Auto Value and Bumper to Bumper Kick Off 2019 Technician of the Year Trip

DEARBORN, Mich. – It’s go-time for Auto Value and Bumper to Bumper’s Technician of the Year finalists. The technicians flew into Detroit July 15 for a four-day trip, during which they’ll sit through a 90-minute custom ASE test, have some fun, and hope to be crowned winner at the celebratory closing banquet.

"I'd like to congratulate all of this year's Technician of the Year finalists.  It takes a substantial amount of training, commitment, and perseverance to reach the top as a technician,” said Ryan Backowski, Director of Marketing at Auto-Wares Group of companies. “Their hard work has earned them recognition, but also leads to more efficient and effective repair and maintenance work for vehicle owners.  I hope all of the finalists have a great time at this year's event and I wish them luck in being crowned the 2019 Technician of the Year."

The finalists began the week with a welcome dinner Monday at the Dearborn Inn. Larry Friesner of DRiV, which hosted the event, joined Alliance Vice President of Marketing JC Washbish in kicking off the opening reception.

Tuesday they will spend 90 minutes working through a 100-question ASE test, which will ultimately determine the winner. After that, the group will explore 300 years of history at Greenfield Village, eat lunch at the village’s Eagle Tavern, and discover the past, present, and future of American automotive manufacturing at the Ford Rouge Factory. They’ll round out the day with dinner and games at Punch Bowl Social.

Wednesday, will be packed with thrill rides and racing at the M1 Concourse. That evening, the technicians will head back to the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation for a tour, dinner, and a reception to name and celebrate the Technician of the Year champion.

In addition to a $2,500 cash prize, the winner will also be sent to the ASE Technician of the Year Award Ceremony in Phoenix where he will be honored as Auto Value and Bumper to Bumper’s top tech this November.  

The 13 finalists were selected by their Auto Value and Bumper to Bumper warehouse distributors based on their impressive technical training and current automotive knowledge. In order to be eligible, each was required to fulfill several prerequisites, including 10 channel partner trainings, six hours of live training, current ASE certification, and Certified Service Center status.

Technician of the Year Finalists


Technician Name

Certified Service Center Name

City, State

Shareholder Member

Nate Brindley

Shoemaker’s Garage

Kalamazoo, MI

Auto-Wares Group of Companies

Brandon Burton

Master Tek Auto Repair

McHenry, IL

Auto-Wares Group of Companies

Michael Cibelli

Auto Repair Pros

Mansfield, MA

Norwood Motor Parts Co.

Robert Demarest

Military Brake & Alignment

West Palm Beach, FL

The Parts House

Johnnie Ferrel

Quad City Tech Inc.

Moline, IL

The Merrill Company

Richard Gehring

Hunt’s Auto Service

Ithaca, NY

Hahn Automotive

Jason Jackson

Automotive Excellence

Seal Beach, CA

Warren Distributing

Mike Jones

Joe’s Garage

North Little Rock, AR

Parts Warehouse, Inc.

Justin Leuschen

Four Corners Union 76

Concord, CA


Jeremy McDaniel

Brannon Auto Parts and Service Center

Hartford, AL

Tri-States Automotive Warehouse

Larry Mehr

Willmar Auto Sales & Service

Willmar, MN

Automotive Parts Headquarters

John Parker

Shields Service

Louisville, KY

Moog Louisville Warehouse

Maclane Reeser

Maclane’s Automotive

Dowingtown, PA

Eastern Warehouse Distributors


This training program is supported by the Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance and is also available to members in Canada and Mexico. The Auto Value Technician of the Year for Canada and Mexico will also be in attendance in Detroit this summer with the U.S. Technician of the Year finalists. 


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