Southern California People & Places - September 2015

Centric Parts in Industry, supplier of aftermarket brake and chassis components for import and domestic cars and trucks, has hired Peter Chen as a supplier quality engineer. He will be part of the company’s Corporate Quality group responsible for overall supplier quality, interacting with engineering, supply chain/purchasing, and the quality assurance staff. “Our Centric, Qualis and, StopTech supplier base continues to grow to support our overall corporate growth, and product quality remains foundational for our business,” Centric CEO and President Dan Lelchuk said.

Centric also announced that Vice President of Governmental Affairs/Logistics/Supplier Development Steve Hughes has been appointed to serve on the U.S. Industry Trade Advisory Committee on Automotive Equipment and Capital Goods (ITAC 2) as a representative of Centric Parts and of the U.S. aftermarket brake components and systems industry sector. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman made the appointment.

CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts is expanding in Southern California with the addition of CARSTAR Allstar Collision, which has served Corona and surrounding communities for more than 20 years. “Everyone here at CARSTAR Allstar Collision is extremely excited about our decision to join the CARSTAR network,” Owner Mike Seif said. “The partnership will ensure our continued growth and improve upon our exceptional services. The decision was not a difficult one.”

Service King Collision Repair Centers, a multi-state operator of high-quality collision repair, continued expansion in the Southern California market after reaching an agreement to acquire Cathedral City Collision in Cathedral City. “It’s an exciting time for Service King in the Southern California market,” Service King Regional Vice President Chris Anderson said. “They have built a business on the foundation of excellent customer service and superior quality repair service. It’s an honor to welcome them to the Service King family.”

Elite Worldwide in Rancho Santa Fe has launched a new website for shop owners that highlights Elite’s clients. The website features an Auto Shop Idea Center – a comprehensive library of complimentary sales, marketing, and shop management tips to help shop owners build more-successful businesses. The company will be adding new content to the Auto Shop Idea Center every week to provide shop owners with a consistent flow of new business-building information. “We’re very pleased to announce the launch of our new website, and are optimistic that it will enable us to reach our goal of helping shop owners improve their businesses and live happier lives, while elevating our industry in the process,” Bob Cooper, president of Elite, said. The new website can be found at

Envision Solar International, in San Diego, has been awarded a contract to supply EV ARC products to California state departments and other government agencies. The contract runs through June 11, 2016, with two one-year renewal options.  “California has about 40 percent of the electric vehicles in the U.S.,” Desmond Wheatley, CEO of Envision Solar, said. “Our EV ARC is the perfect solution for a state that requires a scalable, sustainable, and easily deployable EV charging infrastructure that does not require trenching or foundations and can be easily moved. We are thrilled to have won this contract.”

Garage Gurus, established by Federal-Mogul Motorparts technical training network for automotive repair professionals, has opened a new training center in Rancho Dominguez. The center will offer onsite, online, and on-demand training and related support to the region’s vehicle repair shop professionals. “There is tremendous demand for high-quality technical training and product support that are both accessible and affordable for today’s repair professionals. Garage Gurus is the first program of its kind to address this need nationwide,” said Dan Ninivaggi, CEO of Federal-Mogul Motorparts. “We are confident that area professionals will rely on this facility to help advance their careers by mastering the diagnostic and repair requirements related to each new generation of vehicles.”

In Memoriam: Charlie Mulcahy, long-time ASCCA member and owner of Charlie’s Arco in Wilmington, died. A celebration of life, with guests in Hawaiian attire, was held at Harbor Christian Center, followed by a motorcade procession to Green Hills Cemetery and a reception at the Wilmington Senior Center. 

Kahn Media, in Moorpark, has named longtime public relations team leader and automotive industry veteran, Jon Barrett, as vice president of the company. “Over the past three years Jon has proven to be an organized and intelligent leader with a firm grasp on the creative and technical aspects of modern marketing and public relations,” Dan Kahn, found and president of Kahn Media, said. “His background in data and digital technology will serve us well as our business evolves to cover a diverse range of digital marketing services.” In other staffing news, long-time motorcycle racer, instructor, and marketer Jason Thompson has been hired as an account executive handling MotoAmerica, the official AMA/FIM-sanctioned national road racing series in the U.S.

A memorial scholarship has been established in the name of Thomas Coleman through the Collision Repair Education Foundation that will benefit Southern California area collision school programs and students. Coleman, who passed away this past November from ALS at the age of 47, was the co-founder, co-owner, and operator of LC Automotive Group, a six-center collision repair business located in Inland Empire. LC Automotive will be contributing $5,000 quarterly to this fund and collision industry members are invited to participate as well. “Tom was a great person, family man, friend, and business partner," Bill Lawrence, LC Auto co-founder, said. “We are proud to support CREF on behalf of Tom.” Industry members interested in supporting the memorial scholarship fund can contact Director of Development, Brandon Eckenrode, at

CAWA has announced the recipients of its 2015 scholarship awards, which provided $11,500 in scholarships this year to thirteen individuals. “Once again, CAWA is proud to assist these young people in pursuing their careers in the auto care industry”, Rodney Pierini, CAWA president and CEO, said. Southern California recipients of the scholarships include: Jonathan Lee, San Bernardino Valley College; Jonathan Montes, Chaffey College; Justin Holmquist, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo; Kianna Silva, The Mort Schwartz Award, Santa Barbara City College; Luis Cendejas Moreno, Bakersfield College; and Zachary Mueller, Cal Poly Pomona.

US Motor Works, in Santa Fe Springs, manufacturer and distributor of water pumps, fan clutches, electric fuel pumps, timing kits, and oil pumps for the automotive and heavy-duty industries, was named one of the Top 100 Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers for 2015 by the AASA. “Earning Top 100 is a privilege obtained through 20 years of hard work, and a belief that providing only the greatest will equate to amazing results,” Alfred Cardoza, director of sales, said.

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.