Passing the Torch
Father’s Day is upon us and what better way to celebrate than highlighting the relationship between a
father and his son. This month we bring you two very special individuals who are incredible community
members, Ed Taddia and his son, Ryan. The Taddia family moved to Dripping Springs in 1990 because it
brought them close to their family in Austin while having the advantages of a quiet, small town, in the rural Texas Hill Country.
Some of Ryan’s earliest childhood memories are of his father coming home from work. Ed’s hands and clothes often carried the distinct smell of the shop: a combination of hard work and petroleum products, something Ryan will always remember. Ed would get home right before dinner and usually return to the shop once the kids were on their way to bed. On the weekends, he would bring Ryan to work where he passed the time sweeping floors, cleaning tools, and looking over his dad’s shoulder with a flashlight. Ryan recalls his father being larger than life. Ed could fix anything, build anything, and always had an answer or a plan. Ryan states, “I’ve learned a lot from my dad starting at a young age. Whether it was building construction or rebuilding a carburetor, Dad knew what he was doing.” Ed was also involved in many civic and charitable organizations while in business. He would bring Ryan along to Sertoma meetings and service projects, reinforcing the importance of community service. In 1990, Ed and his wife Georgina decided to sell their Florida business and move their family of six to Dripping Springs.
Ed no longer ran the business, instead shifting his attention to teach his kids and others how to be successful members of the community. He became Scoutmaster of Ryan’s boy scout troop and later a District Commissioner. While volunteering in this role, he helped 42 Scouts achieve the rank of Eagle Scout and played a crucial role in the creation of Troop 280 at St. Martin de Porres Catholic Church. In 1995, Ryan’s sophomore year, Ed noticed the need for an Automotive Tech program at Dripping Springs High School. Using his connections and with the help of Red McCombs Toyota and Jim Whites (who was the Industrial Arts Instructor), he started Dripping Springs High School’s first Automotive Technical Education Program. During his senior year at Dripping Springs High School, Ryan spent countless hours at the kitchen table going over automotive theory and operation with his father. It all paid off when Ryan passed his first ASE certification exam at the age of 18. He graduated from Dripping Springs High School in 1997, then moved to Waco to attend the Automotive Technology program at Texas State Technical College (TSTC). While attending TSTC, he participated in the Skills USA competition winning first in state for small engine repair in 1998. He was also an officer for the student government association and an ambassador for the college. In 1999, he graduated from Texas State Technical College and made the President’s list with honors. He then transferred to Florida State University where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics in 2002.
Ed and Ryan both have plenty of knowledge in the automotive industry and hold several certifications. Ed attended the University of South Florida before starting his Automotive Service business in 1974. While operating his business, he received the Napa Technician of the Year award, three years in a row: 1983, 1984 and 1985. He has been an ASE certified Master Automobile Technician and an ASE certified Master Medium/Heavy truck Technician for 48 years. Both father and son are Eagle Scouts, Ryan with 8 palms. Ryan has been an ASE certified Master Automotive Technician for 15 years, an ASE certified Advanced Level Diagnostic Technician, and an ASE certified Medium/Heavy Truck Technician.
In 2005, Ed helped Ryan start what is now Dripping Springs Automotive. After having worked in the automotive industry for a few years, Ryan decided to quit his day job and follow in his father’s footsteps as a self-employed entrepreneur. The first three years, Ryan worked out of his parent’s garage. This helped him build a foundation and get his feet on the ground while learning what owning a business was all about. His Repair center, Dripping Springs Automotive, has won several local awards including the “Neighborhood favorite” and “Best of Dripping Springs” categories for several years running. Ed is “old school” when it comes to business and has seen and experienced more than most. “He always has solid advice when I need it.” Ryan states. These days Ed still helps with the administration and enjoys being around the shop. You will still catch him working on projects, teaching the grandkids valuable life lessons, and giving them (UTV) mule rides. Ryan says, “He has been an asset to our community, and I wouldn’t be the person I am today without him.”
Outside of the business, Ryan and Ed spend their time working on projects of one kind or another. There isn’t much these guys shy away from and they always have a few different things going. Ryan spends a lot of time volunteering throughout the Dripping Springs Community. He is the current President of the Dripping Springs Rotary Club and works with and contributes to several other local civic and youth organizations such as the Knights of Columbus, Boy Scouts & Girl Scouts of America, the Burke Center for Youth, Dripping Springs Community Foundation, and the Dripping Springs Education Foundation. Ryan states “The best thing about our community is the people. People here have integrity and care about their neighbors. Even though Dripping Springs is growing, we are still a small town at heart. One thing my Dad instilled in us was the importance of giving back to our community.”
The relationship between a father and his children is a special one and should be cherished. We may not all pass the proverbial torch to our own children, but we can instill in them the valuable wisdom we have gained through our own life experience. Happy Father’s Day!