Simon Ward from Dayton, OH, received the Technician of the Future award, sponsored by Mitchell 1 and the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), during a ceremony on Nov. 17 as part of the ASE Board Meeting & Technician Recognition Awards held in Scottsdale, AZ. Ward earned this prestigious honor from a total technician candidate pool of close to 400,000 certified professionals.
“We’d like to congratulate Simon on being named the ASE Technician of the Future,” said Karen Wagner, senior marketing manager, Mitchell 1. “We are very proud of Simon’s accomplishments as it demonstrates his commitment to being the best automotive technician he can be. We wish Simon the very best we know he will be successful in his future endeavors.”
Ward is an ASE Certified Master Technician who has worked in the field for four years. He has been employed at Preferred Fleet Services in Dayton, Ohio for the past three years. Ward received an associate of applied sciences degree in automotive technology from Sinclair Community College in Dayton in June 2010 and a bachelor of arts degree in psychology, with a minor in philosophy, from the University of Colorado in Boulder in Dec. 2004.
Ward decided to become an automotive technician because he has been around racing his entire life. He was introduced to racing by his parents at two weeks of age. Growing up, Ward and his dad frequented all the local race tracks, including the Indy 500 every year since 1984, and he supported his dad’s brief experience in amateur Sport Car Club of America (SCCA) racing. He also spent a lot of time watching his grandfather work as a machinist, as well as complete carpentry, plumbing, electrical and automotive repairs.
After Ward graduated from college he got an office job, but he did not feel satisfied in his new career. He realized that he wasn’t meant to sit behind a desk. Ward then moved from Colorado to Ohio where he began spending more time at the race track. At the time, he was also working for Rindler Landscaping, where his boss realized he had a knack for fixing engines and allowed him to learn on his equipment.
“I feel very fortunate to work for Gary Madden, a six-time Master Certified Technician, at Preferred Fleet,” said Ward. “He gave me an opportunity early in my schooling and allowed me to complete my internship in his shop. During the past three years with Preferred Fleet, I have gained an immense amount of automotive knowledge, and everyday I continue to realize how much there is still to learn.”
Outside of work, Ward and his brother, Colin, are finishing up the complete build of a Ford Mustang SCCA Improved Touring car, including fabricating the roll cage, machining and rebuilding the engine. The car recently completed its initial technical inspection with full certification of the roll cage. Ward is currently competing in SCCA autocross and rallycross. He’s looking forward to regional competition in 2011.
For more information on Mitchell 1 products and services, automotive professionals can visit the company’s website at www.mitchell1.com.