AAPEX announced Tuesday the winners of the third annual Service and Repair Awards that recognize and elevate the essential services provided by shop owners, service advisors and technicians to keep the motoring public on the road.
AAPEX awarded Shop Owner of the Year to Kristi Hudson, Donnie Hudson and Frank Hudson, Troy Auto Care, Troy, Michigan. The AAPEX Technician of the Year was awarded to Brandon Sadler, Shop Foreman, American Pride Automotive, Williamsburg, Virginia, while the AAPEX Service Advisor of the Year Award went to Ray Christensen, J&L Automotive, Alpine, Utah.
As Shop Owner of the Year, Kristi’s love for cars began in high school in auto shop class. Today, Kristi, along with her husband Donnie and brother-in-law Frank, run three locations. With Kristi’s leadership, the family business, which also includes a 25+ vehicle towing and road service business, has seen double digit increases in business year over year.
The shop is a NAPA Auto Care Center – Gold Certified, an ASE Blue Certified Shop and a AAA Approved Auto Repair business. Kristi is active in several industry associations, including the Auto Care Association, participates in the Northern Detroit NAPA Business Development Group and is a board member at the Oakland Technical Education Campus. She is a board member for the Jenna Kast Believe In Miracles foundation, a local charity that grants wishes to children with life threatening illnesses. The Troy Auto Family also is active in the community, sponsoring teams and travel abroad programs at the local high schools.
“We are all both humbled and honored beyond words to have received this award,” said Kristi, Donnie and Frank.
As the AAPEX Technician of the Year, Sadler started as an apprentice and progressed to a technician within six months. From there, he became the company’s top producing technician, then foreman and most recently, service director, running one of the stores as his own. He brings strong theoretical knowledge and real-world intelligence, coupled with a positive attitude and command of all research tools, to his position. As a year-round baseball player in high school, Sadler brings his “Athlete’s Attitude” to work, knowing well that the employees are all on one team and will win together.
“It feels great to be acknowledged for something that I have put much effort into. Not often do we as Technicians get praised for what we do, no matter how difficult or extensive our job gets. I am truly honored,” said Sadler.
As the AAPEX Service Advisor of the Year, Christensen has been in the industry for 30 years and in the service advisor role for 20 years. He has a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University and holds five ASE certifications, as well as the ASE C1 Service Consultant certification. He engages in more than 100 hours of training annually, either in person, online or self-directed. Christensen stays on top of his game as a service writer and employee by always having a positive mindset and always going the extra mile for customers and technicians.
“It is such an honor to be recognized by such a prestigious organization! Thank you,” said Christensen.
Nominees for the AAPEX Service and Repair Awards were judged by an independent panel of shop owners and industry leaders. Nominees were evaluated based on their commitment to training and ASE certification; local, community, charitable and industry involvement; diagnostic, teamwork and mentoring skills; and personal and professional qualities.
The award-winners were recognized and honored during Tuesday’s Keynote Session at The Venetian Expo in Las Vegas.
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