Last week, Butler Acura Master Technician Chris May competed in Acura’s TOPTECH regional final. We couldn’t be prouder of him; as we described in our blog a few weeks ago, just making it to the regional stage of the competition means that we have the privilege of working with one of the 8 most skilled Acura technicians on the West Coast.
Yet, as we suspected, Chris was not destined to simply be one of 8 contestants flown to Acura’s American headquarters in Torrance, California. Of the 150 Master Technicians in our region, Chris came in second, falling just short of representing our region in the national finals.
We spoke with Chris about his experience in Torrance, and he outlined a weekend to remember. After being provided with a dinner, reception, and a tour of Acura’s Tech Line facility, where dealership technicians call when they encounter a problem they’ve never seen before, Chris prepared for the coming day of competition.
The TOPTECH final featured eight different stations. Technicians had 20 minutes at each station to diagnose the cause of 8 different problems, ranging from bearing size to faulty transmissions to a particularly difficult proximity key malfunction. Scores and answers were never revealed, but at the end of the day, Chris came in 2nd to a technician who was a runner up himself last year.
Chris’ success hasn’t gotten to his head, but he returned to us from California emboldened and more confident in his work. “Getting the opportunity to even compete was the hard part,” Chris said, referring to the difficult multiple choice test required to qualify for the competition. “I’m rooting for the guy who won to win [the national final],” Chris said, “he’s in our zone, he’s a really nice guy. Of course I wanted to win, but I was half the age of anyone there, so I was really surprised. It was awesome.”
Chris takes pride in doing his work well, but doesn’t generally think of himself as being a world-class technician. He is still as humble as ever after his trip to Acura HQ, but says he has come back more confident in his abilities. “I still can’t be cocky,” he said, “but now maybe I can be a little cocky every once in a while.”
We’re honored to have Chris on our team, and can hardly wait for next year, because we feel a little cocky about Chris’s 2016 TOPTECH chances!