Michael Ballard, Technician of the YearRick G. Ballard from Hurricane, Utah received the Technician of the Future award, sponsored by Mitchell 1 and the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), during a ceremony that took place on Nov. 19, 2009 in New Orleans, La. Ballard earned this prestigious honor from a candidate pool of over 185,000 qualifiers. As featured in AfterMarketNews.com and MotorAge.

“We’d like to congratulate Rick on being named the ASE Technician of the Future,” said Karen Wagner, senior marketing manager, Mitchell 1. “We are very proud of Rick’s accomplishments as it demonstrates his commitment to being the best automotive technician he can be. We wish Rick the very best – we know he will be successful in his future endeavors.”

Ballard has been an automotive technician for three years and an ASE Master Technician for one year. He is employed as an automotive technician at Cache Valley Advantage Automotive, located in Logan, Utah. Ballard took courses at Dixie State College in St. George, Utah in the automotive repair program as a high school student, which included electric car conversion. He graduated from the Toyota T-Ten program through Weber State University in Ogden, Utah in May 2009.

His accomplishments include:
• Toyota T-Ten Student of the Year at Weber State University
• Skills USA VICA – first place at the state competition and second place at the national competition in power equipment technology
• Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills – first place at the state competition and seventh place at the national competition
• Regional Sterling Scholar in Trade and Technical Education

Ballard decided to become an automotive technician because since the time that he was small, he has loved inventing and fixing things with his two brothers and father. Ballard’s father played a big role in that decision as he is a technician himself and exposed his son early on to the world of automotive repair. His father has been his main tutor in his training and development as a technician, and his mother and sister have always been very supportive in all his major projects. Now, Ballard’s wife shows support and interest in all of his endeavors and accomplishments.

“Being a technician is something that I’ve always wanted to do, and being ASE certified has made it possible to be considered for hire in many different job positions and achieve a high standard of knowledge,” said Ballard.

Outside of his work, Ballard enjoys inventing things, four wheeling, building go-carts and learning how things work. He lived in El Salvador for two years and speaks fluent Spanish.

About the Author

Jill Schafer

Jill Schafer is the Marketing Communication Manager at Mitchell 1 and has over 20 years of marketing experience with high-technology organizations, including over 10 years in the automotive information industry.