IN THE LEAD
Recycler Sets Pace For Florida County
Tim McMillon, owner of M & K Used Auto Parts, Inc., in Orange City, Fla., strives to lead the industry in environmental achievements.
PHOTO: GILKEY PORTRAITS, INC.
Tim McMillon, owner of M & K Used Auto Parts, Inc. in Orange City, Fla., wants his business to be the auto-recycling superstar of Florida. A family-owned company since 1958, it has seen two successions (founder AA McMillon to son Milton McMillon to son Tim) and could see a third in the next decade. With Tim at the helm, the business is on course toward its goal and a future succession to Tim's preteen son Jordan McMillon, making him the fourth-generation owner. Since Tim took over five years ago, he has been determined to turn out a top-notch business.
In 2007, M & K Used Auto Parts (MKAuto.com) earned a Florida Green Yard certification, which Tim considers his biggest accomplishment to date. The business was the first of approximately a dozen auto recyclers in the region to earn the prestigious environmental distinction. M & K Used Auto Parts is still one of only three in Volusia County.
A good foundation was in place before the Green Yard certification application, admitted Tim. The business already had deep-seated practices to avoid pollution and a knowledgeable staff to accomplish the goal of going green.
"We [already] did most of the things the Green Yard [program] asked us to do," Tim said.
"It's not a day-to-day challenge; my employees know what to do."
Tim gives credit to his right-hand woman, Erica Brignoni, with the success of the certification. She has been with the company almost as long as Tim has been in charge and has contributed greatly to
M & K Used Auto Parts' Green Yard status. Brignoni, bookkeeping / accounting, was in charge of all the paperwork (which Tim pointed out was a lot) as well as organizing a vendor list, the procedures of how and where fluids are recycled, and insuring all inspections were completed. Brignoni refused, however, to take all the credit.
"To try to pull everything together proved to be a mission," she said. "At the end of the day, everybody pulled their weight. We did it together. We have an excellent team of guys here."
Strict, personal standards motivate Tim toward his ultimate goal - to have M & K Used Auto Parts be a model auto recycling facility that others look to for inspiration. "Customer service is a big thing here," Tim stated. "We make sure that we treat [our customers] with respect."
One industry source referred to Tim as a progressive business owner with a knack for attracting a younger clientele. It is that mentality and fresh perspective that recently earned Tim a spot on the Florida Auto Dismantlers & Recyclers Association (FADRA) board of directors.
FADRA President Terry Thompson, Ole South Auto Salvage, Inc., Lake Placid, Fla., said Tim was steered towards the e-commerce committee because he's "younger and more computer savvy." He also noted Tim did a lot of volunteer work prior to becoming a board member.
Thompson, along with other FADRA board members, is excited to have some new blood for the next term. He stated, "I look forward to that kind of young enthusiastic thinking."