Auto Value Canadian 2020 Technician of the Year Jason Meilleur was awarded a custom belt buckle, $2,500 USD, and a trip to the 2020 Technician of the Year trip in San Antonio, TX, in recognition of his achievments.
Auto Value has named Jason Meilleur of River Park Automotive in Winnipeg, Manitoba the 2020 Canadian Technician of the Year.
Meilleur was selected from five Canadian finalists for his training efforts and automotive excellence. He was invited to a four-day trip in San Antonio, Texas with the Mexico Technician of the Year and the U.S. finalists Mar. 12-15, 2020, to honour his achievement.
River Park Automotive is an Auto Value Certified Service Center and customer of Piston Ring Service Supply.
“Piston Ring is very excited for Jason of River Park Automotive, here in Winnipeg, being awarded Canadian Tech of the Year,” said Melissa Tennant, who does marketing and events for Piston Ring. “Jason is very qualified in all aspects of his job and well-deserving of the award. Congratulations Jason!”
In addition to Meilleur, Auto Value also hosted the U.S. Technician of the Year Winner Mark Calzia of M.C. Tire & Automotive (an IWI Motor Parts CSC) in Moline, Ill.; the Mexican Technician of the Year Luis Alfredo Calles Rivas of Mecatec Express (a customer of Almex Refacciones) in Tamaulipas, Mexico; and the other U.S. finalists.
“It’s been an honour and a privilege to be considered for – let alone a winner of – the Auto Value Technician of the Year program,” Meilleur said. “The hospitality of Auto Value and the city of San Antonio is second to none. Myself and my comrades have been treated like royalty, a testament to Auto Value and Piston Ring’s commitment to the technician and the repair facility. My hats off to all the finalists and winners. Let’s pave the way for future generations of techs.”
The group flew into San Antonio on Thursday, Mar. 12, for a welcome reception and dinner at the Buckhorn Saloon and Museum. Friday, 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 technicians and guests were treated to brunch with a view at the 60-story high Tower of the Americas. Later that afternoon, all of the techs 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 winners and U.S. finalists took to the dirt and were presented with customized Auto Value Technician of the Year winner/finalist belt buckles. Meilleur and the other winners received special recognition.
“Wow! What a week in San Antonio! Auto Value rolled out the red carpet for the technicians of the year,” 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 that 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 suppliers based on several criteria, including Journeyman/Red Seal 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. “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 brand.”
This training program is supported by the Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance, Inc., program group headquarters for Auto Value.
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, N.Y.; Rancho Dominguez, Calif.; South Florida; St. Louis; Suburban Detroit; and Van Nuys, Calif.