Auto Value and Bumper to Bumper have named Mark Calzia of M.C. Tire & Automotive in Moline, Illinois, the 2020 Technician of the Year. Calzia achieved the highest score on a custom ASE exam given to U.S. finalists in San Antonio Mar. 13 during the Auto Value and Bumper to Bumper Technician of the Year finalist trip.
M.C Tire & Automotive is a Bumper to Bumper Certified Service Center and customer of IWI Motor Parts.
“Mark is a great customer, and, better yet, a great person. This is an outstanding achievement by a great individual,” said TJ Faley, president of IWI Motor Parts. “Mark spends endless hours going to training classes and does everything he can to stay at the top of his trade. Mark shows us all what it takes to be a professional. He is a great asset to the Quad Cities. He is always ready to lend a helping hand when somebody is struggling on a complicated repair. The IWI family is excited and proud of Mark’s accomplishment.”
Calzia was one of 18 U.S. finalists. He and the other finalists and their guests traveled to San Antonio Mar. 12-15 for a weekend of camaraderie and fun to celebrate their accomplishments and crown the winner. The group also was joined by the Canadian Technician of the Year Jason Meilleur of River Park Automotive (a Piston Ring Service Supply CSC) in Winnipeg, Canada, and the Mexican Technician of the Year Luis Alfredo Calles Rivas of Mecatec Express (a customer of Almex Refacciones) in Tamaulipas, Mexico.
“I’m so thankful to Bumper to Bumper for gathering some of the best technicians in the nation together to be recognized, share ideas, and have fun,” Calzia said. “We have all learned new things, shared camaraderie, and met some new lifelong friends. The time we shared will be great memories for the rest of our lives. It’s such an honor to be able to represent Auto Value and Bumper to Bumper.”
The group flew into San Antonio on Thursday, Mar. 12, for a welcome reception and dinner at the Buckhorn Saloon and Museum. Friday, after taking the 90-minute custom ASE exam in the morning, they enjoyed a private IMAX Alamo: Price of Freedom movie screening followed by a tour of the Alamo, lunch at the Lone Star Cafe, and free time to explore the Alamo City. They closed out the evening with an exclusive River Walk boat tour and dinner at the iconic Casa Rio restaurant, complete with live Mariachi music.
Saturday, the finalists and guests were treated to brunch with a view at the 60-story high Tower of the Americas. Later that afternoon, all of the finalists were welcomed to a true Texas experience when they arrived at the Tejas Rodeo in Bulverde where they enjoyed another VIP reception and dinner.
The culmination of the event occurred right before the rodeo when all of the finalists took to the dirt and were presented with customized Auto Value and Bumper to Bumper Technician of the Year finalist belt buckles. Calzia won the grand prize belt buckle when he was named as the 2020 Technician of the Year.
His score of 94 out of 100 possible points earned him the title, $2,500, and a trip to the ASE Awards Ceremony in Clearwater, Florida, this November to represent all of Auto Value and Bumper to Bumper Certified Service Center locations and technicians.
“Wow! What a week in San Antonio! Auto Value and Bumper to Bumper rolled out the red carpet for the technician of the year finalists,” said Craig Meadows, vice president of sales and marketing for 4M Parts Warehouse. Meadows joined the trip as a representative for all of the warehouse distributors. “Every event was perfect, the weather was great, and everyone was able to get a taste of some Texas culture. I met some awesome people who just so happened to be some of the best technicians in North America. With technology changing at a fast pace, our industry is lucky to have these guys keeping us moving.”
Finalists were selected by their Auto Value and Bumper to Bumper suppliers based on several criteria, including ASE certification, status as a Certified Service Center, training, personal biographies, and letters of recommendation.
“Every single one of these technicians are winners by virtue of being selected as a finalist from among nearly 3,800 service center locations which employ over 10,000 techs,” said JC Washbish, vice president of sales and marketing for Auto Value and Bumper to Bumper. “Their presence on this trip proves that they have distinguished themselves from their peers through education and training and that they’ve had a positive impact on their customers’ lives. A special congratulations to Mark, Jason, and Luis, who are all excellent representatives of the Auto Value and Bumper to Bumper brands.”
This training program is supported by the Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance, Inc., program group headquarters for Auto Value and Bumper to Bumper.
The event was sponsored by DRiV and its program Garage Gurus. Offering onsite, online and on-demand instruction, Garage Gurus is a first-of-its-kind national training platform designed to help front-line automotive service professionals keep pace with the latest vehicle technologies. State-of-the-art Garage Gurus technical education centers are operational in 12 U.S. markets – Atlanta; Baltimore; Boston; Chicago; Dallas/Fort Worth; Houston; New Hyde Park, New York; Rancho Dominguez, California; South Florida; St. Louis; Suburban Detroit; and Van Nuys, California.
2020 U.S. Technician of the Year Finalists