Story by Liesel Schmidt
Cut from the same entrepreneurial cloth as her husband, Loren Yates is co-owner of nine businesses in and around Alexandria, including an auto and collision repair service, a full-service dry cleaner, a car wash, multiple convenience stores and an Italian restaurant named after her mother-in-law, Lena. “We always believed we could make a difference in the community and change the perception of the service station industry,” says Yates, who, along with her husband, helped spur revitalization in Alexandria.
The driving force for her desire to focus on city redevelopment was, of course, her love for her hometown. “I am a lifelong resident of Alexandria and I love this city,” she says. “As our businesses expanded, we wanted to add value to the community by offering great services, creating jobs and creating a positive environment for both our team members and the neighborhood. Over the years, we have supported various nonprofit organizations locally. We have also won many awards, including beautification awards for our properties, and were honored and proud to receive the Washington Business Journal’s Family-Owned Business Award in 2017 and be named 2019 Living Legends of Alexandria.”
Clearly, Yates has made an impact on the community. “Our primary focus has always been to provide the neighborhood with the necessary products and services they need to make their personal and professional lives easier and more convenient,” she notes.
“Interacting with our customers keeps me passionate about my work. On any given day, you may find me running a register in the store, speaking with people in the restaurant or meeting with community leaders on potential fundraising activities. It is extremely gratifying to talk to people and have them tell me how much they appreciate what we have done in the neighborhood.”
Equally important to Yates is heart health—and it comes from a very personal place. “I will be 60 soon and just had my first exam and stress test with a cardiologist,” she says. “I realized I had some changes to make in my life, but have come to understand that my health is the most important thing I have. Hopefully, GO RED will encourage more women to go to the doctor and get checked out.”
Join the movement. Raise Awareness. Go red.