EAST PEORIA, Ill. — Former Firestone Automotive retail store executive Kenny Reese has acquired the Merlin 200,000 Miles Shop in East Peoria, where he was the general manager for the past five years.
Mr. Reese, who spent a total of 17 years in the Firestone retail network, acquired the business from Donnie Crittendon, who had purchased the franchise for the East Peoria store in 2016 from Merlin Corp. and operated it under his own company, DC Motors L.L.C.
Mr. Reese started with Firestone as a service manager in 1993 at a Chicago area store and was promoted to assistant store manager within a year.
Between 1994 and 1996, he helped lead the Firestone shop team earn sales awards for the South Chicago market, according to Driven Brands Inc., franchisor of the Merlin 200,000 Miles business. He went on to become general manager with Firestone through 2010.
Between 2010 and 2014, Mr. Reese was employed in the car dealership segment. In 2014, he was hired as general manager of the East Peoria Merlin 200,000 Miles Shop.
"I'm excited to take the next step as a business owner serving the East Peoria and Peoria communities," Mr. Reese said. "My team and I look forward to helping customers reach their mileage goals and discover that life is better without car payments with our easy and affordable Drive For 200,000 Maintenance Program."
Mr. Reese noted that the shop, which was completely renovated in 2000, is a full-service automotive facility, capable of handling fleet repair and maintenance. The shop has won numerous Merlin awards for operational excellence in past years.
The East Peoria store is one of 25 Merlin 200,000 Miles locations in Illinois.