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Hes been a Ford man through & through for 41 years
Manteca Ford Owner Phil Waterford presents employee Michael Shrope with a framed letter from Ford Motor Company CEO and President Alan Mulally. - photo by JASON CAMPBELL

Michael Shrope had a unique piece of wall art arrive in the mail earlier this week.

No, the Manteca Ford Service Advisor won’t be hanging a Picasso or a Monet or anything else out of the impressionist movement that would fetch enough money at auction for a normal person to retire on.

But when Shrope – a 41-year veteran of the car business – does retire, he’ll be able to brag about how the CEO of the Ford Motor Company, Alan Mulally, sent him a personal letter from Dearborn, Michigan thanking him for his dedication to the company and his outstanding performance during the more than four decades that he’s loyally served the company.

“We’re built on principals of working together to make people’s lives better,” Mulally wrote. “The goal of working together is what makes us unique.”

On Wednesday afternoon Manteca Ford Owner Phil Waterford presented Shrope with a framed copy of the letter in front of the entire staff – crediting his longtime service advisor for helping to make his team of employees the dedicated bunch that they area.

While Shrope might be soft spoken, he definitely cares about the people who bring their cars in for service and repairs. He conveys that message perfectly clear when talking about what has kept him in the industry since 1972.

“I like helping people. I got into cars from my grandfather – he was a mechanic and I was always around him and around cars,” Shrope said. “I remember working on a 1953 flathead Ford truck with him. That’s stuck with me.

“But now it’s the customers and the work environment that I look forward to when I come to work every day.”

Waterford’s dealership is no stranger to awards from the Ford Motor Company or other independent evaluators that have presented him with a variety of honors over the years. But even Waterford is quick to defer to his staff and the amazing fleet of vehicles that grace his lot as the stars of the operation – pointing out that the one-two combination of the vehicles and the people who sell and maintain them has helped the dealership flourish.

“I think that right now we have the best vehicles on the planet, and we have some of the best people in the industry,” Waterford said. “We do the best that we can to retain and attract quality people, and by the grace of God we’ve been able to do that.

“It shows when people like Michael are commended by the CEO for the work that they do on a daily basis.”