1427 E Tama Rd, La Porte City, IA 50651
M - F: 8:00am - 5:00pm
Evenings & Saturday Mornings by Appointment
Michael Chingren is the owner and operator of Black Hawk Auto Refinishers. He graduated in 1981 with an Automotive Collision Repair and Refinishing Degree from South Florida Jr College. Michael spent 6 1/2 years as auto-body repair technician and painter at Clark Chevrolet, Oldsmobile in La Porte City, IA. In February of 1988, he opened Black Hawk Auto Refinishers, located at 809 HWY 218 N in La Porte City, IA. Michael was there for 25 years before moving and building the present shop in 2013, which is located at 1427 E Tama Rd La Porte City, IA. Michael's involved in numerous organizations and has received numerous awards for his work. He is both the past president and current board member of La Porte City Lions Club. Also, a member of the Church Council at Geneseo United Methodist Church. He is Chairperson of the Trustees Committee at Geneseo United Methodist Church. Also, Michael is a, La Porte City Parade Committee member, La Porte City Festival of Trails Committee member, Choreographer and lead shooter for the La Porte City Lions Club Annual Fireworks Show. And he is an active member of the Iowa Pyrotechnics Association, La Porte City Chamber of Commerce active member and the 2015 La Porte City Jesse Wasson Award winner. Michael also serves as a member of the advisory committee for Hawkeye Community College's Collision and Refinishing Program.
Cody graduated from union High School in 2009. Cody went to Hawkeye Community College and graduated in 2012 from the Auto Body Program. While Cody was completing the auto body program at Hawkeye, he worked part time at Black Hawk Auto Refinishers, joining us full time in April 2011.
Cody keeps his knowledge current by participating in and completing I-Car classes, 3-M classes, Sata, Lord Fusor, and other training seminars when they become available. According to Cody, “keeping my knowledge current is important to me because it allows me to keep my customers safe and ensure their vehicle has a high-quality repair.”
Besides working on customer’s vehicles, Cody is tasked with being the “Chief Charlie Rough-Houser” in the mornings because really, who can resist Charlie’s eyes when you get to work. But never fear, Charlie is reminded that customers always come first.
Cody also enjoys representing Black Hawk Auto Refinishers in the annual Festival of Trails parade in whatever theme the parade is. Most recently, he has been known as the Elvis of the parade.
Cody’s hobbies include spending time with his family, kayaking, airbrushing, fishing, camping, and watching and playing sports.
Heather is married to the owner of Black Hawk Auto Refinishers, Mike Chingren. Heather grew up in La Porte City, graduating from Union High School. Heather went onto college, graduating from the University of Northern Iowa in 2005, double majoring in Social Work and Family Services. Heather has been a social worker since then.
Heather does some part-time work for Black Hawk Auto Refinishers, which is mostly behind the scenes. Occasionally Mike will let Heather out in the public to help out with the Chamber of Commerce's Chocolate Walk (only because the peanut clusters are Heather's grandma's recipe). Some of Heather's tasks include: monitoring the Facebook page for Black Hawk Auto Refinishers, writing items for the website, being a mom to Charlie the shop dog, and helping with special events for the Shop.
In her free time, Heather enjoys spending time with friends and family, reading, working out, and traveling. Heather can also be seen cheering on the UNI Panthers (yes, she is normally in the gold and purple bibs). Heather is also involved in the community and participates in the La Porte City Lions Club, Geneseo United Methodist Church, and the Iowa Pyrotechnic Association.
Charlie is a Goldendoodle who is now 7 years old. He runs the household of Mike and Heather Chingren, although they try to tell him otherwise. Charlie has been an "employee" of Black Hawk Auto Refinishers since 2013, when Black Hawk Auto moved to its current location on Tama Road. Charlie prides himself on being the best-looking staff member. Charlie spends most of his time in the house because not all of the fumes and dust from the body shop are good for dogs. However, Mike does make sure Charlie gel a little shop time every day because Charlie is a "shop dog." This gets back to Charlie running the house and the shop, and not necessarily Mike or Heather. On nice days, Charlie can be seen sitting by the walk-in door of the shop enjoying the weather while keeping an eye on Mike and Cody to make sure they are keeping busy. Charlie also takes pride in his other shop duties which include greeting customers with a hello bark and tail wag, and looking at customers and delivery people with his big brown eyes until they pet him, and occasionally chasing the mostly elusive squirrel. If you stop by and Charlie happens to be outside, don't be afraid to say hello to Charlie and give him a few pets. He'll be your friend forever.
As a disclaimer, if dogs aren't your thing, we are always willing to put Charlie in the house, just let us know.