McNeil’s Auto Care
2019 NAPA / ASE Technician of the Year
Jake Sorensen is the recipient of the 2019 NAPA/ASE Technician of the Year Award. Jake is an ASE Master Certified Technician, holding 14 ASE Certifications and 15 additional training qualifications. He serves as the Lead Technician at McNeil’s Auto Care in Sandy, UT.
Jake and Pete McNeil (owner of McNeil’s Auto Care) decided to embrace the idea of giving youth a path toward being a Technician. To educate that becoming a Technician is both gratifying and can be a rewarding career. They both feel the necessity for technicians is growing and with technology constantly changing, came the need for a new way of learning to adapt. So, they approached the local school districts, department of labor, Governor’s office and their NAPA Store.
Jake has volunteered his time, experience and expertise as an ASE Master Technician to build a "Technician Apprentice Program", which is approved and certified by the U.S. Department of Labor (D.O.L). He created the curriculum that includes the required hours and training (classroom, online & workshop) to be recognized by the D.O.L. Jake is an Instructor at CTEC Entrada/Canyons School District, where he teaches young men and women an introductory Automotive class. The class supports the beginning stages of their apprenticeship program and credits can be applied to the program if students decide to apply and are accepted after taking the course. Four out of the six apprentices that have been accepted into the program have become high performing technicians at McNeil’s Auto Care.
Jake’s greatest accomplishment is his wife Kelsy and two daughters. He is an avid hunter/outdoorsman, including boating, hiking, fishing. Loving the outdoors, Jake volunteers for a group, called Cast for Kids, that takes disadvantaged and disabled kids and families fishing. Jake said, “helping someone enjoy the nature in Utah, especially those that may not be able to without help, is a great feeling”. As you can see Jake Sorensen is very passionate about the overall success and future of our industry.
Dattco Sales & Service
New Britain, CT
2018 NAPA / ASE Technician of the Year
Ronnie King’s technical career began at his family’s Connecticut gas station. His local high school offered a good automotive shop program, and he continued his study in technical school. His first job gave him the opportunity to work on such a wide range of vehicles, he still thinks of himself as a problem-solver.
In 1995, he received his first ASE certifications and, a year later, his Master Truck Technician certification. Ronnie saw the value in this level of training and certification as the equivalent of professional licensing and he currently holds more than 20 ASE certifications, including IC bus Diamond Technician (Navistar), Cummins ISB overhaul and repair; and ASE Master Tech in bus, car and truck with L1 and L2.
Beyond training courses, Ronnie has raised the performance bar, winning numerous honors, including the ASE Blue Seal of Excellence Award; and the ASE Technical Committee Subject Matter Expert Award for the School Bus Diesel Engines (S2) Exam.
Looking at his personal achievements as an example, Ronnie advises others to “never stop training.” Online, hands-on, in-person, self-taught, reading trade magazines and keeping up with the latest tools are all important to the future of your company and the industry.
Ronnie takes his work seriously but he finds time to round-out his life by participating in a variety of local charity organizations including Rebuilding Together – New Britain, which helps to transform the lives of low-income homeowners, the Berlin Lions Club, and charity motorcycle rides.
2017 NAPA / ASE Technician of the Year
Jim is New Mexico's ASE Tech of the Year six years in a row and a previous National Top Five Nominee. His motto is "Do it right, or don't do it at all" and that mentality is what keeps him one step ahead. Jim opened his current location in 1986 with a reputation built on integrity, honesty and fairness. Jim makes accommodations for on-site training and other shops are invited to attend. They also offer Internships to a local high school as Senior Work Projects. Jim's Automotive is an ASE Blue Star Facility, ACDC Hybrid Certified, AAA Approved Repair Facility and a member of the NAPA Albuquerque Business Development Group. Jim has been on the Board of Directors for ASA-Central New Mexico and currently serves as President of the Association and has been instrumental in the success of many community based activities. He spends a great deal of his own time supporting various fund raising events. Jim is very passionate about our industry and works extremely hard to improve it.
Being the Technician of the Year is not just about the ASE Certifications that an individual possesses, it's about commitment and leadership to our industry and to NAPA and continued training beyond ASE. It's about hard work and going the extra mile.
A panel of former NAPA/ASE Technicians of the Year, automotive press editors and an ASE representative will select this year's winner. Entrants will be judged on:
Anyone is welcome to nominate a Technician they feel is deserving. We are accepting multiple nominations per NAPA Distribution Center. To enter, click Nominate Now and complete all six tabs of the Nomination information. It will allow you to save throughout the process and return at a later time to input additional information. Once all fields are completed, the Submit button will turn Green and you can make your nomination.