Northwest People & Places - June 2018
Ben Brooks from Hutchison High School in Fairbanks won the state’s SkillsUSA competition in Automotive Service Technology. He is eligible to attend the national SkillsUSA competition June 27-28, in Louisville, Ky. More than 6,200 students from high schools and colleges will compete in more than 100 categories. Kyle Anderson from Mat-Su Career & Technical High School in Wasilla placed first in Power Equipment Technology (small engines).
CARSTAR of Hayden is the first Idaho location for CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts. The 8,000-square-foot collision repair shop is owned by Greg and Rachelle Solesbee. Techs at the shop, formerly known as Coeur d’Alene Collision Center, are I-CAR trained and ASE certified. CARSTAR is North America’s largest multi-shop operator network of independently owned collision repair shops with more than 550 locations in 33 states and 10 Canadian provinces.
National Auto Parts Warehouse (NPW) has acquired Ann’s Auto & Ag Supply in Shoshone owned by Anne Eschliman. “I’m looking forward to the merger with NPW,” said Eschliman, who will continue to manage the store. “It will give us the opportunity to expand the business and serve our customers better. With this acquisition, NPW now serves 20 auto parts stores in Utah and Idaho. Ann’s will be serviced out of NPW’s Salt Lake City distribution center.
The state SkillsUSA organization staged several automotive contests this year with top place winners participating at the June national competition. First place state contest winners included Austin Schultz, MSU Billings, Automotive Refinishing Technology/post-secondary; Jeremiah Gibson, Capital High School, Helena, Automotive Service Technology/secondary; Cage Aisenbrey, MSU Billings, Automotive Service Technology/post-secondary; Russell Schiller and Ryan Williams (tie), Billings Career Center, Diesel Equipment Technology/secondary; Cole Rhodes, MSU-northern in Havre, Diesel Equipment Technology/post-secondary; and Keagan Burpee, Billings Career Center, Power Equipment Technology/secondary.
Northwest Automotive Trades Association (NATA) will stage a special lunch meeting, June 6, to provide a preview of the June 22-23, Mecum Auction at the Portland Expo Center. Hosted by Mecum, the lunch and free tour of the World of Speed Museum in Wilsonville will feature a presentation by John Kraman, broadcast commentator for Mecum auctions on NBC Sports Network. NATA members attending will also receive two free admission tickets to the auction that will feature some 600 collector and muscle cars, motorcycles, and other vehicles. The 2017 Mecum Auction in Portland had $7.9 million in total sales.
David Higgins and Craig Drew of Subaru Rally Team USA won the recent Oregon Trail Rally (OTR), the first round of the American Rally Association’s (ARA) season. The duo has won the OTR several times in recent years and are rated as some of the top international rally drivers. More than 40 rally cars participated in regional and national categories. Many of those teams were participating in the Olympus Rally based in Shelton, Wash., as Parts & People went to press. The Olympus is the second round of the ARA season followed by rounds in Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, and Minnesota before returning to the Northwest for the final two rounds (Idaho Rally International, Sept. 15-16, and Tour de Forest in Olympia, Oct. 6-7).
Josh Duckworth from Vale High School secured first place in the Oregon SkillsUSA Automotive Service Technology contest. Along with winners from other contests, he will attend the SkillsUSA national competition, June 27-28, in Louisville, Ky. Students from Vale, a small farming town in far eastern Oregon, placed first, second, third, and fifth in the competition.
David Bany, 59, of Wilsonville died recently after a long battle with cancer. A Portland-area native, he and his wife, Sally, were co-founders Moonstruck Chocolate Co., as well as two non-profits, the Youth Music Project and the World of Speed Museum in Wilsonville. The latter is dedicated to preserving the history of motorsports for future generations; offers exhibits of vehicles involved in all aspects of motorsports from road to drag racing, motorcycles to hydroplanes; but is widely known for its educational aspects, especially those for youth. Bany was instrumental in providing a learning center at the museum for high school automotive technology students. Several local school districts send students to take such classes as Automotive Fundamentals, General Auto Repair, and Small Engine Repair. Classes are taught by instructors from Clackamas Community College. As part of Bany’s long-range plan, there are also automotive-related youth summer camps and special workshops. He and his wife also founded the Marie Lamfrom Charitable Foundation, a non-profit foundation dedicated to improving the lives of children. Donations may be made to the World of Speed Museum.
The Wesco Group Inc., based in Lynnwood, announced May 10 that it had completed the acquisition of United Paint Specialties with stores in Federal Way and Bellingham. Pat Sherman, the president of United, will join Wesco as an equity partner. “Pat will help us grow as we expand our footprint across the country,” said Roger Howe, a partner at Wesco which operates more than 70 paint stores in Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington. The company also has training centers in Washington and Arizona, plus operates collision repair shop equipment distribution centers in five states known as Wesco Equipment.
More than 400 automotive technology and collision technology students attended industry career path and ASE test prep sessions at Spokane Community College (SCC). Presented by Walt Commans, ASE and ASE Education Foundation field representative for the western states, students in attendance were from North Idaho College in Rathdrum, Newtech Skills Center in Spokane, and SCC. Commans said there are currently 35,000 automotive students nationwide who have attained student ASE certifications.
ASA Northwest will stage its Summer Retreat & Management Conference, June 21-24, at the Red Lion Hanford House in Richland. The event features a golf outing, board meetings, general business sessions, a business roundtable, a mechanical/collision roundtable session, an AMI-approved management seminar, an outdoor barbecue dinner, and a hospitality suite each evening. For complete details and registration, visit www.asanorthwest.com, or call 253-473-6970. ASA Northwest is a full-service trade association serving mechanical and collision repair facilities in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.
Tim Trudnowski, president of employee-owned Parts Wholesalers Inc. in Spokane, received the highest honor from Federated Auto Parts at its recent national meeting. Named for the founder of Federated Auto Parts Distributors, the Art Fisher Memorial Award recognizes members who carry on his legacy through outstanding dedication to membership, the group, and the industry. A longtime industry activist, Trudnowski has served on the Federated board of governors and executive committee, has been a board member of the Auto Care Association, a past chairman and current treasurer of the Automotive Warehouse Distributors Association, among many positions held on the national level. Parts Wholesalers, which operates Automotive Jobbers Supply and the Motion Auto Parts chain, has been a member of Federated since 1985.
McLaren Automotive has opened its 23rd U.S. dealership in Bellevue. Open, but completing construction, McLaren Bellevue is operated by OpenRoad Auto Group based in Vancouver, B.C., which also operates Rolls Royce, Bentley, and Lamborghini franchises in Bellevue, in addition to more than a dozen dealerships in the greater Vancouver area. “The Pacific Northwest is an important area in the United States that we have not yet been able to properly service,” said Tony Joseph, president of McLaren North America. Christian Chia, OpenRoad president and CEO said, “Despite McLaren’s short history producing road cars, the brand has already established itself as a major player in the luxury sport car and supercar segment.”
A Celebration of Excellence event was held at Spokane Community College, May 9, to honor outstanding students and award ASA Northwest scholarships. Coordinated by the ASA Spokane Unit, the third annual event brings educators and industry together to honor automotive students. In addition to students and instructors from Spokane Community College (SCC) and North Idaho College (NIC) in Rathdrum, representatives from ASA Northwest and the Spokane Unit were on hand as event speakers and presenters of scholarships. They included Jeff Lovell, AMAM, president and executive director, Lakewood; Brian Smith, AAM, immediate past chairman, Gig Harbor; Bryan Kelley, AMAM, chairman-elect, Covington; and Ed Cushman of Spokane, chairman-elect of the national ASA organization. Walt Commans of ASE and the ASE Education Foundation, was also a keynote speaker. Pamela Meyer, ASA Northwest membership specialist for Eastern Washington and Idaho, along with Ben Prickett of the ASA Spokane Unit, coordinated the event that included presentations of four scholarships to students through ASA Northwest's Buz Throndsen Automotive Scholarship and Pete & Cherie Hunt Scholarship. Harley Hurst of SCC received a $750 Throndsen scholarship, Adam Shears of SCC a $1,000 Hunt scholarship, and Harrison Goecke of NIC a $1,000 Hunt scholarship. SCC instructors Bill Rustemeyer, Jeff Coffey, Jeff Rogers, Stacy Rogers, and Tom Connors presented 16 SCC students recognition awards for being top performers.
High school students in various categories won the Washington SkillsUSA state contest and will attend the national competition this summer. Luke Walker from Bellevue High School took first place in the Automotive Service Technology contest; Corbin Reiland from Yakima Valley Skill Center won Automotive Refinishing; Stephanie Martinez, also from Yakima Valley Skill Center, was the top performer in the Collision Repair Technology category; and McKenzie Budrown from Sno-Isle Vocational Skill Center in Everett won the Diesel Equipment Technology contest.
America’s Car Museum (ACM) in Tacoma opened a year-long exhibit, May 12, titled “Heroes of Bavaria,” a showcase of 17 BMW iconic race cars from the past 75 years. With a media event and a opening gala featuring industry VIPs, including Bill Auberlen the winningest BMW race car driver in history, the exhibit is expected to be one ACMs biggest draws over the next year. The exhibit was sourced from the BMW Car Club of America Foundation, with vehicles donated by BMW USA and private collectors.
Torklift International, based in Sumner, announced that Competition Specialties Inc. (CSI) is now offering Torklift products to RV and automotive dealerships. "The towing segment has been an area of focus and growth at Competition Specialties and it was a natural choice to add the leader in the RV marketplace as a vendor, said David Green, CSI vice president. "Torklift has a reputation that stands out in the industry." CSI, in business for more than 50 years, is based in Auburn with additional distribution centers in Spokane, Portland, and Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. Torklift International has its global manufacturing and distribution center in a football field sized facility in Sumner with 130 employees.