August 2015 - Southern California People & Places

Southern California

California Small Business Day 2015 was held recently in Sacramento to recognize 88 small-business owners from across the state for their hard work and success. The event brought together more than 20 California governmental agencies, 90 small-business-friendly legislators, and 25 small-business organizations, including ASCCA, represented by Steve Vanlandingham, 2015 state president and Gloria Peterson, executive director. In addition to vendor displays and a morning exhibition, where small businesses learned about new and existing state and private-sector programs, the agenda included speeches on the importance of small business from California State Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, Assembly Minority Leader Kristin Olsen, Senate Minority Leader-Elect Jean Fuller, and Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. “It was a first-time event for me,” Vanlandingham said. “Both Gloria and I made several good contacts with vendors and received great information about other things like EDD, workers’ comp, insurance and prison worker projects.”

PerTronix Inc. in San Dimas has completed the asset purchase of Spyke Inc., a longtime manufacturer of premium high-performance rotating electrical and ignition products for the Harley motorcycle and Volkswagen markets. “We are very excited to add these great brands to our Pertronix brand family,” said Jim Hairston, Pertronix director of marketing and product development, “and we will work hard to ensure that the quality and service customers have come to expect will continue and be even further improved.”


Yokohama Tire Corp. (YTC) has hired 33-year tire industry veteran Tom Kenny as director of technical service, replacing Dan Guiney, who recently retired after 43 years in the tire business, the last 13 with Yokohama. Guiney also served as chairman of the RMA Tire Policy Committee, and represented Yokohama on the Tire and Rim Board of Trustees and the Tire Society. Those responsibilities will be passed on to Kenny.

Performance Plus Tire & Automotive in Long Beach will hold a Summer Vintage Car Show on Aug. 15, and a Fall Food Drive & Hot Rod Happening on Nov. 22, at the store. The events will feature hot cars, a free barbecue, music, raffles and trophies. “These shows attract all eras of vintage vehicles and are always a crowd pleaser,” Joyce Feldman, vice president of marketing/events, said. “As always, all the money earned at our events is used to support our Fall Food Drive, which last year fed more than 850 needy families.”

Chief Automotive Technologies has added three instructors with diverse collision repair backgrounds to the Chief University team, including I-CAR Platinum-certified technician Ruben Castorena, who worked in the insurance industry as an automotive damage appraiser before joining Chief’s research and specification team in 2010 as a technician at the Irvine measuring and specification center. “Ruben was a valued member of our team,” Ken Boylan, global training manager for Chief, said. “He was promoted to supervisor in 2013 and he was promoted to collision training facilitator in 2014.”

As part of the state budget, Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed trailer bill AB 104, which includes funding for the Career Technical Education (CTE) incentive grant program for the next three years to encourage and maintain delivery of CTE programs. “Finally, some good news for Career Technical Education,” ASCCA Legislative Advocate Jack Molodanof said. CTE funding will be $400 million for 2105-16, $300 million for 2016-17, and $200 million for 2017-18. 

Five Corona high schools and Concordia University received a total of $20,000 in charitable grants from Larry H. Miller Toyota Corona (LHM Toyota Corona) and Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. to help fund their schools’ programs. “Education is so vital to our youth and we’re proud to support schools in our community and the programs they provide to help ensure our children are well-rounded members of society,” Joe Ehlert, general manager of LHM Toyota Corona, said. Larry H. Miller Charities, the charitable arm of the dealership group, is funded in large part by employee contributions. 

Fisker Automotive and Technology Group (FATG) announced that it is ramping up its re-entry into the luxury automotive market by opening its first U.S. manufacturing facility in Moreno Valley, a short distance from its headquarters in Costa Mesa. FATG will produce the Karma, its flagship plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, at the California manufacturing facility for worldwide sale. At the start of production, the company expects to create 150 full-time manufacturing jobs. “FATG believes in the quality, work ethic, and competitiveness of manufacturing in the United States,” James Taylor, chief marketing officer, said.

Service King Collision Repair Centers, a multi-state operator of collision repair services, unveiled its most recent recruiting and development effort with the launch of the Service King Apprentice Development Program, which offers a fully compensated 52-week training course developed to prepare incoming technicians for careers at Service King. The rollout plan features launches in several states including California in 2015. Technicians receive daily on-the-job oversight and training, use a detailed curriculum, progress through a series of competency assessments and succession benchmarks, are consistently awarded throughout the program, and are tutored by an assigned apprentice supervisor.

CAWA Board Chairman Ward Myers of WORLDPAC has appointed Michael “Mac” McLaughlin of Ramac Industries Inc. to the association’s board of directors. “Mr. McLaughlin and Ramac Industries Inc. have been longtime supporters of CAWA,” Myers said. “We are pleased he will join our leadership team and get further involved in the association.”

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.