|Bill “Woody” Hinchcliffe|
Drafted in 1965 and shipped out to Spain and Morocco aboard the Navy’s 6th Fleet as a top-secret communications specialist, Bill “Woody” Hinchcliffe has leveraged skills he learned in the military to achieve success in the heavy duty collision repair business.
“I learned to type,” he deadpans, noting that having that ability did indeed provide a career assist as he rose through the ranks to become a co-owner of Hawk Frame & Axle, Inc. in Fairport, N.Y.
“I also learned people-skills; you have to go along to get along,” says Hinchcliffe. And while his responsibilities at this 50,000-square-foot, full-service heavy duty repair operation keep him plenty busy, Hinchcliffe is honoring his long-ago shipmates by making the time to volunteer at the Veterans Outreach Center in Rochester.
“It helps disabled veterans and guys down on their luck,” he explains. “It teaches them real-life skills, and they have an Art Center for these men and women for relaxation.”
It’s unclear who gets more out of these efforts – Hinchcliffe or the troops. “They’re very receptive,” he notes, insisting that he merely plays a minor role. “I’m just glad to give back. It helps where the Veteran’s Administration doesn’t and picks up where the other groups don’t. I find it rewarding and I’m thankful that I’m personally not in need their services.”