January 18th was an ordinary, busy day for Scott Schaefer. He had been asked to make a presentation at the Creve Coeur-Olivette Chamber of Commerce and had spent the day before preparing. When he arrived, it quickly became clear that a different kind of presentation was taking place. Scott was surprised and honored to be named the 2012 Businessperson of the Year.
It was no surprise to the Schaefer team. Many people who work closely with Scott, including those who helped prepare the “presentation” and his wife Sarah, had been in on the secret for at least a month. These same people are the ones to whom Scott gives the credit. The Businessperson of the Year award is not only given in recognition of a successful, customer-oriented business, it is awarded for involvement in the Chamber and the community. Scott describes his coworkers as extremely giving people who participate in fundraising and volunteer work frequently and who genuinely care about the community.
Care for the St. Louis community comes naturally to the Schaefer family. Scott was born in Webster Groves, where the first Schaefer Autobody Center was opened. He often worked sweeping floors and cleaning in the shops. After graduating from Parkway West High School, he traveled as an exchange student to Brazil, completed college and worked in graphic design and sales. He was selling cars for a division of the Schaefer company when an opportunity arose to open a new Autobody Center. Scott began an extensive training program, becoming familiar with all aspects of the business in order to prepare him to manage the new location. He eventually became the Vice President of Schaefer Autobody Centers. Scott lives in the Chesterfield area with his wife Sarah, whom he describes as incredibly supportive.
“Preserving the culture” created by his father is one of Scott’s priorities. Schaefer strives to find the best people, train them well and give them the resources they need to succeed. The rest takes care of itself. Scott is thankful for his coworkers and their dedication, as well as the honor of this award.