August 2015 - Midwest People & Places


During the recent 2015 SkillsUSA Championships in Louisville, Ky., the following students medaled: Cory Petit, Washburn Tech, Topeka, Kan., silver — high school collision repair; and Joseph Melendez Jr., Iowa Central Community College, Fort Dodge, Iowa, bronze — college automotive refinishing. The automotive refinishing competition was derived from NATEF and ASE task lists. The competitors had to demonstrate paint mixing and matching, painting and spray gun use, surface preparation, figuring out application problems and finish defects and prepare an estimate. The collision repair competition included work in metal straightening, plastic repair, welding and structural analysis and was also derived from ASE and NATEF task lists.


The Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF) in collaboration with AkzoNobel Vehicle Refinishes North America announced that Olathe Advanced Technical Center is among those schools being recognized for efforts to advance sustainability within their respective automotive and collision repair programs. As a result of combined student teams and faculty derived submittals, each school will receive funds from the Sustainability Education Challenge Grant to implement their proposals and report on the success of their project.

Bill Cook recently left Automotive Parts Associates (APA) to pursue other career opportunities and will be leaving APA as vice president, Program Development. APA has put in place a solution to the vacancy as it explores permanent options. Paul Brokaw, an automotive aftermarket industry veteran of more than 30 years, will step in as director of Program Development. Brokaw’s experience in the parts business started out in auto parts stores, machine shops and service facilities. He later moved into the warehouse distribution arena and started as a buyer for a large traditional warehouse distributor in Kansas City. His career accelerated to vice president of Operations for the Kansas City warehouse distributor and then general manager of a full-line, full-service traditional warehouse distributor in Tampa, Fla.


CARSTAR of Raytown won a national performance award for Top Closing Ratio, at 81.6 percent, at the annual CARSTAR conference, June 13, in Carlsbad, Calif., which honored its top performers from across the U.S. for closing ratios, cycle times, and CSI. “Our commitment to excellent customer service and high-quality repairs is reflected in our consistently high customer satisfaction index, and these six store owners are examples for our entire CARSTAR network,” said David Byers, CEO of CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts.

WELD has awarded a $1,000 prize to Kansas City Art Institute (KCAI) student Noah Geiger for his directional on-spoke wheel design. Geiger captured the top prize in the first annual WELD KCAI Performance Design Challenge contest, which was open to students enrolled in the virtual sculpture design program at KCAI. The contest was conducted in conjunction with the KCAI Art of the Car Concours event held recently at the school campus in Kansas City, of which WELD is a sponsor. The students who participated in the contest had the opportunity to visit WELD’s Kansas City manufacturing facility to learn about recent developments in computer aided design (CAD) and finite element analysis (FEA) modeling before beginning their designs. All WELD wheels are engineered, produced, and tested at WELD’s facilities in Kansas City using only aircraft grade aluminum alloys.

Parts & People

Parts & People is published monthly by Automotive Counseling and Publishing Company, Inc., a Colorado corporation, P.O. Box 18731 Denver, CO 80203, 303-765-4664. President-Lance Buchner. Founded by Lance Buchner and Dave Lucia.