River Valley People & Places - August 2019

WAC-STL highlights Rockwood Summit Bio-Diesel Program.“We had a good turnout at Rockwood Summit High School for our monthly membership meeting. We spoke to Darren Peters about his Bio-Diesel Program at the high school and some of the students who design, build, and maintain the vehicles that run on the Bio-Diesel they make.” said Jess Crump, Vice President of WAC-STL.  The students make Bio Diesel from waste oil provided by kitchens, and utilize it in two full sized trucks and a special long distance competition car that they designed & built themselves. The program has been at Rockwood for about 10 years.

NASTF Names Sheri Hamilton to Education Team. The National Automotive Service Task Force (NASTF) proudly announced the addition of Sheri Hamilton, Executive Director of the Midwest Auto Care Alliance, to the Education Team (EDU). Hamilton coordinates VISION Hi-Tech Training & Expo in Kansas City, the industry’s premier training show for service repair technicians in the United States. In addition, she brings years of experience in coordinating and delivering education programs. NASTF Chairman, Mark Saxonberg welcomed the addition to Team EDU leadership stating, “Sheri’s dedication to education is a perfect fit for our amazing Education Team.”

Three deserving St. Louis veterans experienced a life-changing event – the presentation of vehicles to provide them independence and the ability to work and take care of their families – thanks to the National Auto Body Council’s Recycled Rides™ program along with car donors GEICO, Farmers Insurance and USAA and collision repair partners CARSTAR Wentzville, ABRA Autobody and Schaefer Autobody. The presentation was held at the NABC Gateway Pars for Cars Golf Fundraiser at the Boone Valley Golf Club, in Augusta, MO.  The deserving veterans were selected by H.E.R.O.E.S Care (Homefront Enabling Relationships, Opportunities, and Empowerment through Support). Recipients were Karen Cooksey, Adelita Ousleyi, and Melvin Wright.

Legislation (S.B. 242) that would have allowed historic vehicles to be issued license plates without an annual mileage restriction failed to pass before Missouri’s legislature adjourned for 2019. In Missouri, a historic vehicle is defined as being 25 years old or older, owned solely as a collector’s item and used only for exhibition and educational purposes. Currently, Missouri law limits such vehicles to 1,000 miles of personal driving per year and requires owners to keep a log of miles driven.

Navistar International, a global manufacturer of commercial vehicles, has donated five diesel-powered (heavy duty) trucks to Ranken Technical College. Ranken students are using the equipment as part of their Diesel Technology degree program to gain practical experience in diagnosing and repairing mechanical, engine, suspension and electrical systems. Diesel-powered vehicles are critical to commerce and industry, and there is a growing demand for skilled employees who understand how diesel trucks work, how they are built, how diesel fuels work, causes of failure and how to repair them, according to Ranken Diesel Technology Instructor Jeff Ermeling. “Ranken is focused on hands-on training and modern industry-standard technologies to help our students become proficient in a range of skills and equipment,” said Ermeling.

JASPER Holdings Inc., the parent company of Jasper Engines and Transmissions, has acquired Diesel USA Group Inc., headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky.  The Diesel USA Group will remain a separate company and brand as it becomes part of the JASPER ESOP. “Diesel USA Group is a respected brand with a great team. We are excited about the growth opportunities for the products and services they offer and feel they will be a great addition to the JASPER ESOP,” said Zach Bawel, JASPER president. “With this acquisition, it enables us to continue to diversify our family of companies while remaining committed to an industry we understand.”

Long-time APSA-IL staff members Marsha Fogleman and Sue Brookman retired on June 30, 2019. As of July 1, 2019, Gary W. Manke CAE will be the Executive Director of the APSA of Illinois. Manke is the Executive Director for the Wisconsin Automotive Care Association, Wisconsin Automotive Parts Association and Alliance of State Automotive Aftermarket Associations.

Bob's Transmission & Auto Service in Maryland Heights owner Rob Fox passed away on July 10. Fox was also the founding member of the band Contagious. He had a passion for entertaining and spending time with family and friends. Rob loved vacationing, racing, and riding his motorcycle.

Beginning in 2020, a new law signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker will apply Illinois’ sales tax to any traded-in vehicle’s worth over $10,000. That means trading in a $30,000 car for one worth $60,000 will cost a customer an extra $1,200 in sales taxes. Pete Sander, president of the Illinois Automobile Dealers Association, said it could mean Illinois residents put off getting a new car.

JM&A Group Helps Ranken Prepare Auto Technology Students for Future Careers. Ranken Technical College has dedicated a section of its automotive training facility to JM&A Group and its parent company, South Florida-based JM Family Enterprises, in recognition of the company’s efforts to prepare students for successful careers in automotive technology. JM&A Group has been a long-time contributor to Ranken, as well as a regular recruiter and employer of Ranken auto maintenance technology graduates. In 2019, the company presented Ranken with the seventh installment on a 10-year, $1 million pledge to support the College’s Automotive Building.

Metro Vo-Tech Assistance Program (MV-TAP) recently held their annual golf outing at Meramec Lakes Golf Course. All proceeds from the event, go directly to the students in collision repair programs at North and South Tech, Lewis and Clark Career Center and Ranken Technical College. Food was provided by Tricia Belz of Enterprise.


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.