Guess Who is a New AAM!

Guess Who is a New AAM!

Have you ever been surprised when someone unexpectedly told you that you had made a difference in their life? I was fortunate enough to have one of those moments last week while I was in Detroit, Mich. Thought I’d share this very cool story here, as it’s about one person working hard to achieve a big goal.

In addition to staffing our Mitchell 1 booth at NACE/CARS, I was also in Detroit for my role as Vice Chair of the Automotive Management Institute (AMI) Board of Trustees — to attend the ceremony celebrating the 20th graduating class of Accredited Automotive Managers (AAMs). The AAM designation is very prestigious in automotive circles; it’s earned by successfully completing AMI-approved coursework and 120 credits of management education.

While manning the booth, I recognized Steve Steeb from Ann Arbor, Mich., (Manager SE user and past management workshop attendee), as he dropped by to say hello. We hadn’t seen each other in a good while and had a nice chat, but he never mentioned that he was to be part of the AMI graduation event later that evening. After he left, something in the looping tradeshow video running in our booth caught my eye and I paused it. It was footage from our 2011 shop management workshop held in Las Vegas, and ironically there was Steve in the front row! He was seen in a couple of brief clips that I had selected to show the workshop experience. These segments had already played half a dozen times but I hadn’t even noticed he was in them until moments after he had physically been standing right in front of me!

Steve, center, in a still shot from the 2011 shop management workshop video footage

After the CARS show wrapped up, I headed over to the Henry Ford Museum where the AMI graduation would take place. I did see some folks in caps and gowns who had been rehearsing for the ceremony. After the Automotive Service Association (ASA) “Celebration of Excellence” reception, we all made our way into the theater for the graduation.

As I scanned for a place to sit, I now saw that Steve Steeb was there in his cap and gown, to be one of the graduates. I smiled, shook his hand and said “Good for you! Congratulations on getting this accomplished.” Then he leaned in and said, “Your class helped make all this possible.” I was very moved by hearing this, in fact, blown away.

Teachers are probably used to hearing this kind of thing. As Mitchell 1’s national training manager, I’m fortunate to also teach live at our management workshops, and it’s one of my favorite parts of my job. You always hope that you transmit something of value. So, it was really great to run into Steve and hear that the training I help deliver truly made a positive impact on his career. Of course, it was Steve’s hard work, talent, and diligence that got him to the AAM designation. But if we at Mitchell 1 had even the smallest part in helping him get there, I consider that a huge honor. Congratulations again, Steve!

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About the Author

Tim McDonnell

Tim McDonnell first joined Mitchell 1 in 1985 and is a senior product marketing manager for Manager SE. He has experience with various Mitchell 1 products and is the company’s primary media developer for product training assets and a subject matter expert in shop management software and other Mitchell 1 products. He also served as the Vice-Chair of the AMI Board of Trustees from 2009-2015. He is also the “voice of Mitchell 1” – you’ll hear him on the recorded message when you call the Mitchell 1 office.