701 Member To Represent North America In Global Mazda Competition

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image2Longtime Member Dan Gleason of CJ Wilson Mazda in Countryside, IL is one of only two technicians that will travel to Mazda Motor Corporation headquarters in Hiroshima, Japan to represent the Entire North American Continent in the Mazda Global Master Technician Competition. “Mazda has been incredibly good to me,” said Dan ” I have a ton of pride in what I do, and this competition is the best of the best, and I’ve always wanted to be part of it.”

In October of 2015, Dan competed against 6 other qualifying technicians from the Midwest Region in a contest held at Mazda’s regional offices in Schaumburg, IL. To qualify to enter the competition contestants first must become a Mazda Master Technician and complete an extensive and grueling online test. Mazda officials also look at technicians overall CSI score before allowing them to take place in the competition, Dan was s shoe in, placing first overall in the online portion and having a CSI score near 100%.

Dan went on to finish in first place in the regional competition, quite the feat alone considering Mazda has approximately 700 Master Certified Technicians in the Midwest Region. Having won the Regional Competition, Dan was able to move on the the North American Master Technician Competition held this past February at Mazda’s North American Headquarters.  At the North American competition, Dan was one of 8 competitors, one from each of the 5 regions in the United States and one each from Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico who faced-off to see who was the best on all of the North American Continent.image3

The competition in California was a tough one.  Each of the 8 contestants were issued repair orders that
addressed the same customer concern on 8 identically equipped Mazda vehicles that had been bugged.  The technician that fixed the concern the quickest and most efficiently would be the winner. Adding to the pressure of the competition, technicians also had an audience of nearly 200 top officials and engineers on hand to watch and the contestants were not simply left to work on their vehicles, they were interrupted to work on “waiters” or to “take a phone call from a customer”.

At the awards banquet held after the competition,  judges announced that Dan would be one of only two Technicians to move on to the Mazda Global Master Technician Competition in Hiroshima to be held in Early 2017.

“The competition it self was incredibly mentally difficult.” said Dan, “Afterwards, at the awards banquet I was so nervous I almost passed out. I felt very honored to even be a part of the competition, and doing well enough to go to Japan to compete against the rest of the world is humbling. Not too bad for a guy that just loves to fix cars!”

This is the second story of its kind in recent weeks, Local 701 posted a similar story about another Member, Greg Dubs of Gerald Kia who will be competing in Seoul, South Korea at the end of May for the Kia Skill World Cup. Click HERE for that story.

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“It’s  great to have our members recognized for the true professionals we are in our craft,” said Directing Business Representative Sam Cicinelli. “We are proud to have Dan as one of our members.”

“Dan really had the chance to show his knowledge of Mazda vehicles and his Mazda pride,” says Eric Vates, vice president of the CJ Wilson Mazda dealer group. “I could not be more proud! What an awesome achievement.”

We will update this story once Dan returns from the competition in Japan.

(c) 2016 Automobile Mechanics' Local 701 IAM&AW