Karl Malone Toyota adds veteran technician to service team

Pictured above the oldest and newest members of the Service Department at Karl Malone Toyota — Adam Whitman (left) and DJ Jerro (right)

As a standout at Louisiana Tech University and in the NBA, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Karl Malone earned his nickname as “The Mailman” because he always delivered on the hardwood.

When it comes to providing the friendliest and highest quality automotive service and sales, Karl Malone Toyota always delivers to the people of Lincoln Parish and beyond.

With a winning tradition already firmly established, the Karl Malone Toyota Service Department recently added a veteran talent by bringing in mechanic DJ Jerro as its newest team member.

Jerro brings 22 years of experience as a mechanic specializing in brakes, tires and alignments.

“We are so proud to have DJ join us — he’s a good guy,” said Karl Malone Toyota Service Manager Rusty Wilfong. “All of our guys are good guys. We have three certified master technicians. We already had a strong team, but now we’ve added a guy who has not only the abilities that have already made him a valuable part of the team, but maybe more importantly, the right mindset to know how we operate and conduct our business here. 

“DJ understands that our primary job is to make our customers happy and help them build trust in us. And DJ has spent a long time getting people to know they can depend on his abilities and trust in him. He wants to do his best for them, just as everybody at Karl Malone Toyota does.” 

A 1999 graduate of Downsville High School, Jerro jumped right into the automotive shop after graduating.

“My uncle is the one who actually got me into it,” Jerro said. “As soon as I graduated I went to work with him at what used to be Roger Pinton Firestone. I worked there for about a year and my uncle left and started working for Steve Kirbow. There was a spot that came open there and he let me know about it.”

Jerro spent the next two decades there before Karl Malone Toyota moved to add the veteran talent to its already strong Service and Parts Department team.

“I started three weeks ago,” Jerro said. “The atmosphere here is just great. It’s the people here. They’re great to work with. It’s been a great team to join. They just brought me right into the fold. It already feels like I’ve been here for years and years.”

Jerro said the allure of his job is simply being able to help people.

“People want their vehicle in tip top shape. They need that,” Jerro said. “And when you can provide that, it builds a trust factor. It’s the relationships we build and the trust our clients have in us that makes this job so rewarding. I like working with cars and I like helping people, and that’s what Karl Malone Toyota does.

“From top to bottom everyone here understands building relationships and trust is the way to run a successful organization, no matter what that organization does. That makes it a special place to work.  I knew most of the guys out here already, and that has helped make me a part of the team so fast,” Jerro said. “There was nothing to get used to. It was just like coming home.”

Growing up locally helps Jerro make those connections and relationships even stronger.

“I’ve had other opportunities to move off and work somewhere else, but this is home,” Jerro said. “This is a wonderful place to live. I’ve raised both of my kids here. 

Service shop foreman Adam Whitman, one of the three certified master technicians at Karl Malone Toyota along with El Barnett and Jeremy Waters, said relationship-building is a part of the process that begins as soon as a client walks through the door.

“A lot of times I’m a big part of the process when a customer is trying to convey a problem to a service writer,” Whitman said. “So I talk to a lot of our customers first thing and make sure we’re doing what they need or want done and that they understand what our service writers are trying to convey to them.

“We ride with customers if it’s something we can’t pinpoint if it’s a little noise they’re hearing or something like that. Sometimes what they’re hearing might sound normal to us. Sometimes it might be road conditions or something like that. And we’ll tell the customer because of that trust factor we try to build and want them to have. We want them to feel they can always come back when they need us and that they know we’re going to do the right and fair thing to help them to the best of our abilities.”

Whitman, who grew up in Chatham,  has been with Toyota since 2007 and is proud of the team he leads for Karl Malone Toyota.

“This is a great and very strong service team when it comes to abilities, work ethic and know how,” Whitman said. “Adding someone like DJ Jerro only makes it stronger because he’s one of the best alignment guys out there. 

“I know it might sound cliché, but I truly love being a part of what we have here. I’ve worked in service shops where there was always drama and constant screaming and yelling. I’m not going to say it’s perfect, but that doesn’t happen here. You can’t have that, because if everybody back here is constantly aggravated, that could bleed over to customers. And that’s not going to happen here. That doesn’t happen here.”

Joining Wilfong, Whitman, Barnett, Waters and Jerro on the Karl Malone Toyota service team are service writers Paige Scott, Brad Woods and Candace Anderson and technicians Caleb Evans, Cody Jones, John Drake and Denis Menjivar. 

Whitman said it was Jerro’s understanding of the importance of attitude that has led to him so quickly becoming a key part of the service team at Karl Malone Toyota.

“First he’s a great guy and loves being here and part of this team,” Whitman said. “And he’s important because alignments are his specialty, especially on jacked-up trucks. “We probably get one or two brand new vehicles a month coming straight off the truck where we’re asked to put a lift kit and bigger tires on it in order to sell it as an upgraded truck. And DJ is really good at alignments, so I don’t have to worry about it. I know it’s going to be done right with DJ working on it.   

“So he has fit right into our team where we all have our own roles, strengths and abilities but work together to provide the best service we can to our customers, because that’s what Karl Malone Toyota is all about.”

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