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Michigan shop owners and Minnesota tech take home annual awards

AAPEX awards recognized the shop owners and technician, as well as a Northwest service advisor, judged by a panel of industry experts

Las Vegas—AAPEX 2021 recently announced winners of the second annual service and repair awards that recognize and elevate the essential services provided by shop owners, technicians and service advisors to keep the motoring public on the road, even during challenging times.

AAPEX Shop Owner of the Year

The recipients of the AAPEX Shop Owner of the Year award are Jamie and Eric Carlson, co-owners of Ervine’s Auto Repair and Grand Rapids Hybrid and EV, Grand Rapids, Mich. With 28 years in business, Eric Carlson is an ASE Certified Master Technician (A1-A8) and L1 Automobile Advanced Engine Performance, L3 Light Duty Hybrid/Electric Vehicle certification.

His technical skill, vision and drive have kept the shop evolving along with technological advancements in the industry, which included the opening of Grand Rapids Hybrid and EV about 10 years ago. 

Jamie Carlson has two primary goals that drive her efforts in advertising, customer service, recruiting and HR: to ensure all motorists, knowledgeable or not about their vehicle, can rest assured they have professionals who are looking out for their best interest; and to elevate the status of the professionals who choose a career in this industry.

Ervine’s Auto Repair and Grand Rapids Hybrid and EV are members of several industry organizations, including the Auto Care Association. The Carlsons are involved in WorldPac Smart Groups and Women In Auto Care, and are mentors of the Young Auto Care Network Group (YANG). They also serve on the board of Grand Rapids Community College’s Automotive Steering Committee.

Matt Fanslow, lead diagnostician, shop manager

AAPEX Technician of the Year

The recipient of the AAPEX Technician of the Year award is Matt Fanslow, lead diagnostician and shop manager at Riverside Automotive, Red Wing, Minn. He has a 27-year background in the automotive industry and is an ASE Master Certified Technician (A1-A8) and an L1 Automobile Advanced Engine Performance Specialist. 

Fanslow invests 80-plus hours a year in training and hundreds of hours of additional reading and research of SAE documents and journals. He also has his own podcast, “Matt Fanslow Diagnosing the Aftermarket A to Z.”

“It is humbling to think that anyone would think to nominate me, and very much an honor. Winning is somewhat difficult to wrap my head around as there are so many deserving technicians in the field who remain in the shadows to the rest of the profession. One doesn’t achieve recognition or awards all by themselves. The list of people who have helped me and continue to help me along the way is very, very long and I so very much appreciate all of them,” said Fanslow.

Brittany Schindler, service manager

AAPEX Service Advisor of the Year

The AAPEX Service Advisor of the Year was awarded to Brittany Schindler, service manager at Rod’s Japanese Auto Care, Bellingham, Wash. Schindler has been in the industry for 11 years and has earned the ASE C1 Service Consultant Certification. She annually completes 100 hours of training, has trained multiple service advisors and teaches at the Automotive Training Institute (ATI).

“Wow, I am absolutely honored to receive this amazing award. I was a little speechless when I received the call telling me that I won. This is a huge, huge deal for me — I mean this is AAPEX. I am so excited that I get to always have this title under my belt. Thank you to my dad, my coaches and my mentors. I wouldn’t be the service advisor I am today without them,” said Schindler.

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.

This year’s award-winners will be recognized during the AAPEX Keynote Session on Nov. 2 at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas.

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