Samantha Rettelle: 2022 40 Under 40 Award-Winner

Our 2022 40 Under 40 Awards featured young OPE leaders from across the country. In the next couple of weeks, we’ll highlight several of our 2022 award-winners here. Our winners were chosen not only for their numerous accomplishments and individual strengths, but also for their passion for their dealerships and outdoor power equipment – and the promise they bring for the future of our industry. Of course, you can check out the entire 40 Under 40 roster in our May/June issue.


Office Manager/Assistant Manager, HDR Small Engine Repair – Traverse City, Michigan

For Samantha Rettelle, leading her team at HDR Small Engine Repair is all about trust.

Samantha Rettelle

“I think trust is the most important quality I use in leading our team,” she says. “The guys in the shop trust my knowledge of the industry, distributors and customers, to help make everything run as smoothly as possible from writeup, to part orders, to completion – just like I trust they are going to do it right. With me having started out as one of the technicians, it gives me a little edge as far as translating what customers describe versus what is actually wrong with the equipment.”

That value of trust is echoed by a nominator: “Customers know they can trust Samantha to treat them with respect, kindness and the willingness to go the extra mile. Samantha advocates for her customers, and is the type to share information and expertise to not only advise them on the best way to repair their equipment but to also give them the information as to why that’s the best route.”

HDR is family-owned and operated. Samantha and her older brother work full time for their dad. “And I have a few uncles that help out part time when extra hands are needed. I take pride in knowing my family is a pillar of our community. And I strive to make sure this business thrives, because, ultimately, I know it will be my legacy to leave to my kids one day,” she says.

“With being a female in this industry and the owner’s daughter, it gives me a pretty big pair of shoes to fill,” Samantha says, “but I think I set myself aside from the rest by being the only female technician in the area. I make sure to take any certifications available to me. To always stay on top of what is new in our industry. I make a point to educate our customers without making them feel “dumb,” which ultimately brings them back for more service.”

Since taking over as manager nearly five years ago, Samantha has brought several important changes to HDR, she points out. “I have helped us become more profitable by cutting back on our distance traveled for pick up and deliveries, to focus more on our local customers. I have taken over most of the ‘business’ aspect of things, including the financials, to help us be more efficient. I have put in some new measures to help cut back on equipment being abandoned. And, lastly, I have set us up with a company to pick up our waste fuel and oils to help us operate more eco-friendly.”

HDR services most brands of equipment, and is a warranty service center for Briggs & Stratton, Kohler, MTD, Husqvarna, Ryobi, Ridgid Tools, Ariens and many more. HDR doesn’t sell new equipment.



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