Mitchell 1's Susan Schalk Receives 2016 World Class Technician Award
Susan Schalk, senior repair information specialist at Mitchell 1, has been recognized by the Auto Care Association as one of the 12 recipients and the only woman to receive the prestigious 2016 World Class Technician Award. She successfully tested and was certified in 22 testing categories established by National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).
“We are so proud of Susan’s accomplishment,” said Nick DiVerde, senior director of marketing for Mitchell 1. “Being one of only 12 technicians to receive the World Class Technician designation in 2016 is a tremendous achievement that sets her apart as a true professional. We are pleased to have someone with her expertise as a valued member of the Mitchell 1 team — she is an excellent role model for everyone in the automotive industry.”
Schalk was awarded a certificate signed by the presidents of ASE and the Auto Care Association and an embroidered shoulder insignia. Additionally, her name will be perpetually inscribed in an honor book located in the Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn, Michigan.
In her role as senior repair information specialist, Schalk helps optimize search results for the company’s ProDemand® and SureTrack® repair information software. She joined Mitchell 1 in 1998 as a product content support phone agent and through the years has held several positions including technical editor, business analyst and facilitator for the application of continuous improvement practices at Mitchell 1.
Schalk explained that she “caught the automotive bug” in auto class in high school in Orange County, California and discovered she had a knack for it. She credits her auto shop instructor for encouraging her to pursue a career in the automotive field, starting by taking the California State emissions test while in high school. She not only passed the test, but was the first woman in the state to pass the test.
Her first job after high school was working as a licensed smog technician. Prior to joining Mitchell 1, she spent seven years as a technician at two dealerships and two independent shops, followed by nine years doing fabrication, body repair, and paint and trim at a vintage auto restoration shop. In 2004, she was featured as an automotive mechanical expert on an episode of the Discovery Channel’s “Monster Garage” television show.
Schalk was the first woman to attain ASE certifications for engine repair and engine tune-up in 1974. Over the years, she has added many other ASE certifications to her resume, including Master Automotive Technician, which she received in 2001. In addition, she holds a bachelor of arts degree in psychology from San Diego State University, a master of arts degree in psychology from the University of Iowa and a master of business administration degree in business and finance from National University.
According to the Auto Care Association, since the World Class Technician recognition was established 30 years ago, only 1,914 technicians have been honored.