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AAPEX 2021 Service Award Winners [RR 697]


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Shop Owner of the Year: Jamie and Eric Carlson, Ervine’s Auto Repair and Grand Rapids Hybrid, Grand Rapids, MI. Years in Business: 28. Number of Full-Time Technicians: 3. Number of technicians with ASE Certifications: 3

Eric Carlson, co-owner of Ervine's Auto Repair & Grand Rapids Hybrid, has been a technician for over 45 years. His formal automotive education came from Ferris State University where he took all 8 ASE tests prior to graduation in 1977. Eric has been recertified every 5 years since. He took the L1 when it was introduced and is now L3 hybrid certified. Eric is a subject matter expert for ASE and has participated in writing test questions for the L3 test. Eric has been named NAPA and ASE's technician of the year 5 times. Jamie Carlson, co-owner of Ervine's Auto Repair & Grand Rapids Hybrid. She loves her job and is very proud of how her shop has kept ahead of technological changes to stay relevant and customer-focused. Her shop was awarded the 2018 ACE (Auto Care Career and Education) Award in recognition of her dedication to investing in the growth of their employees' knowledge and skills through access to professional development and career opportunities. Jamie is also nurturing the next generation by working closely with her daughter, Megan Dineff. Megan was named one of Ratchet + Wrench magazine's All-Star winners for 2019 and Auto Care Association's 4 for the Future Impact award in 2020.

Technician of the Year: Matt Fanslow, Lead Diagnostician/Shop Manager, Riverside Automotive, Red Wing, Minnesota. ASE Master Certified Technician - A1-A8 and L1 #ASE-1597-7187

Matt's primary responsibilities are to diagnose driveability and electrical/electronic issues, and perform most all programming, coding, initializing, adoptions, etc. Basically, if it needs to be figured out or has wires, it goes to Matt. He’s been a tech since 1996. Matt is also a subject matter expert for ASE and has instructed at Vision Hi-Tech Training and Expo. Matt has participated on 18 ASE technical committees for the ASE Practice Test, A6, A7, A8, and L1 tests. He’s also done case studies for Standard Motor Products. Fanslow’s goal is to do everything in his power to improve the overall level of professionalism within the automotive and light truck repair trade and also raise the level of its public image. Matt Fanslow’s Previous Episodes HERE.

Service Advisor of the Year: Brittany Schindler, Service Manager Rod’s Japanese Auto Care Bellingham, WA. Years in the industry: 11 years. Brittany loves working at the shop and being able to help people every day. Brittany has learned so much over the years by going to classes with great trainers and having a great business coach. One of her main focuses is to raise the standard of the automotive service and repair industry. Listen to Brittany’s previous episodes HERE

Key Talking Points

  • Rebranding Grand Rapids Hybrids- ½ the cars that come in are hybrids, over 6 cars a day. 
  • Networking groups- wisdom and knowledge shared by other professionals. It’s essential for growth. 
  • Reinforcing the hard work, time and investments 
  • Training- online and in person
  • Family in the business- shared values, ethics 
  • AAPEX- training classes, networking and learning. Go to booths, ask questions, get contact information

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Important Books

Check out today's partner:

Gold Certification recognizes top tier NAPA AutoCares with a high level of participation in the AutoCare program. The program was built by AutoCare Centers for AutoCare Centers to provide a consistent consumer experience, maximize technology leverage, and reward NAPA’s most committed partners. In other words, Gold Certified AutoCare Centers are the standard bearers for the AutoCare brand nationwide. Simply put, the Gold Certified NAPA AutoCare program, powered by your local shop brand, will separate you from the rest helping you boost your bay counts and your average repair orders. Learn more about NAPA AutoCare, Gold Certification, and the hundreds of other benefits the NAPA family has to offer by talking with your servicing NAPA store or visiting www.NAPAAutoCare.com.

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

         0 comments
      It always amazes me when I hear about a technician who quits one repair shop to go work at another shop for less money. I know you have heard of this too, and you’ve probably asked yourself, “Can this be true? And Why?” The answer rests within the culture of the company. More specifically, the boss, manager, or a toxic work environment literally pushed the technician out the door.
      While money and benefits tend to attract people to a company, it won’t keep them there. When a technician begins to look over the fence for greener grass, that is usually a sign that something is wrong within the workplace. It also means that his or her heart is probably already gone. If the issue is not resolved, no amount of money will keep that technician for the long term. The heart is always the first to leave. The last thing that leaves is the technician’s toolbox.
      Shop owners: Focus more on employee retention than acquisition. This is not to say that you should not be constantly recruiting. You should. What it does means is that once you hire someone, your job isn’t over, that’s when it begins. Get to know your technicians. Build strong relationships. Have frequent one-on-ones. Engage in meaningful conversation. Find what truly motivates your technicians. You may be surprised that while money is a motivator, it’s usually not the prime motivator.
      One last thing; the cost of technician turnover can be financially devastating. It also affects shop morale. Do all you can to create a workplace where technicians feel they are respected, recognized, and know that their work contributes to the overall success of the company. This will lead to improved morale and team spirit. Remember, when you see a technician’s toolbox rolling out of the bay on its way to another shop, the heart was most likely gone long before that.
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