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Hard work, head start at PDCCC lead to success for local businessman

Wendy Harrison

FRANKLIN

Lessons learned in community college can lead to a lifetime of success. For alumnus Robby Cutchins, skills were acquired at Paul D. Camp Community College beyond academics that helped shape his future at Bobby’s Tire and Auto Care.

“By attending PDCCC, I was equipped with knowledge that prepared me for various situations and enabled me to work through them effectively,” the CEO said.

Time management was a must for Cutchins, as he was not only taking a full load of classes, but also working full-time and taking care of a family of four.

“Managing your time is something that you really have to do and maintain at a high level if you are going to be successful,” he advised. “Being a father and husband requires that you be very disciplined in order to take care of responsibilities, family obligations and complete your studies or degree.”

After graduating with honors from Southampton High School in 1999, Cutchins had a wealth of opportunities to play college basketball, but turned down all of the offers to work in the family business.

“I was ready to work and make money, but I also knew my education was important, so I decided to enroll at PDCCC and continue my education there,” he said.

“My father (Bobby Cutchins) worked extremely hard when I was younger and ultimately, I saw the sacrifices he made, so I wanted to be a part of that and bring what I could to the table to join forces with him and see the company prosper as well.” The business has since expanded to include a location in Emporia and two locations in Franklin.

Cutchins is a magna cum laude PDCCC graduate who majored in management with a specialization in general business. He also earned a Career studies Certificate in supervision.

Although he pushed himself academically, he cited the advantages of positive influences in his life as well.

“My wife has been a huge part of my life for many years and continuously supported my efforts in various avenues thus far,” he said, which also included his studies to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from the University of Phoenix.

Although his father started the business in 1982, Cutchins worked his way up to his present position as CEO, which he has held since 2016. He took over the duties as general manager in 2006, and was later promoted to president. He was recently selected as one of Inside Business magazine’s Top 40 Under 40 entrepreneurs, which is based on success in business, as well as community service.

He has been active in numerous community activities and organizations, such as the James L. Camp Jr. YMCA, Smart Beginnings of Western Tidewater, Cover 3 Foundation, Cypress Cove Country Club and Franklin-Southampton Area United Way.

As exemplified by his driving passion for youth, Cutchins has spent 15 years as basketball coach at Franklin High School.

“Seeing these young men grow into responsible citizens in our society really motivates me as far as coaching,” he said. “They learn so much about the most important game they will ever play — the game of life — simply by uniting in the game of basketball.”

Cutchins believes resources are key when it comes to a self-starter business and therefore, supports his alma mater’s latest initiative to promote entrepreneurship at PDCCC and in the community. “Knowledge is power, which is what you gain when attending PDCCC,” he said. “You may not use everything you learn from high school to college, but at the end of the day, equipping yourself with the right tools is very powerful.”

Robby is married to Amy Cutchins. They have two daughters, Skiler, 18, a freshman at George Mason University, and Katelynn, 17, a senior at Franklin High School.

WENDY HARRISON is the public relations specialist for Paul D. Camp Community College. Contact her at wharrison@pdc.edu.