The technician finalists for Safelite’s Best of Belron competition will soon be in New Orleans and facing off for the title of best technician nationwide.
Meet six of the 12 competitors who will be trying to prove their skills Wednesday:
Mid South Division Champion
Pascal Barone is excited for his fellow competitors to get a taste of life in his hometown of New Orleans.
“I plan on showing the competitors a good time,” he said. “I’m excited to meet everyone and welcome them to the area.”
Technician manager Allen Mayer has served as Barone’s trainer throughout the competitive process. Mayer said Pascal is a very self-motivated technician.
“He comes to us and asks what he can do to help out market get better and expand his knowledge about the business,” Mayer said. “His future with us looks very bright.”
Pacific Division Champion
After receiving an honorable mention at the 2010 Safelite’s Best of Belron, Aaron Bowden returns this year with an eye on the title.
Bowden has more than a decade of experience as a Safelite technician and thinks his previous competition experience set his personal bar even higher. While he may or may not perform better than at his previous competition, he feels the need to prove himself.
“It’s less pressure and a lot of pressure at the same time,” he said. “It’s a weird position to be in. I personally feel better about the competition aspect, having done it before but I feel there is more pressure on me to win than last year. People are expecting me to win.”
Southern Cal Division Champion
While training for the competition, Brad Dedmon worked with Aaron Thrasher, a technician manager from the San Diego market. Thrasher praised Dedmon’s skill level.
“I had the opportunity to spend some time with (Dedmon) in preparation for the national competition,” Thrasher said. “I have been in the industry for over 23 years and feel that as a tech manager I would be thrilled to have him in my market.”
Thrasher said Dedmon sets a great example for the other technicians in his work ethic and willingness to share his knowledge and experience.
Rockies Division Champion
Fort Collins, Colo.
Earlier this year, competing in New Orleans at Safelite’s Best of Belron competition was the furthest thing from Todd Dull’s mind.
“I was having severe headaches that eventually turned into back and neck pain that was impacting my job performance,” Dull said. “I went and saw a doctor and next thing I know – brain surgery.”
When Dull returned to work, he hadn’t put much thought into entering Safelite’s Best of Belron® competition, but his managers hoped he would still be interested.
“I’m glad I entered,” he said. “it’s been an awesome experience so far and it’s giving me a lot to look forward to. I really did want to see if I had what it takes. Apparently I do. It’s been a crazy year.”
Midwest Division Champion
Store manager Ambrose Moser thinks Adam Guetzkow’s system and speedy work rate will help him succeed at the competition.
“I think Adam will win the national competition if he continues to refine his installation skills,” Moser said. “He has a great system and is highly energetic. His speed may create a lot of pressure for the other technicians.“
Adam said after his win at the division level, he’s prepared for the small details that can be the difference between winning and losing. During the divisional, judges intentionally gave him the incorrect work order to see how he would handle the situation.
“It is things like that, that I have to keep an eye out for,” he said. “That is the type of thing you take for granted in your day-to-day job. You just assume it is right.”
Moser added that Adam’s personality will also give him an advantage in the competition, “His ability to improvise makes him a great tech. He never feels defeated and thrives on taking on challenging jobs.”
North Atlantic Division Champion
Josh Henry joined Safelite two years ago after working for a computer company. While the competition will be tough in New Orleans, he says that winning the North Atlantic was a boost of confidence.
“I was going up against legitimate veterans of this trade,” he said. “I’ve only been doing this for two years. But then I would catch a glimpse at someone making a mistake on a part that I already finished and I kept feeling better.”
Mike Napoli, Monroe, N.Y. store manager, said Josh’s determination reflects the Hudson Valley market’s drive for success. “We wish him the best of luck and have total confidence in his performance at the next competition.”