To overcome the challenges of running a business during the pandemic, Craftsman Auto Care’s Matt and Judy Curry demonstrated exceptional skill as innovators and entrepreneurs, taking extensive measures to make the vehicle maintenance process as safe and easy as possible for their customers. Following COVID restrictions, the couple has parlayed their company’s successes into a sixth location. Their significant presence and established business expertise in the Northern Virginia community has made them valued partners of the School of Business at George Mason University, most specifically the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE).
Judy Curry, the chief marketing officer of the auto care chain, graduated from the School of Business with a bachelor’s in business management and communications in 1990. She has remained close with the school, as the couple generously supports CIE with their time, treasure, and platform as major business owners. The Currys are invigorated to work with students who have passions similar to their own and who are receptive to the wisdom they share. “I like to share with the students everything that our industry has to offer and that it’s not all about being a technician,” says Judy. “From accounting to a marketing perspective like mine, we show them all that’s available.”
CIE is guided by a mission to develop experiential learning opportunities, drive growth of the regional entrepreneurial ecosystem, and work with a diverse set of collaborators both on and off campus. Incredibly active in their community, Craftsman Auto Care hosts and participates in several events, including their own Cars & Coffee where they provide CIE students a booth to promote the center’s various projects to attendees of the car show. In the CIE students, the Currys find mentees who they can teach outside of the classroom with.
Following in the entrepreneurial footsteps of his parents is Matt Curry, Jr., who recently enrolled in the MBA program at Mason. “He’s always wanted to be successful on his own, and sees a master’s as an important stepping stone, especially from Mason, which is one of the top schools in the country,” says his father. Recently, Judy took their son to a networking event with alumni and faculty members. It was “there he realized that he wasn’t just going to be attending class, but actually joining a really beneficial and fun community,” she says.
With business booming, a new store opening, and a calendar full of events, there’s so much to be excited about for the Currys. “We’re looking forward to keep expanding, making each location really profitable, and paying our employees as much as possible,” says Matt. “Craftsman Auto Care is getting bigger but we’re still a family business and I think our customers and employees appreciate that.” The Currys are exemplars of surviving and thriving through challenges, leading in their community, and putting customers and employees first. The support and education they provide to CIE students is invaluable in molding them into innovators and entrepreneurs of the future.