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TechForce opens grand-prize voting and announces category winners in 4th Annual Techs Rock Awards

Five techs recognized for outstanding contributions as role models in their shops and communities, one to be selected by the public for grand prize

Phoenix—TechForce Foundation has announced the category winners in the 2022 Techs Rock Awards and has opened the grand-prize public vote. TechForce created the award in 2018 to honor professional technicians who mentor and inspire the next generation of techs, bring excellence to their workplaces and communities, and demonstrate passion and commitment to the profession. Meet the category winners and vote for the grand-prize winner at Voting is open through 11:59 p.m. PT on Friday, Dec. 2.

The five category winners represent less than 1 percent of the nearly 700 technicians nominated. Winners were selected by a panel of expert celebrity judges including Emily Reeves, Flying Sparks Garage; Charles Sanville, The Humble Mechanic; Bogi Lateiner, Bogi’s Garage; Pete Meier, Motor Age Magazine; and Julia Landauer, Julia Landauer Racing.

Since 2018 technicians have received more than $27,000 in prizes. More than $17,500 in prizes are being awarded in the 2022 Techs Rock Awards:

  • Each category winner receives prizes valued more than $1,700 from TechForce partners including Ford Motor Company, AutoZone, CRC Industries, Snap-on Industrial, Advance Auto Parts, WD-40 Company and Cengage.
  • The grand-prize winner will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to STX 2024 in Orlando, Fla., valued at $3,000 courtesy of Advance Auto Parts, along with an additional prize package valued at over $5,500 from TechForce partners CRC Industries, Ford Motor Company, Snap-on Industrial, Advance Auto Parts, WD-40 Company and AutoZone.

Each category winner represents a distinct category. Awardees include:

  • Barrier Buster — Daniel McCrum, Carmax. The Barrier Buster category recognizes technicians for showing heart and passion in overcoming obstacles to succeed.
  • Die Hard — Joshua Ferrantino, Rodman Ford. The Die Hard category recognizes industry superfans who live, breathe, sleep, and thrive in their career.
  • Outstanding Mentor — Frank Mendoza, Flow Nissan and NASCAR Technical Institute. The Outstanding Mentor category recognizes techs for providing support and guidance to the industry’s future technicians.
  • Pay it Forward — Zachary Carlsen, Northern Auto Repair. The Pay it Forward category recognizes technicians for being a community advocate and inspiring the next generation of techs.
  • Rookie of the Year — Kael Gortat, Carmax. The Rookie of the Year category recognizes up-and-coming tech professionals with under two years’ professional experience.

The grand prize will be awarded to one category winner, as selected by the ongoing grand-prize public vote. Voting ends Friday, Dec. 2, at 11:59 p.m. PT. Read the category winners’ bios and vote for the 2022 grand-prize winner at

The Techs Rock Awards are part of TechForce’s workforce development campaign to inspire and support tomorrow’s workforce of technicians. TechForce also created the first and only social network designed and gamified for professional technicians and tech students to connect with each other, employers and schools ( The transportation community is supporting it with content and using it to learn, connect, find events, and explore job opportunities while competing for prizes and leaderboard status.

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