Automotive Management Institute: Looking Ahead with Chuck Searles [RR 585]

Chuck Searles has played an active role in the automotive service and training community for 28 years. He is a proud supporter of the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) and is a member of the ASE Training Managers Council (ATMC).

He was born in Alaska and spent childhood years on the North Slope in small rural villages. After his Fathers retirement from the Alaska educational system, the Searles family relocated to the Big Island of Hawaii, where Chuck attended high school. After high school, he attended post-secondary technical school in Phoenix, Arizona, and then moved back to Alaska to begin a career in the automotive industry.

Chuck served as a Line Technician, Service Advisor, and eventually Shop Foreman at Nissan Dealerships in Fairbanks, Alaska, and Phoenix, Arizona. He was then hired by Nissan North America as a Technical Support Specialist in Los Angeles, CA. Over the next 19 years, he served several Sales and Technical Training roles, including Sales Training Senior Planner, Technical Training Operations Manager, and Instructional Design Manager.

He is currently the President of the Automotive Management Institute (AMi). AMi’s mission is to identify, provide, and promote qualified business education for the success of automotive service repair professionals.

Chuck resides in a quiet suburb outside of Nashville, TN with his wife of 23 years and 2 daughters. Time away from work is spent in the outdoors with the family on hikes or kayaking.

Key talking Points:

  • Career pathDidn’t know what to do after high school, did not want to become a teacher or educator 
  • Attended Universal Technical Institute- focus on heavy diesel industry but ended up working at a dealership in Alaska then hired by Nissan as technical trainer.
  • Two things you will always remember in your career- best boss and worst boss. Training will help you be the best boss you can be.
  • AMI valuable for succession planning with learning management systems 
  • The current president of AMIWants to increase the presence of the service side of the industry- the value of designations. Networking with former contacts and making new relationships as well. 
  • Working on new designations- service advisor and shop foreman
  • You can pay by courses at AMI or a yearly subscription    
  • AAM/AMAM- prestigious titles  
  • Looking aheadRecruiting new trainers- AMI has an audience of over 100,000 and is an ideal platform for any trainer. Head to the website and contact them.
  • If you’re not involved with AMI you need to be- training is ongoing no matter what stage you are at in your career, even as a shop owner.
  • Employee retention is based on the owner- is the owner offering training to employees and getting training themselves? Invest in your employees.
  • Look for AMI elective credit courses/classes because you can use it towards a certification/accreditation


  • Thanks to Chuck Searles for his contribution to the aftermarket’s premier podcast.
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About the author, Carm Capriotto, AAP

Carm is the founder and host of the Remarkable Results Radio Podcast and the pioneer of automotive aftermarket podcasts. Carm calls on his years of experience in the aftermarket to bring engaging stories from his guests.

Listen to raw, unfiltered, honest, and sincere stories that include insights, trends, best practices, and expertise. Each interview brings an opportunity to learn one new thing through the stories of personal achievement. Many podcast guests tell their story of transformation from working in their business to working on it.

As host of over 1,000 episodes, Carm uses his enthusiasm and passion for the aftermarket especially the service sector to take his listeners on a journey showcasing successful service professionals’ paths to Remarkable Results. He also enjoys interviews with aftermarket industry thought leaders who bring their industry perspectives to his listener.

Follow the podcast on your favorite podcast listening app and always listen to learn just one thing!