All nine customer service representatives and 12 technicians have arrived in New Orleans and will be participating in the starting events for Safelite’s Best of Belron. The CSRs will begin with a preliminary briefing and quiz, and the techs will be tested through a quiz, customer service and mystery challenges.
Before all the excitement kicks off, we wanted to highlight the final six competitors in the technician portion and wish everyone good luck!
Ohio Valley Division Champion
When your trade requires the precision of vehicle glass repair and replacement, patience is a virtue.
Bob Hosta hopes patience will give him an edge over the competition at Safelite’s Best of Belron national competition.
“I remember one woman commented on how she would love to have me work on her windows because I was acting so calm under the pressure,” Hosta said. “It was encouraging to hear people commenting on my pace.”
South Division Champion
For technician Jade Martin, Safelite is a family business. His father and brother are both associates.
Maybe that explains why with only three years of experience, Martin was able to keep his cool during the South Division competition.
“(At the division level) it becomes more of a mental competition and Jade is a very relaxed and confident technician,” said Charlotte general manager Don Overbaugh.
Martin said he was surprised to find out how calm he was able to stay during the competition.
“I’m not really that excitable of a person. I was able to keep calm the entire day,” he said. “That’s going to help at nationals, I think.”
Jason Mayfield posted a score to qualify him as the Wildcard entrant – the highest score of any competitor who did not win a Division event.
Cheyenne, Wyo. store manager Austin Meyer, said Mayfield is a true asset to the organization.
“One thing that sets Jason apart from the other techs is his drive to take service and knowledge to the next level,” Meyer said. “Whatever the outcome of his journey, I’m sure he will set the standard and be a challenge to the other competitors.”
Mayfield said he’s learned through this entire process to never take anything for granted – including the competition.
“There are a lot of little things that you assume to be right in your day-to-day jobs,” he said. “The competition makes you look at every aspect of the job.”
Northwest Division Champion
Salt Lake City
After his honorable mention finish at Safelite’s Best of Belron in 2010, Salt Lake City technician Brandon Rene thinks he has something to prove in 2012.
“It really has been the bane of my existence for the last year or so,” the returning Northwest Division champion said. “It really bothered me when I lost and now that I have the chance to prove myself again, I’m going to take full advantage. This is truly my opportunity to get closure on 2010. What happens this year was meant to happen.”
Rene’s technician manager, Stanley Gaillard, has seen Brandon through the highs and lows of the past two years. Gaillard said he is confident Rene will win in New Orleans. “I know Brandon will excel at nationals this time because he has become a stronger tech and more aware of his surroundings. I think this is his year.”
Riebesehl’s victory in the South Atlantic competition in Orlando was no surprise to Orlando-area manager Jon Laski, who recalled when Riebesehl drove from Orlando to Miami at 4:30 p.m. on a Friday to install a windshield at 9:30 p.m.
“That’s when I kind of knew what I had in Gary,” Laski said. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked him to go above and beyond and he always answers the call. He’s very determined.”
Riebesehl won three of the five categories in this year’s South Atlantic Division competition after narrowly missing a trip to the national competition in 2010.
“I’ve been thinking about it for two years,” he said. “I’m more familiar with the process this time around. I did the worst in door glass so that’s been a focus. I don’t do as many of those out in the field. And time is important. I have to speed it up a bit. In the field there’s no real restriction.”
Southwest Division Champion
Though Stakes has less than two years of experience with Safelite, he was able to train with a 2010 competitor.
“I wanted to compete but I didn’t qualify since I had just been hired on. I trained along side the tech that entered from my area so I would be ready for this year,” he said.
That seemed to serve him well now that he is heading to nationals.
“He works well under pressure and is able to tune out the surroundings and focus on his processes,” Spriet said. “The sky is the limit for Mike. He seems to be a natural, with the job coming easy to him.”