Speaker Bios


Bernie Thompson

Bernie Thompson

Bernie Thompson is recognized as a top diagnostician and instructor in the country, presenting at all of the most prestigious conferences.

Bernie is a graduate of Lincoln Tech. Twenty five years of hands on experience and a burning desire to master the challenging and exciting field of automotive electronics pushed Bernie to begin designing better diagnostic and training equipment. In 2001, he and Neal Pederson established Automotive Test Solutions, Inc. a company that designs and manufactures innovative top of the line training and diagnostic equipment. Neal is an electrical engineer/computer programmer who has experience designing control systems for equipment ranging from particle accelerators to nuclear reactors. Together, Bernie and Neal have released patented and proven technologies that have been recognized by Motor Magazine’s prestigious Top 20 Awards.

  • 2001 – Present – Bernie is owner and the designer of Automotive Test Solutions diagnostic test equipment.
  • 2001 – Present – Bernie operates a mobile diagnostic service, in Albuquerque, NM, to sharpen his diagnostic skills and test his equipment designs.
  • 2000 – Present – Bernie writes feature articles on diagnostics for Motor magazine.
  • 1985 – 2005 – Bernie owned and operated Double Gear an auto repair shop in Albuquerque, NM.


Bill Haas

Bill Haas

Bill Haas is the owner of Haas Performance Consulting LLC, with 40 years of experience in the automotive service and repair industry. Clients now have access to Bill’s solution based focus, expertise, unique perspectives and in-depth knowledge of the industry. Services available include business management seminar development and delivery, keynote presentations, business consulting, performance coaching, and strategic planning facilitation. His career includes time as a technician, shop owner, technical trainer and most recently on the staff of the automotive industry’s oldest and largest association representing automotive service and collision repair businesses. .Bill received the Accredited Automotive Manager (AAM) credential from the Automotive Management Institute in 1996 and has been a member of the Automotive Management Institute’s faculty since 2002


Brandon Steckler

Brandon Steckler

Bio Coming Soon!


Carm Capriotto

Carm Capriotto

Carm Capriotto is the founder and host of Remarkable Results Radio, the only podcast, or occasionally called 'On Demand Audio', that interviews today’s most inspiring and successful automotive aftermarket professionals. He has been involved in the industry all his life and calls on 35 plus years of experience in the aftermarket to engage guests to create great conversational podcast and Town Hall Academy. There is not much he has not done on the distribution side which includes 20 years as business owner and 15 years in an executive position with a WD with stores. His roles have included bringing training (both technical and management), marketing, sales programs and quality operational and service improvements to support the service professional.


Chris Aldridge

Chris Aldridge

Chris is originally and was a long time resident of Maryland before moving to Wake Forest, NC in 2016, living his last 15 years in the Baltimore, MD and having the opportunity to join the Garage Gurus as a Technical Product Specialist. A varied and long career in the Automotive field, quality training and education has always been a priority, and a challenge to find in many cases. He has a strong understanding of what technicians and shops need to continue to operate. Starting off at an independent privately owned shop, then moving to a franchised automotive dealer, a franchised local chain shop and finally running his own shop has offered a well rounded perspective. Longing to take up actual hobbies, vs hobbies that turn into professions, Chris now spends his time fixing up classic automobiles, caring for their fish pond, and most recently experimenting with different methods of barbecue and meat smoking.


Chris Cloutier

Chris Cloutier

I’m Chris Cloutier, founder of autotext.me and co-owner of Golden Rule Auto Care in the Dallas, Texas area since 2011. I came from the software industry developing solutions for companies including Southwest Airlines and Wyndham International, where I saw the benefits from the marriage of software and service. After opening my own shop, I observed how communication gaps created bottleneck situations and wasted valuable rack time. I created autotext.me, a digital solution for workflow management, communication, vehicle inspections, work orders, quality control, and rewarding customer loyalty. I have since sought to help the industry move forward with adopting technology.


Clifford Beisler

Clifford Beisler

Clifford Beisler is an Auto Care Association World Class Certified Technician. An ASE triple master certified technician. His childhood years were spent fixing anything he could get his hands on. Every job he has held since the age of 14 has been working on vehicles. From changing oil and sweeping floors to managing a shop full of technicians he has done it all. He enjoys electrical wiring and advanced diagnostics. He is a strong believer in fair wages and better work place conditions for automotive mechanics. Clifford’s employment history started in a 3-bay shop in Bowie Maryland changing oil at the age of 14. At 18 he attended the Bobby Isaac Motorsports program in Hickory North Carolina. After completion of school he worked for an independent Goodyear retailer as a technician. As his career progressed, he was steadily accumulating ASE certifications and moving up the ladder. In 2017 as a double master certified, advanced level technician he decided to look for work where he could help other technicians. He is now a Technical Product Specialist (Garage Guru) for DRiV Inc. This position allows him the ability to work with technicians and industry leaders every day. Cliff has a wonderful family with his wife of 17 years and 2 brilliant teenage children. In his spare time, he Is normally working with his race team, NLS racing. NLS racing compete in the Champcar Endurance racing series where they field a Nissan s13 in races ranging from 8 to 24 hours. The race team has many top finished including winning the 2020 14 hours of Charlotte.


Danny Sanchez

Danny Sanchez

Danny Sanchez is the CEO of Autoshop Solutions, Inc., the automotive industry’s leading Internet marketing agency. With over 25 years of automotive experience, Danny continues to develop winning marketing strategies that are being adopted by automotive businesses around the country. As a former shop owner himself, Danny uses his real world shop experience to bridge the gap between the automotive service and the marketing sides of the industry. Danny’s proven and practical approach to Internet marketing continues to lead the automotive industry into the 21st Century. His company, Autoshop Solutions, is a certified Google Partner and made the Inc. 5000 List of America's Fastest Growing Companies three years in a row, as well as received the honor of Best Places to Work in the Raleigh-Durham market.


Darrin Barney

Darrin Barney

Darrin’s automotive journey began as a child working with his father on repairing and maintaining cars at the family garage. But the big turning point came when he turned 14 and his parents got him his first jeep. It was then that he realized that to keep it running he had to maintain it and take care of it. In 2003, he started his own auto repair and 4X4 business with the core business philosophy of treating every customer like a personal friend, and creating the best customer experience possible.

Darrin’s shop has grown to one of the biggest independently owned auto repair facilities in the state of Colorado. They are known worldwide for their customer service, and have customers all over the globe. The industry has picked up on Darrin’s success, as he’s been featured in numerous podcasts and articles - he was most recently on the cover of AutoInc. Magazine for a feature article on how to create a good customer experience. He really puts pride in developing his team members and creating a positive work environment, which is why the average tenure of his employees is over 5 years. His shop is accredited with the BBB and the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce, and is a NAPA AutoCare Center.

Darrin also has a passion for continuing education. In 2017 he was one of the first classes to graduate with his AMAM (Accredited Master Automotive Management) from the AMI. He also set a goal to read 1 book on self-improvement per week for the entire year, and by December 31st, 2017 he had read over 54 books to achieve his goal!

He is a current Board Member for ASA Colorado, and recently became responsible for bringing the customer service piece of automotive training to his hometown in Grand Junction, Colorado. He is active in the aftermarket accessory industry and is a member of the LTAA (Light Truck Accessory Alliance), APPEX and SEMA. Darrin is a Certified High Performance Coach and enjoys helping others find success and happiness in their lives. He ran a self-reliance program for his community for many years that covered a wide variety of topics from the basics of Auto Repair, to how to prepare for an emergency. Darrin is an Eagle Scout that currently serves on the Eagle Scout Board of Review Committee for the Boy Scouts of America, and his business regularly contributes time and resources to local charities, schools and homeless shelters. He recently was trained to be a caregiver for the homeward bound overnight program, which helps those less fortunate find jobs by staying clean and sober.

Darrin is an accomplished musician who enjoys writing and recording music, and loves spending time with his wife and three children. They enjoy exploring the back country, four wheeling, camping and traveling.


Dave Hobbs

Dave Hobbs

Dave Hobbs is the senior technical trainer and course developer for Delphi Technologies. Dave’s experience in the independent automotive service world started over 40 years ago as a technician and then service manager in his family’s auto electric business in Kokomo Indiana.

Dave’s OEM experience includes being a technical hotline advisor, field engineer and electronics systems instructor for engineers at GM Delco Electronics and Delphi.

An ASE master tech with L1 and L3 advanced certifications, Dave has also served as an adjunct instructor for Ivy Tech Community College.

Dave’s a frequent speaker at national automotive conferences and contributing editor for several trade magazines including Motor Age. An instructor in over 50 training videos with Delphi and AVI (Automotive Video Innovations), Dave invites you to check out the many training video clips available on Delphi’s YouTube channel as well as the “Delphi Auto Parts Cast” on Apple’s Podcast site.


David Patrick

David Patrick

David Patrick is a highly experienced auto technician, with over 35 years in the automotive industry. Having been an ASE Certified Technician since 1982, David achieved master auto certification status in 1988 and master medium/heavy truck certification by 1994. Now having taught many classes across the eastern United States, David has earned a position as an instructor for CARQUEST Technical Institute (CTI).


David Roman

David Roman

David Roman has been in the automotive industry for over 20 years. He has a passion for helping others by sharing his knowledge. He was able to successfully grow and manage several multi-faceted retail operations with over 2 million dollars in annual revenue in Illinois, the St. Louis area, and eventually Kansas City. His approach to training and customer service garnered him several accolades and awards, which he was able to bring to his own business which he opened in 2012.


Donny Seyfer

Donny Seyfer

Donny is the Executive Officer for the National Automotive Service Task Force. His responsibilities include assisting automotive technicians and locksmiths with information necessary to repair vehicles. NASTF helps to resolve information gaps by acting as a conduit between the repairer and the OE in service information, tool information, education and NASTF’s marquee program, the Secure Data Release Model which allows independent service professionals to apply and received credentials to access key and immobilizer codes from NASTF’s OE partners.

He is the immediate past chairman of the Automotive Service Association. The largest association in the US representing independent repair shop owners. Donny is widely sought as a speaker on the topic of Advanced Vehicle Technologies as they relate to the consumer and service repair environments. He has presented at such industry events as AAPEX, AASA Vision, TU Auto, The ASA/Auto Alliance Technology and Telematics Forum, Silicon Valley Innovation & Entrepreneurship Forum and the NAPA EXPO.

As the Co-Owner of Seyfer Automotive Inc. in Wheat Ridge, Colorado, founded in 1961. He has well over three decades of automotive service experience as a technician, manager and service consultant – expertise he shares in various industry roles.

Donny is an ASE Master / L1 advanced diagnostic technician and C1 service consultant, and has been a participant writing test questions and working on passing score studies for ASE.

He is a contributing editor to Babcox publications, and a has contributed to Autobody Repair News (ABRN), Motor Age, Aftermarket Business World and AutoInc. Magazine. He also co-authored an article on vehicle information for The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

As a technical and management instructor Donny has provided training for NAPA Autotech, Automotive Service Association, The Auto Alliance, WorldPac, MACSVISION, ATE, NACE, CARS and others.

Donny also is active as a telematics/connected car initiatives leader; member of the Aftermarket Telematics Task Force; a member of ASE Education Foundation board of directors and the Automotive Management Institute board of directors where he holds an Advanced Automotive Manager Accreditation.


Gary Smith

Gary Smith

Gary started in the car business in 1979 and never looked back. Throughout a 25 plus year career with new car dealerships and OEMs, he was blessed to have experienced all fixed operations positions, having been a Certified ASE and GM Master Technician, Shop Foreman, Service Advisor, Parts & Service Manager and Fixed Ops Director over many years for Cadillac/Oldsmobile, Mercedes, VW and Chevrolet stores.

Gary worked as a technical field engineer and warranty audit consultant to OEMs and dealership groups in the late 80s and 90s, this experience uniquely positioned Gary to form GSS Enterprises, Inc. in 2000.

Gary specializes in teaching advanced diagnostic techniques and methodology; including physical testing (Lab Scopes, Pressure Transducer, Scan Data and 5-Gas Analysis), signal acquisition & analysis, fuel and lubrication technology as well as vehicle communications data bus diagnostics.

Gary teaches technical and management classes and his www.automastertraining.com hotline currently supports technicians with on-car remote technical assistance in 8 Metro markets. Gary also teaches “Train the Trainer” sessions for schools and college automotive programs.

Personal

He has 2 grown children, 3 grandchildren and lives with his wife of 33 years in Key Largo, Florida.


George Zeeks

George Zeeks

After graduating from the University of Maryland, George followed his first passion and served our Country in the US Army. George has spent his entire civilian career chasing his next passion – helping business owners be successful - in the automotive aftermarket in a variety of positions, including the last 15 years at ATI (Automotive Training Institute). George first served as a coach, then team leader, and now George is ATI’s Director of Member Services, charged with implementing ATI’s newest member offerings in coaching and training.


Jim Morton

Jim Morton

Jim recently retired as an Advanced Engine Performance instructor at ATC in Warminster Pa for over 21 years. He and his wife Mary own and operate Morton's Automotive Technical Services (MATS), which offers training for working technicians. Jim was selected by Import Service magazine as one of the top Independent Trainers. With more than 50 years in the industry as a technician, shop owner and trainer and awarded Educator of the Year at Vision Hi-Tech Training in 2018. Morton has been a requested presenter at National Training expos, including NACAT, CARS, TST Big Event, KC Vision, Automechanika and ASA. Jim has written diagnostic procedure articles for Motorage, Import Service and ASA Auto Inc magazines. Morton has contributed many diagnostic procedures and information to authors of training manuals including Jim Halderman's well respected Advanced Engine Performance manual. Morton has held ASE Master Tech, L1, C1, G1 and A9 certifications for more than 35 years and is a member of CAAT ,ASA, IATN and NACAT.


Jimmy Lea

Jimmy Lea

With more than 15 years experience in sales and business development for software-as-a-service, financial services as well as hardware products, Jimmy embodies the fabric of the independent automotive industry. Jimmy is a true family man; he loves to spend time with his wife and three children. Outside of the office, Jimmy enjoys the outdoors and breathing fresh air on the mountain trails. Jimmy also enjoys Ballroom Dancing, SCUBA Diving, Triathlons, and camping with the family.


Justin Morgan

Justin Morgan

Starting out his career working all makes and models in 2006. He quickly chose to narrow his focus to the BMW carline. Justin joined LMV Bavarian early on as a member and after 10 years as a member & student he eventually came on board as Level 1 Tech Support in 2019. Justin brings with him a unique 15 year experience from the independent world, where he continues to stay active in online tech support, hands on repair of BMW's, and providing training for the aftermarket repair trade. He currently carries ASE CMAT & L1 certifications as well as attending 40hrs of training a year as a technician. He strives to stay ahead of the curve with his skills and experience.


Keith Hardee

Keith Hardee

Keith is an ASE Master with L1 and VW/Audi Master with over 40 years’ experience servicing Domestic, Asian, and European vehicles including Medium/Heavy Duty trucks. He currently owns two highly respected automotive repair centers offering diagnostics, repairs, and service of all makes including programming and ADAS systems. Keith joined CTI in 2018, and serves our students across the Eastern U.S.


Kim Walker

Kim Walker

Kim’s educational background includes a Bachelor’s Degree in education and a Master’s Degree in Counseling, both from Southeastern Louisiana University. Her educational background has bode well for her in her career as a teacher, counselor, and owner of several businesses beginning with a European automotive repair shop and now a marketing agency. 5 Stones has been recognized as one of the top 100 Small Businesses by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as a Blue Ribbon Award Winner and most recently as a Davey Award Winner for small agencies producing big ideas. She is a Master Certified Solution Provider with Constant Contact, StoryBrand Certified Guide and actively involved in numerous civic, professional and community organizations.


Mark Kenyon

Mark Kenyon

As a Master Trainer for DRiV, Mark’s automotive career started with a position as a college-certified mechanic working for a GM dealership. Since then, he has held positions of increasing responsibility and skill within the independent repair industry, and currently delivers training across all vehicle systems. Mark enjoys the challenges that come with the job and continues to pursue excellence and professionalism, with an emphasis on the needs of the customer, as his driving source for gaining more knowledge and information. His goal is to teach the next generation of technicians to understand the complexities of advancing automotive technology, training technicians to effectively diagnose and repair vehicles of today and to prepare them for vehicles of the future.


Matt Crumpton

Matt Crumpton

Matt is an L1, L2 ASE Master Technician. He is also ASE-certified in the categories of Light Diesel, Heavy Duty Truck, Body/Collision Repair and Under Car Specialist. Matt started his career as a technician for multiple dealers and independent repair facilities, which lead Matt to venture into the training side of the industry. After gaining years of training presentation experience in the diagnostic tool industry, he joined the NAPA Electrical Sales Group (ESG) in early 2011. Matt served as the NAPA ESG Technical Training Director for the U.S and Caribbean. In addition, he developed instructor lead classes, online training and tech support. Matt joined the NAPA Autotech team in October of 2018 as the Training Program Manager, leading the curriculum and program development team.

  • Associates Degree in Automotive Technology
  • L1, L2 Master Technician
  • 16 Years as a technician
  • 9 years as an instructor and technical class developer


Niel Speetjens

Niel Speetjens

Niel joins ZF Aftermarket as technical trainer for the passenger car. In his position, Niel supports technicians with hands-on and online trainings and workshop visits across the country. Before joining ZF, Niel owned and operated Speetjens Transmission Service, a workshop in The Netherlands specializing in repairing, maintaining, tuning and rebuilding automatic transmissions. For more than 20 years, Niel was the most sought after transmission specialist throughout Europe.

Then in 2014, Niel brought his experience and knowledge to the States. With close to 25 years’ experience working in the automotive industry and over 16 years professionally teaching in the industry, Niel's background in the independent aftermarket is a great value to add to the ZF team.

After many years teaching technicians around the country, Niel’s biggest piece of advice is to take charge of your technical education. It is important in this industry to get hands-on experience, whether it be a sponsored workshop program or additional courses in school, make sure you are engaging in every opportunity available.


Pete Meier

Pete Meier

Pete Meier is an ASE certified Master Technician with over 40 years of practical experience as a technician and educator, covering a wide variety of makes and models. He began writing for Motor Age as a contributor in 2006 and joined the magazine fulltime as Technical Editor in 2010. Pete believes in the mission of the magazine to “advance the automotive professional” and provides resources to working techs around the country through print, webcasts, social media and YouTube.


Rick White

Rick White

Rick White has been working in the automotive, software & coaching industries for greater than thirty years and is currently an AMI approved training instructor. He brings to the table a career’s worth of technical experience, twenty plus years of management experience and four years of fleet management experience. He owned and managed several successful automotive repair shops. Rick has worked as manager or consultant for several major companies such as AAA Northeast and GenesisFour Corporation and most recently founded One Eighty Business Solutions (180BIZ), a training and business coaching company tailored to specifically meet the needs of the independent Automotive Repair industry.


Ryan Payne

Ryan Payne

Ryan recently joined the Garage Gurus team and is based out of the Atlanta, Georgia, facility. His career spans over 15 years in the automotive industry. His background as a technician was spent primarily at a high-end dealership as a technician, where he also got to teach High Performance driving classes. Ryan looks forward to sharing not only the information in the workshops but also his knowledge of efficiency and productivity within the shop.


Scott Brown

Scott Brown

Scott Brown’s automotive career began after graduating from Arizona Automotive Technical Institute in 1983. With a strong focus on engine performance and analysis of onboard computerized engine controls, Scott began collaborating with other industry professionals online in the early ’90s. In 1992, he helped organize the first online technical automotive waveform database on CompuServe. He later began a dial-up automotive-themed bulletin board service (pre-Internet) for fellow automotive service industry professionals. In 1993, he became the owner of Connie & Dick’s Service Center Inc. located in Southern California. Today, Scott and his wife Cindy continue to operate the business with seven employees.

In 1995, he joined in to help build, launch and support the International Automotive Technicians Network, (iATN) where he retired as company president in February 2018. Scott is an ASE Certified Master Automobile Technician, SAE member, Director: NASTF (National Automotive Service Taskforce) Director: ASCCA (Automotive Service Councils of California) Director: AMI (Automotive Management Institute) and is a member of a host of other industry groups and associations.

Scott is now focusing his efforts on Diagnostic Network, a modern online community he launched mid-2018. The Diagnostic Network mission is to connect professional technicians to enable successful repair of complex vehicles through peer discussion, partner collaboration, and education.

When he isn’t working in the automotive field, Scott enjoys photography, videography, piloting fixed wing aircraft, or enjoying time with his wife and daughters.


Tim McDonnell

Tim McDonnell

Tim McDonnell is now the Senior Product Market Manager for Mitchell 1. He contributes to the direction of the Manager SE product line while creating multimedia materials and providing training for Mitchell 1 customers and sales team. You may have seen Tim online, where he moderates and actively contributes to Mitchell 1's shop management user forum at managerforum.net. He lends his voice and audio engineering expertise to the training videos included with all Mitchell 1 products as well as the phone system you experience when you call Mitchell 1.

Tim began his Mitchell 1 career in 1985 as a technical editor, researching and creating parts interchange for the auto recycling industry. In 1989, he became the first representative for the newly created On-Demand electronic repair information product. In 1996, Tim began supporting the newly created Series I/II shop management software, which we know today as Manager SE.


Tony Mercury

Tony Mercury

Tony Mercury is the Sales Director for Autoshop Solutions. He works closely with all internal teams to make sure we are offering the best solutions and marketing for our clients. If you call his desk phone he’s probably not in the office, odds are he’s traveling for a trade show, conference, or business meeting. He has helped countless shops grow their business with Autoshop Solutions marketing programs and loves watching shops excel. Asides from work travel, he also likes to explore new places with his Wife and has seen quite a bit of the world outside of Apex, North Carolina. He also claims to be an amateur chef and can be often found behind the stove at his house or reading a cookbook he got from the local library.