From left: Toyota Senior Advisor Don Esmon, Congressional Medal of Honor recipient John Baca, Toyota Veterans Association President Michael Smith, and ASN founder Annie Nelson stand next to the Tundra that was presented to Baca.John Villa, of Villa Automotive, is ASCCA Member of the Month for September.Jon Apogée is now director of corporate communications for Gale Banks Engineering.A pair of Toyota Mirai electric fuel cell cars charge up at the True Zero hydrogen charging station at Harris Ranch in Coalinga.Jeremy O’Neal, of Advisorfix, gave a presentation on learning telephone skills at ASCCA Chapter 48’s dinner meeting.From left: Craig Johnson, ASCEF representative; Rocky Khamenian, ASCCA Chapter 48 member; and Jack Crawley, past ASCCA president (far right), present Rio Hondo College student Raymond Meza with certificates and checks from ASCEF.

Southern California People & Places - December 2016

The annual Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF) industry fundraiser, recently co-hosted by PPG Automotive Refinish, raised $110,000, according to the foundation. Funds from the Aug. 10, golf event in Yorba Linda will go toward supporting scholarships and grants for collision schools and students. “PPG is proud to support this event at such a high level not only because it brings together industry professionals from around the country but also for the fact that it assists the Foundation’s efforts to ensure that high school and college collision students are job ready when they graduate and enter the industry,” Domenic Brusco, PPG Automotive Refinish, Senior Manager, Industry Relations, said.

Medal of Honor recipient John Baca was presented with a new Toyota Tundra during the Forgotten Sons “Ride to Live” fundraising motorcycle ride to raise awareness and prevent soldier/veteran suicide event at the Elks Lodge in Oceanside, Oct. 29. Baca was in need of transportation for himself and his service dog JoJo. After Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer introduced ASN to Toyota, they made plans to surprise Baca with a Platinum edition Toyota Tundra. “As a veteran myself, I can truly understand the many perils that John and his fellow troops endured defending our nation,” said Smith. “It gives me great pleasure to present him with this Tundra on behalf of Toyota and our team members across America as just a small token of our gratitude to him for his service.”

Westin Automotive Products, in San Dimas, has made several changes and additions to its sales team including Junior Calvert, director of national accounts; Mike Stickney, national sales manager; David Crockett, eastern regional and Canada sales manger; Jason Morrison, western regional sales manager; and Cameron Quiroz, western district sales representative.

The ASCCA Membership Committee has selected John Villa of Villa Automotive, in San Luis Obispo, as the ASCCA Member of the Month for September. Villa, who joined ASCCA in 1988, has been involved in the automotive industry almost his entire life. His father, Elwood Villa, started Villa Automotive in 1947. “ASCCA is always there to advocate at the State Capitol and work to ensure that any legislation impacting the automotive industry won’t negatively affect members’ businesses,” Villa said. “Knowing what is coming down the regulatory side is vital, and ASCCA is always there to inform us of any new regulations.”   

Gale Banks Engineering, in Azusa, has appointed Jon Apogée to the position of director of corporate communications, responsible for all aspects of brand management, strategic marketing, press releases, and media planning including providing direction and implementation for social media marketing and re-launching the Banks Power brand.

True Zero, in Newport Beach, operators of a large network of retail hydrogen charging stations, has powered 2 million miles of zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) driving on California roads only 60 days after reaching its first million miles. In comparison, the company said it took nine months to reach the first million miles, reflecting a significant ramp-up of fuel cell cars in California. “With a hydrogen network that spans across California and allows drivers to charge up in four minutes, electric fuel cell cars with over 300-mile range are proving they can replace gasoline cars,” Joel Ewanick, founder and CEO of FirstElement Fuel, True Zero’s parent company said.

Dura International, in Los Angeles, has changed its name to DuraGo, building on a rich history of more than 40 years of manufacturing and distributing automotive aftermarket products to the auto care professional. “Our customers and the opportunities brought by a changing industry demanded we evolve from a predominantly private label supplier to a leading recognized brand,” John Kelley, president of DuraGo, said. “We wanted a concise and memorable brand name that would be instantly recognized as us.”

The October dinner meeting of ASCCA Chapter 48, held at the Embassy Suites, in Brea, featured a presentation from Jeremy O’Neal, president and founder of Advisorfix, on “The Next Generation of Telephone Skills,” including information on how to build instant rapport and convert a price shopper into a paying customer in less than two minutes. “Learning what the top 1 percent of service advisors do to convert 70 percent of telephone leads into sales can bring your shop new profits,” O’Neal said. Also, a special presentation of two checks totaling $1,250 from the Automotive Service Councils Education Foundation (ASCEF) was given to Rio Hondo College Alternative Fuels student Raymond Meza. “Raymond is a great older student who met all of the criteria and had the highest score for our Chuck and June Overbey Scholarship and the Ed Harris Memorial Scholarship this year,” ASCCA past president, Jack Crawley, said. “Raymond has now moved into the BS program and this will help him with the cost.” 

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.