In 1983, what started as a hobby for Mickey & Monta Fortner, turned into a thriving family business called Mickey's Collision Center. Mickey worked on cars in the back yard of his home on Hwy. 365 South, Conway, Arkansas, until he realized he needed more education to pursue the business. His search for classes in mechanical, painting, refinishing, collision repair and suspension took him out-of-state. When he finished, he had a handful of certificates. “I wanted to do it right,” he said.
Mickey had the foresight to realize Direct Repair Facilities were coming to Arkansas and indeed the trend came to Arkansas in 2000, and Mickey was able to capitalized on it. Direct Repair Facilities are those that insurance companies suggest drivers go to for repairs after an accident.
In 2005, they expanded the business, tore down their former residence, built an office and another large shop. There is now over 12,500 sq.ft. of shop and office area which faces Hwy. 365 South.
One of the surprising things about being in this business to Mickey was the repeat customers! However, he not only had repeat customers but also received business from his customers' children and grandchildren. He always felt and said, "if we can really help them out, answer questions, walk them through the procedures of what they need to do next…we've got their business the next time!"
In March 2012, Mickey & Monta retired from the business and their next generation took over, just as planned. Of course, Ashley & Heath Fowler (Mickey & Monta's daughter & son-in-law) wasn't new to the business; Ashley was raised up in the business and Heath worked as the body shop manager.
Today, the business is much the same, Heath & Ashley added their own family addition with a daughter. Regrettably, Mickey is not around to kick an old tire or crack a joke, he passed away in November 2014, but his wisdom, honor, and legacy continues on.
In Remembrance of Mickey Fortner