Meet Our Staff

  • Gene Heller

    Gene Heller

    Founder

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    Gene Heller

    Gene Heller

    Founder

    1929-2019

    After graduating from El Paso High School in 1947, Gene worked side by side with his father until he joined the service, and in January 1952, Gene was deployed to Korea where he worked as a halftrack mechanic in the U.S. Army.

    When his young family returned to El Paso, Gene took over the day-to-day operations of Heller’s Garage (the old Sweeney’s Garage) from his father, Bud. A couple years later, in February of 1956, Gene borrowed $10,000 from a Secor farmer to purchase the Foltz Motor Company and opened his new Ford garage in downtown El Paso (near the theatre).

    In the years to come, Gene, his sons, and now grandsons have turned that small garage into one of the largest Ford dealers in the state of Illinois. The Heller Stores now employ nearly 200 people. Well into his eighties, Gene was still here to open the “garage” every morning at 6:30. Gene’s guidance and desire to treat all of his customers as if they were family has enabled his business to thrive for over 60 years.

  • Dan Heller

    Dan Heller

    President

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    Dan Heller

    Dan Heller

    President

    Dan’s genuine love for both people and cars has set the tone at The Heller Stores for the past 40 plus years. Dan’s passion for his employees and customers earned him the honor of Time Magazine’s Illinois Automobile Dealer of the Year in 2009. Dan and his amazing wife Karen have two boys, and if there is anything Dan is better at than cars, it’s being a father. Although Dan has passed the responsibility of day-to-day operations to his boys, he remains active as the Co-Chairman of the Illinois FDAF and serves his fellow Ford dealers as their representative on the National Dealer Council. An avid collector of vintage Ford’s, Dan always has time to talk cars with friends and visitors.

  • Neil Heller

    Neil Heller

    Dealer

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    Neil Heller

    Neil Heller

    Dealer

    It’s impossible to say when Neil officially started working at Heller Ford, considering that he nearly grew up on the showroom floor. Having spent time in various departments in the dealership, Neil assumed a managerial role in 2005 after graduating from the University of Illinois. Neil earned his position through hard work and because he has a knack for knowing his customers, finding the perfect car for them, and remembering them for years to come. He’s married to the woman of his dreams and if you’re lucky, you might spot them riding around on their tandem bicycle. Don’t be afraid to say hello! When he’s not working hard to put a smile on his customers’ and employees’ faces, Neil enjoys remodeling and furnishing older homes. He’s proud to carry on his father and grandfather’s legacy and lead Heller Ford into the future.

  • Karen Wilkey

    Karen Wilkey

    General Manager

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    Karen Wilkey

    Karen Wilkey

    General Manager

    Karen has been with the Hellers since the time Bud Heller was selling John Deere – that’s 40 years, if you’re counting (Karen isn’t). Karen’s levelheaded approach to problem solving has made her an integral part of our success. Karen is a proud mother and grandmother who used to joke about “those crazy dog people,” but two border collies have since turned her world upside down.

  • Mary Wilkey

    Mary Wilkey

    Office Manager

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    Mary Wilkey

    Mary Wilkey

    Office Manager

    Mary Wilkey is the lady behind all the numbers at Heller Ford. She’s been here for 17 years and runs a tight ship behind the scenes. In her spare time, she focuses on faith and family. She has five kids of her own and five grandchildren. As a grandmother, it’s her duty to spoil them, and she’s pretty good at it!

  • Brandon Menke

    Brandon Menke

    Marketing Director

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    Brandon Menke

    Brandon Menke

    Marketing Director

    Brandon handles all the marketing and advertising for the Heller Stores. He enjoys finding new ways to bring customers to our stores. When not at work, Brandon can be found coaching the Illinois Fusion soccer club in Bloomington or spending time with his wife and two girls.

  • Collin Wilson

    Collin Wilson

    BDC Manager

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    Collin Wilson

    Collin Wilson

    BDC Manager

    My main goal is to treat every customer with the best care possible here at Heller Ford and look forward to doing that. My wife and I recently purchased our first home. You can catch me working on the house or in the yard when not at Heller Ford. I also enjoy watching football and spending time with my family.

  • Chris Cunningham

    Chris Cunningham

    Information Technology Director

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    Chris Cunningham

    Chris Cunningham

    Information Technology Director

    Chris started at Heller Ford over 20 years ago in the sales department. His aptitude for all things digital became apparent when he built the dealership’s first website. As the business began to rely more and more on computers, Chris seamlessly transitioned into his current role maintaining all things that go beep. When not thinking in 1s and 0s, Chris is probably training for his next race (Triathlons, Half Marathons, etc).

  • Greg Head

    Greg Head

    Sales Manager

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    Greg Head

    Greg Head

    Sales Manager

    Greg has held nearly every position at Heller Ford. In high school, he worked on the lot, parking cars. He has worked his way up from there – spending time in the service department, parts department, detail, Quick Lane, and sales. Greg enjoys exceeding the expectations of Heller Ford’s loyal customers. In his spare time, he watches his daughter play travel softball and cheers for the ISU Redbirds. It should also be noted that Greg is a perennial middle-of-the-road finisher in the Heller Stores fantasy football league. Greg would like to mention that he loves Thin Mints, in case anyone reading this needs a gift idea.

  • Jim Baietto

    Jim Baietto

    Sales Manager

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    Jim Baietto

    Jim Baietto

    Sales Manager

    Jim started his career in the car business in his hometown of Streator when he was in high school. After holding various positions from detailing, parts assistant, and service writer; the business was in his blood and he moved to selling cars. Jim enjoys selling in a “small town” atmosphere where your word is your bond and in the end, your reputation is all that matters. As his wife Mary says, Jim enjoys “punching numbers” and helping customers and sales people find the right vehicle and fit it into their budget. When not at work he enjoys spending time with Mary and their three daughters, getting the Harley out, and watching sports in the man cave.

  • Mike Gannon

    Mike Gannon

    Sales Manager

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    Mike Gannon

    Mike Gannon

    Sales Manager

  • Ron Kizer

    Ron Kizer

    Sales Manager

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    Ron Kizer

    Ron Kizer

    Sales Manager

    Ron Kizer has been with Heller Ford for over 17 years and has over three decades of industry experience. “Kiz,” as we know him, is a proven problem solver who enjoys working for a family-oriented business. In all his years here, he never missed any of his daughter’s golf matches or basketball games. There are many ways to describe Ron Kizer, but if you know him, you know that he can’t possibly be summed up in a single paragraph. For those of you who have yet to meet him, here’s a small sample of what you can expect: family man, hunter, All-State basketball player, dairy queen aficionado, outdoorsman, golf champion, shark wrangler, venison chef extraordinaire. The list goes on and on, but you’ll have to talk to Kiz to find out more.

  • Dan Wickman

    Dan Wickman

    Used Car Manager

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    Dan Wickman

    Dan Wickman

    Used Car Manager

    Danny Wickman has been with Heller Ford for 17 years. A big part of his job is helping the sales staff value customer trades at top dollar, and he’s very good at it. Dan is proud to be a Vietnam veteran. When he’s not spending time with his five grandchildren or his pit bull, he likes to fish and work on remodeling his house.

  • Brandon Baker

    Brandon Baker

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    Brandon Baker

    Brandon Baker

  • Cory Bellot

    Cory Bellot

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    Cory Bellot

    Cory Bellot

    Cory is an easygoing member of our sales team who truly enjoys guiding customers through the buying process. When he’s not at work and has already tackled his “honey-do list”, you can find him out on the water on his 19’ Stingray boat with friends and family.

  • Mike Bigger

    Mike Bigger

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    Mike Bigger

    Mike Bigger

    Mike has been in the car business selling vehicles for over 20 years. He loves to help people by listening to their needs and fitting them into their dream car. In his free time, Mike spends the majority of it with his family and friends. Most often around a campfire telling stories and just spending quality time together with his wife and two girls (aged 25 and 20).

    When he gets some time to himself, Mike loves to watch sports, especially Football, although his favorite team, Chicago Bears, are not very fun to watch right now!!

  • John Brown

    John Brown

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    John Brown

    John Brown

    John Brown is an exceptional addition to Heller Ford because he is very family oriented, which the Heller Stores are built upon. He joined the Heller team for the opportunity to thrive and help others find the car of their dreams. In the summer when he is not serving his customers, he is spending time with his wife and three children either cooking out or in the pool! He is a fan of Chicago sports including the Cubs, Blackhawks, Bulls, and Bears! One day he wishes he could get his first car back, which was a 1964 Chevelle Malibu!

  • Zach Charlton

    Zach Charlton

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    Zach Charlton

    Zach Charlton

  • Jim Fike

    Jim Fike

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    Jim Fike

    Jim Fike

  • Raef Friedericks

    Raef Friedericks

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    Raef Friedericks

    Raef Friedericks

    Raef is new to the car business. In the past, he has been a History Teacher and Business to Business Salesman. When thinking about selling cars he remembered the great experience he had buying a car at Heller Ford. He wants every customer to have a great experience buying a car from him. Raef is a dedicated family man that loves going on adventures with his wife and 2 daughters. He also loves to play golf. Raef is an avid sports fan and loves to watch movies. He will work very hard for his customers and is dedicated to helping find the right vehicle for them.

  • Monte Gregory

    Monte Gregory

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    Monte Gregory

    Monte Gregory

  • Austin Jimenez

    Austin Jimenez

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    Austin Jimenez

    Austin Jimenez

    Austin grew up in Hudson, Illinois and has been in central Illinois all his life. Working at Heller Ford and being in a small town is a natural fit for him. When he is not at work he enjoys attending sporting events or watching them on tv. At work he enjoys meeting new people every day and helping to find them the perfect new vehicle. Austin is very customer oriented and wants to make sure he does everything to make sure his customers are comfortable and happy with what they are purchasing.

  • Noah Kilmer

    Noah Kilmer

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    Noah Kilmer

    Noah Kilmer

    Noah moved to Bloomington in 2001 from the St. Louis area. He came from a mechanical background as a machinist. Finally landing in the automotive business where after working at three separate dealerships, he finally found a home at Heller Ford in El Paso. On his own time, Noah loves spending time in the great outdoors; hunting deer & bass fishing. He also loves to do remodeling projects around the house and spending time with his family.

    For all your automotive shopping needs, Noah is here to listen to your needs and help you find that perfect vehicle!

  • Jason Lyczak

    Jason Lyczak

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    Jason Lyczak

    Jason Lyczak

  • Mike Masterson

    Mike Masterson

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    Mike Masterson

    Mike Masterson

  • Jeff Moline

    Jeff Moline

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    Jeff Moline

    Jeff Moline

    Jeff was born in Illinois, graduated high school and went into the US Navy when he was 18. After serving in the military, Jeff moved to Philadelphia for 10 years.

    When he moved back to Illinois back in 2003, he got into Law Enforcement. Eventually getting promoted to become the Chief of Police for 2 different towns.

    Recently, Jeff decided on a new career path and had heard of the great reputation and family environment that Heller Ford has to offer. So, he decided to get into Vehicle sales where I could continue to help people, but in a very different way. So far, Jeff loves making his customers dreams come true with a new vehicle.

    Jeff has 4 children and very loving and understanding girlfriend. If you are in the market for a new car, truck or SUV contact Jeff here at Heller Ford!

  • Pete Oldham

    Pete Oldham

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    Pete Oldham

    Pete Oldham

    Pete is a well-rounded car salesman who has experience working on cars as well as selling them. He’s easy to talk to and is confident that he can find the right vehicle for you. He loves motorsports and high performance vehicles of all kinds. When he’s not working, he’s spending the day at the lake with friends or hanging out with his pit bull, Flex.

  • Craig Roberts

    Craig Roberts

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    Craig Roberts

    Craig Roberts

    Craig’s service-focused attitude makes him a great fit for Heller Ford’s sales team. As his customers will tell you, he’s willing to go out of his way to ensure that their needs are met. He just had a baby girl, so he doesn’t have too much free time, but when he does, he spends it on the golf course or in the kitchen. He says his best dish is his chili, but he can cook just about anything.

  • Brandon Rixstine

    Brandon Rixstine

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    Brandon Rixstine

    Brandon Rixstine

    I was born and raised in Bloomington/Normal and graduated from Normal Community HS, before attending Heartland Community College. I joined the car business, because of my passion for the automotive industry. As soon as I started working at Heller Ford, I could tell this is where I was meant to be! I worked as a server prior to working at Heller) and I enjoyed meeting new and different people every day, but it pales in comparison to working here where I get to interact with my customers on a daily basis on such an important, yet exciting purchase. I always strive to build a relationship with my guests that goes beyond just selling a car, truck or SUV.

    Outside of work, I enjoy spending time riding my bike and grilling with friends and family.

    If you’re in the market for a new vehicle, give me an opportunity to show you how easy and fun car buying can truly be!

  • Seth Steidinger

    Seth Steidinger

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    Seth Steidinger

    Seth Steidinger

    After working at a Turkey Farm, Campground, and a vehicle making factory, I was able to make the move from building cars to selling them. It was a very smooth transition, and knowing exactly how cars are built has been an incredibly valuable tool that I can use to help my customers find a vehicle that fits their needs.

    During the last few years that I have been selling cars, I have found that the best part of my job is meeting new people, and helping them improve their driving experience.

    Outside of work I have many hobbies such as 3D printing, building computers, playing with my dog Luna, and completing projects with my two brothers.

    If you’re in the market for a new or used vehicle, come see me. You won’t be disappointed!

  • Jimmie Taylor

    Jimmie Taylor

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    Jimmie Taylor

    Jimmie Taylor

    Jimmie Dean Taylor (yes, that’s his real name) is a retired Air Force mechanic known for his knowledge of Ford trucks. He likes to have fun with his customers and maintain a low-pressure environment. He has five children and is a huge Notre Dame football fan. During the season, you can probably spot him on the sidelines of his kids’ sporting events. Even if you don’t see him, you’ll definitely hear him.

  • Rich Tom

    Rich Tom

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    Rich Tom

    Rich Tom

    As his customers will tell you, Rich makes the car buying process easy and fun and always follows up after the sale. He loves working for a family business like Heller Ford that rewards hard work. Though he was born in Chicago, Rich is an enthusiastic outdoorsman who enjoys spending his spare time fishing and hunting, as well as with his wife and family. According to Rich, Jamaica is nice, but he’d rather be in a tree stand or a duck blind.

  • Jody Traylor

    Jody Traylor

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    Jody Traylor

    Jody Traylor

    Jody has spent over two decades in sales at Heller Ford and brings that experience to every customer interaction. Great with follow-up, he has many repeat customers and believes that customer referrals are the best compliment he can receive. When he isn’t working, he enjoys spending time at the lake with his family and racing his pristine Pontiacs in the Pure Stock Muscle Car Drags!

  • Dan "DJ" Wickman Jr.

    Dan "DJ" Wickman Jr.

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    Dan

    Dan "DJ" Wickman Jr.

    DJ grew up in central Illinois and has worked at both Heller locations. He enjoys meeting new people every day and prides himself on his honesty and fairness. In his spare time, he enjoys reading (he’s a bit of a history buff), video games, and vintage collectibles. If you need a ride to the next Comic Con, there’s a good chance you can hop in with DJ.

  • Tyler Wright

    Tyler Wright

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    Tyler Wright

    Tyler Wright

  • Mike Sweeting

    Mike Sweeting

    Courtesy Delivery

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    Mike Sweeting

    Mike Sweeting

    Courtesy Delivery

    Mike enjoys working for a family oriented company like Heller Ford because they take care of everyone who comes through the doors – both employees and customers alike. Mike loves that he gets to meet so many people as part of his job. In his spare time, Mike enjoys spending time with his wife and his dachshund. Mike maintains a perfectly manicured lawn and is always ready to start a new landscaping project!

  • Kris Born

    Kris Born

    Director of Finance

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    Kris Born

    Kris Born

    Director of Finance

    Kris graduated from ISU and started his professional life in central Illinois. With 13 years of industry experience and a knack for making things easy on customers, Kris is happy to help customers get the vehicles they need. On a nice day, it’s tough for him to choose between the golf course and his Harley, but if you ask him, neither hobby compares to spending time with his daughter.

  • Cody Boarman

    Cody Boarman

    Finance Manager

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    Cody Boarman

    Cody Boarman

    Finance Manager

  • Jeff Butcher

    Jeff Butcher

    Finance Manager

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    Jeff Butcher

    Jeff Butcher

    Finance Manager

    Jeff has been in sales since 2008 and is a great asset to the team here at Heller Motors! Jeff is married to Molly, a school teacher here in Pontiac, and they have a young daughter, Lena. Customers love working with Jeff because they don’t feel like they are talking to a salesman…but a friend! When he is not here trying to help customers with his endless product knowledge of pick-up trucks and other vehicles, he enjoys golfing, shooting, and yard work. Jeff is a huge fan of the St. Louis Blues and would love to talk hockey with you if you’re a fan!

  • Andy Maisonneuve

    Andy Maisonneuve

    Finance Manager

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    Andy Maisonneuve

    Andy Maisonneuve

    Finance Manager

    Andy has been in the automotive industry for many years, including 23 years of finance experience. He is very well-versed on everything Ford vehicles and the warranty protections and financing our customers will need when finalizing their vehicle purchase.

    Outside of work, Andy spends his time with his family, including his wife, two daughters, two dogs and two cats. They keep him busy at their home in Bourbonnais, Illinois. He also enjoys playing the drums and spending his time outdoors.

    If you ever have vehicle financing questions, warranty questions or anything in between, then reach out to Andy. He is here to help!

  • Steve Marrocco

    Steve Marrocco

    Director of Fixed Operations

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    Steve Marrocco

    Steve Marrocco

    Director of Fixed Operations

    Steve joined Heller Ford recently after moving to Illinois from Florida. He brings several years experience as a Service Manager at a Tampa area Ford dealership. The transition from Florida winters to Central Illinois’ hasn’t scared him off yet.

  • Ryan Garrett

    Ryan Garrett

    Service Manager

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    Ryan Garrett

    Ryan Garrett

    Service Manager

    If you know Ryan, you know why he’s a perfect fit for this job. Ryan is one of the most genuine people you will ever meet – he’d happily give you the shirt off his back. If you’re looking for an XXL Bowling Shirt or Bass Fishing Jersey, just ask and we’re pretty sure he’ll oblige (Ha!).

    Ryan has worked in many areas and roles here at Heller Ford – excelling at each assignment. This experience across different departments gives him a unique perspective and allows him all the tools necessary to make sure our customers have the best experience possible.

    Ryan and his wife have two small children (and two big black labs) – they all reside just outside Lacon, IL on “Garrett Acres” – the culmination of a lifelong dream to own his own personal acreage. Ryan is actively involved in land management for the growth of the buck population on his property. Ryan can tell you everything about food plots and show you 1,000’s of pictures from his trail cams. If you’ve got a few spare hours – just ask!

  • Allison Carr

    Allison Carr

    Service Advisor

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    Allison Carr

    Allison Carr

    Service Advisor

    Allison has been with Heller Ford for a few years now, starting as our Service Coordinator organizing vehicle pick-ups, drop-offs and loaners. She is now one of our best Service Advisors working hard for our customers to ensure timely and satisfactory work is completed by our technicians on your behalf. She is a fun-loving, humorous person who truly cares about her customers during a time of need.

    When not at Heller Ford, you can find Allison spending time with her two children and her husband Luke. She is a “townie” of El Paso and loves the people of this community.

    Whenever the time comes, see Allison for all of your service needs!

  • Mark Barrett

    Mark Barrett

    Service Advisor

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    Mark Barrett

    Mark Barrett

    Service Advisor

  • Mike Gerdes

    Mike Gerdes

    Service Advisor

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    Mike Gerdes

    Mike Gerdes

    Service Advisor

  • Ryan Gamage

    Ryan Gamage

    Quick Lane Manager

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    Ryan Gamage

    Ryan Gamage

    Quick Lane Manager

    My name is Ryan Gamage, I’ve been in the automotive industry for over 10 years, I’m proud to work with the Heller Team knowing that we all care highly about our customers. When I’m not at work you can find me with my beautiful wife, 2 dogs, and our rabbit. You may also find me with my Nexus Church family, or playing some kind of musical instrument.

  • Jason Hebel

    Jason Hebel

    Quick Lane Advisor

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    Jason Hebel

    Jason Hebel

    Quick Lane Advisor

  • Mary Sigler

    Mary Sigler

    Quick Lane Advisor

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    Mary Sigler

    Mary Sigler

    Quick Lane Advisor

  • Mitch Mohr

    Mitch Mohr

    Shop Foreman

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    Mitch Mohr

    Mitch Mohr

    Shop Foreman

  • Kyle Woodward

    Kyle Woodward

    Body Shop/Detail Manager

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    Kyle Woodward

    Kyle Woodward

    Body Shop/Detail Manager

    Kyle has been at Heller Ford for three years, and he’s here to make sure your car looks like new. Reconditioning vehicles is what he and his detail crew do best, and his customers will tell you that their car never looks as good as when Kyle details it. When he’s not spending time with his new granddaughter, you can probably find him enjoying the great outdoors or cruising on his Road King.

  • Greg Heiken

    Greg Heiken

    Parts Manager

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    Greg Heiken

    Greg Heiken

    Parts Manager

    Greg Heiken has over 27 years of experience in the automotive industry, with more than 7 of that at Heller Ford. He enjoys the Heller attitude of treating customers like people instead of numbers. When he isn’t behind the parts counter, you can probably find him hunting, watching his son play sports, or in his garage with his 2010 Camaro RS/SS or his 1983 Thunderbird Pro Street. Greg is too humble to mention it, but you should know that he is the unofficial El Paso Corn Festival ski ball champion.