James Chapman, an Auto Glass Safety Council (AGSC)-certified master technician at Richardson Glass Service in Newark, Ohio, won the gold medal in the Auto Glass Technician Competition at Auto Glass Week at the Virginia Beach Convention Center in Virginia Beach last month. In doing so, he took home $10,000, the winning trophy, and the reputation as the industry’s best auto glass replacement technician.
Chapman, 44, first joined Richardson Glass in 2005. He worked there for a couple years and came back in 2010. “Back in 2005, I stopped in and filled out an application and got hired,” Chapman says. He left to pursue greener pastures in 2007, but stayed in contact with his current boss and returned to Richardson in 2010.
He learned the auto glass trade through on-the-job training and then attended Auto Glass University, becoming certified as an instructor. He finds the job challenging with all the new technology coming out.
This year’s Auto Glass Week competition wasn’t first go around for Chapman. He had competed three other times, but won the first time this year.
Chapman and his colleagues put a lot of planning into this year’s competition. They mapped out all the possible points to be earned during the competition. “We made a spreadsheet here at the shop and then I had co-workers judge me during the installs to make sure I had everything in check,” he says.
Asked how his co-workers reacted to the win, Chapman says, “They loved it. They threw me a party. It was pretty awesome. I got pizza. I got cookies. Everybody was pretty excited.”
Future plans? “Right now, I doing my normal 9 to 5 here. I’m just open to whatever the future brings, but I don’t have any plans to detour from what I’ve been doing,”
“I’m not going to compete any more. I’ve done four time and won it. Now it’s time for someone else to step up,” he says. “I want to help my competitors if I can.”
Asked if he’d spent the prize money yet, Chapman says, “Oh yea, absolutely. I got myself out of credit card debt.”
Chapman’s employer, Richardson Glass Service started in 1941, becoming leading glass business in Central Ohio including commercial glass, residential glass and auto glass with two locations.