Dave Conant is the 2019 recipient of the David F. Mungenast Lifetime Achievement Award.Teresa Contreras of LGE-CTS Motorsports wins the Ford Outstanding Achievement in Design award.  (Photo by Shawn Yackmack, PPG Industries)The winning team of Matthew Tse (left), and Brodie Galland hold their first-place trophy at the 2018 UTI Top Tech Challenge.Melanie White, president of Hellwig Products, is 2018 SEMA Person of the Year.Brett Kinsfather and Karn Grassel are now part of the Hellwig team.

Southern California People & Places - January 2019

Newport Beach auto dealer Dave Conant will be honored with the 2019 David F. Mungenast Lifetime Achievement Award during the American International Automobile Dealers Association (AIADA)’s 49th Annual Meeting and Luncheon on Jan. 27, in San Francisco. The award is presented each year to an industry leader who possesses a similar community spirit and devotion to the international nameplate auto industry as its namesake. “I am always impressed with the generosity of auto dealers, but when it comes to community engagement, Dave Conant truly stands apart,” said AIADA President and CEO Cody Lusk.

Theresa Contreras and LGE-CTS Motorsports,  in San Dimas, won the Ford Outstanding Achievement in Design award at the SEMA show for her 2018 Ford Expedition. Contreras painted the SUV using Envirobase High Performance waterborne basecoat and EC550 En-V Ultra Gloss Clearcoat. Added to the mix were custom colors she created — “Espresso” for the body and “Warm Gold” for the pinstripes down the sides and around the wheels. PPG master painter Paul Stoll contributed to the unique paint scheme.

A high school team from La Puente Valley ROP was awarded first place at the Top Tech Automotive Skills Competition, hosted by UTI‑Long Beach. They were among a dozen two-person teams from across Greater Los Angeles that squared off to test their knowledge and expertise in automotive technology. The student teams competed in written and hands-on testing on vehicle parts, brakes, diagnostics, and electrical systems for a chance to earn 20 UTI scholarships valued from $1,000 to $10,000 each. A total of $45,000 in scholarships were awarded. Both members of the top three student teams each received UTI scholarships of $10,000, $7,500, and $5,000 for first through third place, respectively. Each winning team’s school will also receive Snap-on tool sets that range in value from $1,379 up to $2,365.

Melanie White, of Hellwig Products, in Visalia, was named 2018 SEMA Person of the Year, the association’s most prestigious award, at the SEMA Awards banquet. “The banquet is a highlight of SEMA Show week,” said Chris Kersting, SEMA president and CEO. “All award winners are all examples of this passion and the innovation that we’ve seen all week.” White is the the first woman president of Hellwig.

Brett Kinsfather is the new director of sales and marketing, and Karen Grassel is Hellwig Suspension Products’ new customer service manager. “We are thrilled to continue growing our team,” said Hellwig President Melanie White. “The addition of Brett and Karen will help us as we move into 2019 and expand our business ventures in all areas.”

Border Tire will acquire five Tire Centers (TCi) stores from Michelin North America in Bakersfield, Van Nuys, Fontana, Santa Fe Springs, and Lakeside. The dealership, which will be expanding its footprint into California for the first time, also acquired a Michelin Retread Technologies plant. “Taking on these additional locations will not only grow our customer base but it will give us the opportunity to give our customers the absolute best service in the Southwest,” said Border Tire Owner Royal Jones.



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.