After a packed week of tests, tours, racing, and receptions, Auto Value and Bumper to Bumper closed out their Technician of the Year trip with an awards banquet to name and celebrate the new U.S., Canada and Mexico Technicians of the Year.
“It was an honor to be in the presence of so many fantastic technicians,” said J.C. Washbish, vice president of marketing for the Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance. “We are extremely proud that Jason Jackson, Ryan Booker and Abelardo Portillo Alvarado will be representing Auto Value and Bumper to Bumper as our Technicians of the Year.”
Jason Jackson of Automotive Excellence, an Auto Value customer of Warren Distributing in Seal Beach, California, was announced as the U.S. winner. He earned the designation by achieving the highest score on a custom 100-question ASE test during the trip. In addition to a trophy, Jackson won $2,500 and a trip to the ASE awards banquet in Scottsdale, Arizona, this November.
“This has been an awesome experience. It’s great to get together with some of the best technicians in the country,” Jackson said. “It’s a chance to get recognition for our hard work and skills. We’ve let loose and had some fun as we bond together over our craft and learn from each other. I have made memories this week that I will cherish and remember for the rest of my life.”
Ryan Booker of Driven Automotive, an Auto Value customer of Auto Electric Service in Regina, Saskatchewan, was selected as the Canadian winner after completing a rigorous application prior to the trip.
Abelardo Portillo Alvarado of Auto Value Llantas y Servicios, a shop in Malpa Automotriz’s network in Hermosillo, Sonora, earned the Mexico Technician of the Year designation. Each of them also won $2,500.
“This trip was fantastic,” Booker said. “Talking to people from all over North America was an absolute blast. Our hosts were friendly and their highest priority was our comfort. It’s awesome to see techs from all over the continent come together and share their experiences and learn new things.”
Added Portillo Alvarado: “I’m very proud and grateful to be here and for this experience. I’ve developed some great memories and some great motivation to continue in my field.”
Auto Value and Bumper to Bumper, in partnership with DRiV, hosted the U.S. finalists and the Canadian and Mexican winners on July 15-18 in Dearborn, Michigan.
They kicked off the trip with an opening dinner and reception at the Dearborn Inn Monday. The finalists were tested Tuesday morning, and then the group toured the historic Greenfield Village, dined on seasonal specialties at the Village’s Eagle Tavern and piled onto the carousel for a group ride. That afternoon, they toured The Ford Rouge Factory and closed out the evening with bowling, darts and dinner at Punch Bowl Social in Detroit
The technicians sped through Wednesday at the M1 Concourse with lead-and-follow drives on the race track, autocross and thrill rides with expert drivers. Brandon Burton, a technician at Mastertek within Auto-Wares Group of Companies, cinched the fastest time around the autocross track.
Wednesday evening, the group toured the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation and dined under a 1939 Douglas DC-3 at the museum. The U.S. champion was announced at the end of the night.
“I think it’s great that a young guy won,” said Mike Jones, a technician at Joe’s Garage, a Bumper to Bumper customer of Parts Warehouse Inc. “The industry is in good hands because the next generation coming through the ranks, and if I had to lose to anybody, I’m glad to see it be [Jason].”
Shareholders of the Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance selected Technician of the Year finalists from among their Certified Service Centers. Each finalist had to meet several training prerequisites, including ASE certification, to be eligible.
For more information, visit autovalue.com/technician-of-the-year and bumpertobumper.com/technician-of-the-year.