This year’s Auto Glass Week™ (AGW) competitions were fierce. From June 7-9, the country’s finest repair and replacement technicians, calibrators and customer service representatives battled inside the walls of the Orange County Convention Center. When the dust settled and the winners took their spots on stage, several rookies had ruled the day. Customer Service (CSR) Competition Grand Champion Jace Geffken of Transparency Auto Glass in Garner, N.C., was one such first timer.
“I’ve never competed before—this is my first time in any event,” Geffken said. “I’ve got [some] bragging rights because my fellow technicians have competed on the auto glass technician side and haven’t won yet, so I get to hold this over their head a little bit.”
First time competitor Mark Rogers, Mel’s Auto Glass, Cincinnati, Ohio, was the Calibration Competition’s Grand Champion.
“It was tough,” Rogers said. “The guys I went up against are really good, and I didn’t think that I was going to get it, but I’m here.”
First-time competitor Jorge Sandoval, KD Auto Glass, Moreno Valley, Calif., shared what are sure to be relatable thoughts among competitors after snagging silver in the Pilkington Clear Advantage Automotive Glass Technician Competition (AGTO).
“It was a really stressful situation for the last three weeks,” Sandoval said. “It was just about getting to the floor—that’s where I wanted to be at.”
But rookies weren’t the only standouts in Orlando. A 2019 AGTO Gold Medalist, Macenzie Curbow, Novus Glass, Kennewick, Wash., returned to defend his first-place title. Now, he’s a back-to-back champion.
“Every year, the best part about this is that you come back and try to do better than you did the year before, [and] you try to improve on your skills,” Curbow said. “I think it’s great because we all push each other to be better, and I think this industry needs that—it needs more of it.”
AGTO Bronze Medalist James Chapman, Richardson Glass Service, Inc., Newark, Ohio, echoed Curbow’s sentiment.
“Every technician that came out was just so skilled,” Chapman said. “All of these [competitors] are people I respect and watch. The skill level that they bring—the professionalism, customer service and the organization of tools. It’s just all wonderful to see. And it actually helps me step my game up.”
AGW 2021 is in the books, but our coverage continues. Starting today, glassBYTEs.com/AGRR magazine will begin featuring interviews with each of AGW’s 2021 winners, in alphabetical order by last names. Click here to watch the first video, which features 2021 Pilkington Clear Advantage Automotive Glass Technician Competition (AGTO) Bronze Medalist James Chapman, Richardson Glass Service, Inc., Newark, Ohio.