John Bridgwater always wanted to know, “What makes it go?” At age five he took apart a mechanical adding machine just to see how it worked. Growing up, his father would work on the family van and John would always be by his side asking questions and learning everything he could. Today John Bridgwater and his wife own Wright’s Automotive Service in San Leandro, CA.
It all started with an extra credit high school project.
In high school John got a job with a local tire company, not for money but for high school credit and for the experience. He got his first paying job in the industry in 1987 working for a chain store. His manager took him under his wing and taught him everything he knew. John was promoted from tire installer to technician within a year and began focusing on diagnostics. After honing his skills for a few years, John became lead technician at an independent shop in northern California.
Path to ASE excellence.
John started to earn his ASE certifications early on and began networking with other technicians and shop owners. John was honored among eleven others as an Auto Care/ASE World Technician in 2015. In order to be considered for this award you must hold at least 22 ASE certifications. John currently has 49 certifications and he is working on the 50th.
Since the World Class Technician recognition was established 30 years ago, only 1,914 technicians have been honored. Recipients receive a special certificate signed by the presidents of ASE and the Auto Care Association and embroidered shoulder insignia. Additionally, their name is perpetually inscribed in an honor book located in the Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn, Mich.
“Recipients of the World Class Technician Award are truly the best of the best and the Auto Care Association is proud to recognize these professionals with ASE,” said Bill Hanvey, president and CEO, Auto Care Association. “Passing 22 ASE tests is a monumental achievement requiring exceptional knowledge and skills.”
Path to shop ownership.
John Bridgwater has a very interesting story on his rise to shop ownership. He started in 1987 and became a shop owner in January 2015. John actually was recruited by a shop in the bay area that he and his wife eventually purchased. He waited a long time for the right opportunity.
Catch his personal commitment to training and how he involves his technician team.
Learn about his ‘Knowledge is Power’ Car Care Clinics
Find out why he doesn’t do oil changes; he does Minor Maintenance Service instead.
Discover who he credits for helping to shape and make his career.
He is also outspoken on the proper pricing of jobs, the shop of the future and why he chooses his suppliers.
|Years in industry:||29|
|Years in business ownership:||1.5|
|Number of technicians:||3|
|Other team members:||4|
|Number of lifts:||4.5|
|Number of bays:||6|
|Annual estimated volume:||$2M|
|Specialists:||Emissions – Diagnostics|
|Industry involvement:||ASCCA – iATN – AAA – RepairPal – Diamond Certified|
|Certifications:||ASE Master (49 out of 50 certifications) – California lamp brake and smog licenses – ASE Blue Seal|
|Special Recognition:||2015 ASE/Auto Care World Technician of the Year. One of 12 outstanding individuals.|
Wrights Automotive Service website here.
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