Northwest People & Places - October 2015


NAPA AutoTech will be presenting “Dynamic Engine Testing” classes in November at Hutchison Career Center in Fairbanks (Nov. 17; contact Jay McFetridge at 907-388-2592), at the NAPA Training Center in Wasilla (Nov. 18; contact Andy Rogers at 907-745-6272), and at the East Dowling NAPA Auto Parts store in Anchorage (Nov. 19; contact Clint McElwee at 907-563-3637).

Kurt Adler of A&A, The Shop in Anchorage is one of 58 nationwide graduates of the Automotive Management Institute (AMI) 2015 class. In order to achieve the AMI Accredited Automotive Manager (AAM) designation, individuals must earn a minimum of 120 credits for attending AMI-approved classes and online courses. Since its inception in 1989, more than 2,000 automotive industry professionals have achieved their AAM designation. AMI also offers specialized degrees for those involved in office management, service advisor management, parts management, technician management, and for collision repair managers.


     NAPA AutoTech will present a “Prius Diagnostics” class on Oct. 12, at the College of Western Idaho in Nampa. To register, contact Aaron Randall at 509-280-3891.

The 11th annual “Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report” has named the top 10 safest driving cities in the U.S. and Boise ranked third overall. Allstate, the nation’s largest personal lines insurance provider, ranks America’s largest 200 cities in terms of vehicle collision frequency and found Boise drivers were 23.5 percent less likely to have an accident than the national average. Kansas City, Kan., ranked at the top of the list at 24.8 percent, and Fort Collins, Colo., was the only other western city to named in the Top 10. When factoring in population density and precipitation to collision frequency, the report ranked Boise at the top with the fewest accidents.

David Rodriguez, a professor at the General Motors Automotive Service Educational Program (GM-ASEP) at the College of Southern Idaho (CSI) in Twin Falls, has been named the Mitchell 1 Educator of the Year for 2015. The award was made at the recent North American Council of Automotive Teachers (NACAT) conference held in Joliet, Ill. Rodriguez has been working in the automotive industry for 24 years, is a graduate of the GM-ASEP at CSI, holds a bachelor of science degree from Idaho State University, and has been an ASE-certified Automotive Master Technician for 21 years. In addition, he holds 15 total ASE certifications and has obtained the level of World Class Technician with GM. His students have won the SkillsUSA national competition and have medaled at the state level on numerous occasions.



After serving the Portland metro area for 35 years, Sunset Audi has changed its name to Audi Beaverton to align the dealership with Audi of America’s branding initiatives. The dealership has a new 20,618-square-foot Audi Terminal building with a 12-vehicle showroom, a six-vehicle service drive, a high-end Audi boutique featuring Audi accessories, and energy-efficient components throughout the facility, including LED lighting, among other features. “The one thing that distinguishes us from so many out there today is that we are still a family-based operation,” said Rob Roseta, Audi Beaverton general manager. “Being an Audi dealer for 35 years in the Beaverton-Portland metro market has allowed us to have some success and grow, which allows us to give back to the community,” he said.

Clint Housley of Prairie Road Automotive in Eugene is a 2015 graduate of the Automotive Management Institute (AMI) and has earned his Accredited Automotive Manager (AAM) designation. He was the only Oregon graduate this year in the extensive training program that requires 120 hours or more of in-class or online management training programs.

In anticipation of the arrival and availability of the Soul EV in the Portland market, Kia Motors America sponsored the 2015 Plug & Pinot celebration in August. Held in downtown Portland, the event provided participants test drives of several of the all-new Soul EV models and learn about eco-tourism in Oregon’s wine country. Oregon is one of five expansion states that will sell the 2016 Soul EV due in part to the state’s well-developed infrastructure for electric vehicle charging stations. Eight Kia dealers have been certified to sell Soul EV in Oregon, with all dealers located near population centers such as Portland, Eugene, and Medford.

The PIR Fall Auto Swap Meet, one of the largest on the West Coast, takes place Oct. 17-19, at Portland International raceway in Portland. More than 400 vendor booths, plus vehicle displays, are featured at this popular event that is also held each April at PIR. For details, visit

Portland weekly newspaper Willamette Week concluded its Best of Portland survey of readers in early September with more than 18,000 readers responding in 200 categories of the 2015 survey. Voted the Best Auto Repair shop was Hawthorne Auto Clinic (HAC) in Portland, with Tom Dwyer Automotive in the Rose City named the runner-up. HAC, an ASE Blue Seal shop and an Eco-logical certified business, has won numerous business and environmental awards in recent years, and was a Best of Portland winner in previous years in the Willamette Week survey. The shop is owned by Liz Dally and Jim Houser.

In memoriam: Harold “Speed” Coe of Portland died, Aug. 21, after fighting a battle with Parkinson’s Disease for some time. He founded Speed’s Towing in a former Flying A service station at Broadway and North Burnside in Portland in 1958. At the high point of the business in 1996, Speed’s operated 151 tow trucks out of 14 Oregon and Washington locations. Today, a smaller, focused team operates from four Portland-area locations. Coe was long involved in towing industry affairs and was a longtime and active member of the Northwest Automotive Trades Association. Memorials may be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research,



NAPA AutoTech will present “Volkswagen TDI Diesel Diagnostics” courses at the NAPA Seattle DC in Kent on Oct. 19, the West Sound Technical Skills Center in Bremerton on Oct. 20, and South Puget Sound Community College in Olympia on Oct. 21. For class registration at any of three locations, contact Dawnette Moore at 425-919-4558. A “Diagnostics Specialist” class will also be offered at Lower Columbia Community College in Longview on Oct. 27; contact Jason Hennig at 503-969-5039.

Joe Wheeler was bound for an automotive career growing up at his father’s Wheeler’s Collision & Paint in Kelso. Since 1990, when Wheeler took over the business his father started in the late 1960s, the business has grown and six years ago became a NAPA AutoCare Center and Collision Center. Having missed two opportunities to be a NAPA Honorary Crew Member during the NHRA Mello Yellow Drag Racing Series event at Pacific Raceways (PR) in Kent due to two daughter’s consecutive weddings, Wheeler had his special day in August. Along with Jason Hennig, the sales rep for NAPA Auto Parts store in Longview that serves the collision center, Wheeler had a day of work and fun at PR working alongside NAPA Funny Car Driver Ron Capps.

The Seattle International Auto Show has earlier-than-normal show dates and a new show producer for 2015. One of the nation’s Top 10 auto shows, Seattle’s event is set for Oct. 8-11, at CenturyLink Field Event Center in Seattle. For decades the show producer was Jim Hammond, former executive director of the Puget Sound Auto Dealers Association (PSADA), but with his retirement and the merger of PSADA with the Washington State Auto Dealers Association, the new show producer is Motor Trend Auto Shows LLC. That group produces some 20 auto shows across the country. In Seattle, more than 400 vehicles will be on display and 75 import and domestic cars and trucks will be available for test drives.

ASA Northwest will present three training classes in October, including “Hybrid Technician Training” (ASE L3 test prep course) in Tacoma the evenings of Oct. 6 and 7 with Instructor Craig Van Batenburg of ACDC; a daytime course titled “Running a Highly Profitable Fleet Business” by Dan Gilley of RLO Training on Oct. 10 in Tacoma; and an all-day “Passenger Car Diesel” class, presented by Bosch, on October 17 in Spokane. For details and registration, call 253-473-6970.

Four Washingtonians graduated from the Automotive Management Institute (AMI) in the class of 2015. Those who have received their Accredited Automotive Manager (AAM) designation are Jude Larson of JML Real Solutions in Fox Island, John Hinkemeyer of Benefit Consultants Northwest in Spokane, Gallagher Wilson of High Road Automotive in Seattle, and Ken Clark of Sparks Car Care in Federal Way.

One of the most popular vintage car races in the western U.S. takes place Oct. 3-4, in Goldendale. The 2015 Maryhill Loops Hill Climb draws hundreds of vintage racers that recreate the 1950s and 1960s Loops hill climb, an 850-foot climb with lots of curves. “The Hill Climb has everything a vintage racing enthusiast could want – tradition, excitement, and a unique setting,” said Society of Vintage Racing Enthusiasts (SOVREN) officials, the sponsor of the annual event. For details, visit

ASA Northwest staged two events in August that included its 22nd annual industry golf outing Aug. 12, at Eagles Pride Golf Course in Dupont, Wash., and its 6th annual “Family Fun Night” at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma, Aug. 27. A total of 160 golfers from Washington and Oregon participated in the golf tourney that raises money for the ITEC Education Scholarship Fund managed by ASA Northwest. The evening at Cheney Stadium drew 155 ASA members, family, and friends from around the Puget Sound area to enjoy a Tacoma Rainiers 12-5 win over Nashville while sitting on the field edge enjoying food and beverages. The Rainiers are a Triple-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners MLB club.

  Hundreds of enthusiasts attended the Studebaker Driver’s Club Pacific Can-Am Zone Meet at the Red Lion Hotel in Kelso, Aug. 28-30. Studebaker models representing several decades of the car (a gasoline version first made in 1904) were on hand from western states and western Canada. The event included a Studebaker caravan tour of Mount St. Helens.

The Tire Industry Association (TIA) will present its four-day Certified Automotive Training Service Instructor Class at Green River Community College in Auburn, Oct. 13-16. For details, contact Chris Hoogenboom, TIA training director, at 800-876-8372, ext. 106.

In conjunction with Fall Car Care Month, four ASA Northwest units will conduct Lights-on events at five locations in Washington on Oct. 3, including Tacoma, Spokane, Maple Valley, Bellingham, and Everson. ASA members and students enrolled in auto technology programs statewide will provide free inspection and replacement of burned out exterior lighting on vehicles.  To get involved in supporting these consumer campaigns, contact ASA Northwest at 253-473-6970.

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.