Volume 9, Issue 4 - August/September 2007

Top Gun 
Technicians Compete for “Best of the Best” Title

Everyone would like to be the best at his/her profession. From doctors to sales managers to the kid in the McDonald’s drive-thru to fighter pilots like Tom Cruise in “Top Gun,” everyone wants to be the best. But likely, their professions don’t have an annual “Olympics” in which they compete for the title of “The Best.” 

Fortunately, you do. This fall, the Third Annual Auto Glass Technician Olympics (AGTO) and the Second Annual Walt Gorman Memorial Windshield Repair Olympics (WRO) will be held in Las Vegas in early November. Both events will be held at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in conjunction with Auto Glass Week™ in Las Vegas, which also includes the annual Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standards (AGRSS) Conference, the annual National Windshield Repair Association (NWRA) Conference, the Auto Glass Expo @ NACE and the Independent Glass Association’s (IGA) Fall Conference.

The AGTO will be run November 2-3, and the WRO will run November 1.

Inside the Auto Glass Technician Olympics
The AGTO is co-sponsored by the Independent Glass Association (IGA) and AGRR magazine. In addition, at press time corporate sponsors included Shat-R-Proof, Dow Automotive, Mygrant Glass, A.N. Designs, Equalizer Industries, GTS, Mainstreet Computers Inc. and Sika. In order to enter the competition, you must meet the following qualifications:

  • You must currently be employed as a technician in a bona fide operating auto glass company;
  • You must have at least one-year experience as a technician in the auto glass industry; and
  • You must follow the current AGRSS Standard.

The first-place winner in the AGTO will receive $5,000, a gold medal and trophy, as well as bragging rights as the “World’s Best Auto Glass Technician.” In addition, the first-place winner’s company will be awarded extensive media coverage and press releases sent on its behalf, use of the AGTO winner logo on stationery, business cards and advertising for one year and use of the 2007 AGTO logo for an unlimited time and a congratulations ad. A congratulations ad and coverage of the victor and his company also will appear in AGRR magazine.

The second-place winner will receive $1,000 as well as a silver medal and third will receive $500 and a bronze medal.

Contestants must register by September 20, 2007. Entry into the competition is $275 for IGA members and technicians from AGRSS-registered companies, and $750 for non-IGA members and non-AGRSS registered companies. To view the competition as a spectator, pre-registration costs $40 for adults, $20 for children. (After September 20, it will cost $50 for adult spectators, $35 for children.)

For more information or to register, visit www.autoglassolympics.com.

Inside the Windshield Repair Olympics
The WRO is co-sponsored by the National Windshield Repair Association (NWRA) and AGRR magazine. At press time, corporate sponsors included GlasWeld and Glazex. In order to enter the WRO, you must meet the following qualifications:

  • You must currently be employed as a technician in a bona fide auto glass repair company; and
  • You must have at least one-year experience as a technician in the auto glass industry.

The first-place winner will receive $1,000, a gold medal and trophy, as well as bragging rights as the “World’s Best Repair Technician” and the same coverage and logo rights as the winning replacement company. 

The second-place winner will receive $500 as well as a silver medal and third will receive $250 and a bronze medal.

Contestants must register by September 20, 2007. Entry into the competition is $175 for NWRA members and $375 for non-NWRA members. To view the competition as a spectator, pre-registration costs $40 for adults, $20 for children. (After September 20, it will cost $50 for adult spectators, $35 for children.)

For more information or to register, visit www.repairolympics.com.

Feeding the Flame
Companies Around the World Hold Regional Competitions Leading Up to the AGTO and WRO

In the months leading up to the Auto Glass Technician Olympics and Windshield Repair Olympics in Vegas, many auto glass companies, suppliers and associations are holding their own competitions—and then sending those contestants to the Olympics as part of their prize.

The Glass Dealers Association of Saskatchewan Inc. (GDAS) held one of the earliest of these on May 12. Brendan Pecard of Novus Auto Glass in Regina, Saskatchewan, took first place, and will now be heading to Las Vegas in November for the international olympics. 

According to Peter Galesloot, executive director of GDAS, there were nine participants in the competition from shops throughout the province. Participants were judged based on the guidelines of the Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standard (AGRSS)—as the international competition will be as well.

This was the first time Pecard, who has been installing auto glass for 10 years and who currently serves as foreman at Novus’s Regina location, has competed in such a competition. While he admits to studying the score sheets to make sure he included all of the necessary steps for the competition, he notes that he has been training regularly for the competition in his daily work at Novus.

“If you do it properly all the time, it should be second nature to you,” Pecard says.

Cindy Rowe Auto Glass also has an annual competition for its company—and has done so since the international AGTO’s inception, according to Kirk Reed, director of operations for the Harrisburg, Pa.-based company. Reed says anyone in the company who wants to compete in the competition is able, and all those who choose to compete are subjected to a 2-page written exam based on the details of AGRSS.

Normally, Reed says about 10 to 15 people take the exam, and then four to six are picked for the international competition. The actual competition includes both a customer service portion and an installation portion, just like the international event, and the company videotapes both portions for judging.

Judges include both Cindy Rowe employees and outside sources, such as vendor and supplier reps for the company.When planning a competition, Reed offers this advice.

“Get your vendors involved,” he says. “We get our urethane supplier heavily involved with us to get the people prepared, to help with the testing and to help with the judging.”

Likewise, Reed says the competition is good for employee morale for all who compete—not just the winners.

“It only makes you a better company to have installers follow the AGRSS Standard and it’s a good way to not only let your company know you’re behind AGRSS, but it’s a good educational program as well,” Reed says.

However, feeder competitions are not the only way to go about entering the competitions. Tee Thompson of Star/Superglass Windshield Repair in Albuquerque, N.M., also took the initiative to enter the WRO on his own. Thompson took home first place in the WRO last year.

“I was planning on going to the convention and the WRO really peaked my interest because I’ve always wanted to compete in something like that,” Thompson says. 


AGRR
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