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A Father's Sacrifice for the American Dream

Interview with Pat McMahon

When Fernando Rivera’s father, Enrique, left Honduras in 1960 with his wife and two small children behind, he knew it would be difficult to start over in New York, but he was adamant about making a better life for his family. One year later, Enrique sent for his wife to join him in the Big Apple so she could begin working and saving money as well. She kissed her Fernando and his sister, toddlers at the time, goodbye and didn’t see them again for a whole year. As a father of eight year-old twin boys and three stepchildren himself, Fernando says, “I have so much admiration for my parents to be able to sacrifice like that. I don’t know how they did it.”

Twenty years later, Fernando is the successful entrepreneur of Express Auto Mobile Mechanic. He founded the company in 1986, after moving to Arizona in 1978 and attending a local trade school. The business started with Fernando working out of one truck by himself, and grew so much that he now has a fleet of five trucks and handful of dedicated employees prepared to work around the clock when the call comes in. Rivera had no idea the amount of lives he would impact for the better when he first set out in this industry; he simply wanted to make an honest living doing what he loved as a first generation American. Yet, there is so much more to his story.

Thirteen years ago Fernando got involved with Catholic Charities Community Services, and began providing extremely discounted mechanical aid to those who were struggling and down on their luck. Reluctant at first to take part, Fernando’s mother reminded him, “to give back to the country that has given us so much.” With that being said, not only did Fernando fix cars for next to nothing, he started training refugees and immigrants in order to teach them a trade that could make them successful in the states. He even trained women from battered shelters, giving them the skills they needed to get back on their feet. Fernando recently taught two Iraqi's and a Liberian who are now qualified to fix automobiles and make a living helping others who are having car troubles.
Fernando's latest trailblazing moves allows clients to have expert Express Auto technicians on-call 24/7, who can repair most vehicles on-site. Members of the Auto Concierge Service will also receive a free vehicle inspection before embarking on a trip for only $19.95 a month.

“This new concierge service will provide peace of mind for Valley motorists,” said Rivera. “No matter the day or time, if you need your vehicle repaired, we’ll come to you Valley-wide, and fix whatever problem you’re having. If you’re a parent, you can rest assured if your child is stranded by vehicle problems Express Auto will be there to fix it.”
One of Rivera's customer's, Matt Jimenez shares, “Between work and family it’s hard to have our vehicles in the mechanic’s shop, sometimes waiting an hour or more for them to fix it. With Express Auto, I call them while I am at work and they come right over. I have had them do everything from an oil change to replace my brakes. My technician was fast and friendly. Express Auto is a huge time saver.”

The fact that Fernando shows humility, and compassion by training refugees new to the United States, and offers such a tremendously helpful service to families and seniors who are either pressed for time, or have lost faith in mechanics, truly shows that there are still honest, hard-working humanitarians in this world. For more information about Express Auto, please visit or call (602) 374-5381.

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