? We know there are many deserving ATRA shops out there – you might be one of them. Sometimes, we hear about shops and their unique stories through the grapevine. However, most of the time, we end up being detectives. We ask our industry contacts for recommendations, and then we contact the shops they’ve suggested.

You’re invited to tell us about an ATRA shop that you think has an interesting story to tell – maybe your own shop. There’s no cost. It just takes about an hour for a telephone interview and a visit by our photographer. We’ll do all the heavy lifting. To get the ball rolling, send an email to Dennis at