PHOENIX — The TechForce Foundation has selected the category winners in the 2023 Techs Rock Awards and opened public voting for the grand-prize winner.
The awards honor professional technicians who are full of passion and grit, exhibit true excellence in their work and inspire the next generation of techs, according to TechForce.
The public can view the category winners and vote for the grand-prize winner at TechForce.org/Vote through June 16.
The five category winners were selected from hundreds of nominated technicians by expert celebrity judges, including Bogi Lateiner of Bogi's Garage; Harrison Burton of Wood Brothers Racing; Emily Reeves of Flying Sparks Garage; Pete Meier of Dorman Products; and Camrie Caruso of Camrie Caruso Motorsports.
More than $18,500 in prizes will be awarded to this year's honorees:
Each of the five category winners receives prizes valued at more than $1,900 from TechForce partners Advance Auto Parts, AutoZone, Cengage Learning, CRC Industries, Ford Motor Co., Nissan, Snap-on Industrial and WD-40 Co.
The grand-prize winner also will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to STX 2024 in Nashville, Tenn., valued at $3,000, courtesy of Advance Auto Parts; and additional prizes valued at $6,000 from AutoZone Inc., CRC Industries Americas Group, Ford Motor Co., Nissan North America Inc., Snap-on Inc. and WD-40.
The category winners are:
- Jinelee Galindez, a lube technician with Mercedes Benz of South Orlando in Kissimmee, Fla., rookie of the year, a category that recognizes up-and-coming tech professionals with under two years' professional experience.
- Bradley Hindman, owner of Mission Auto Repair in Winchester, Va., the pay-it-forward category, which recognizes technicians for being a community advocate and inspiring the next generation of techs.
- James Jacobsen, a master technician for Lake Motor Co. in Devils Lake, N.D., the outstanding mentor. This category recognizes technicians for providing support and guidance to the industry's future techs.
- Bryan Kuehni, a world class technician at Advantage Chevrolet Bolingbrook in Minooka, Ill., the Die Hard category, which recognizes industry superfans who live, breathe, sleep and thrive in their career.
- Riley Schlick-Trask, owner of Riley's Rebuilds in Bradenton, Fla., the Barrier Buster category, which recognizes technicians for showing heart and passion in overcoming obstacles to succeed, according to TechForce.
Since 2018 the Techs Rock Awards have awarded more than $46,000 in prizes to 20 professional technicians in recognition of their excellence, passion and commitment to driving the future of the mobility industry.
"Technicians will shape our future, and the Techs Rock Awards are made possible by TechForce donors who help shape theirs," the foundation said.
In addition to providing prizes, Nissan is co-sponsoring the 2023 Techs Rock Awards to help TechForce celebrate all technicians' contributions throughout the country and the industry.
The Techs Rock Awards are part of TechForce's workforce development campaign to inspire and support tomorrow's workforce of technicians.