Chip Shapiro first fell in love with cars as a young boy growing up in Minneapolis, hanging around a neighbor’s gas station doing odd jobs for five bucks a week. In between, he asked mechanics a lot of questions and eventually discovered he had talent for fixing cars.
In 1972 Shapiro moved to California and landed a job as a technician at a local Datsun dealership (Nissan Motors today), eventually becoming one of the first 50 Nissan master technicians in the country. Then it was on to an Infiniti dealership where he earned his second master technician certificate.
Shapiro decided to move to Las Vegas in 1988 to work at a Nissan dealership and eventually took a technician position at Lexus of Las Vegas in 2003. In 2007 an opening came up in the information technology department at Lexus and that’s when Shapiro decided to turn his hobby into a career.
“I had both my shoulder rotator cuffs worked on from working under a lift and reaching up to work on cars,” Shapiro said. “After 37 years I felt it was time to make a change.”
Shapiro is one of those guys who worked on computers before the Internet was everywhere. Back then IT colleagues would send emails to each other to solve problems. Communications were slow, but eventually problems got ironed out. When the 1990s rolled around and the Internet caught fire, Shapiro easily adapted to the new technology.
Which is what Shapiro and his associate, technical specialist James Peters, does today for Lexus of Las Vegas and Lexus of Henderson. They make sure all the computers are running properly, the telephones are online, printers and fax machines operating smoothly and the burglar alarms are up and running.
“We do everything except handle the servers, which are done by our parent company in Houston,” Shapiro said. “This is all I’ve done for the last 50 years — work on cars and computers. It’s been a while since I was a technician, but if I have to I can still fix a car.”
The Lexus of Las Vegas dealership is at 6600 W. Sahara Ave. For information, call 702-942-6600 or visit www.lexusoflasvegas.com.
The Lexus of Henderson dealership is at Valley Automall, 7736 Eastgate Road in Henderson. For information, call 702-228-7736 or visit www.lexusofhenderson.com.