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2021 Techs Rock Awards Winners

Congratulations to the TechForce Foundation 2021 Techs Rock Awards Grand Prize and Category Winners! Scroll down to learn more about the winners and their Awards.

Meet the 2021 Grand Prize Winner

Congratulations to 2021 Grand Prize Winner Donald Ranquist! Donald is also the 2021 Pay it Forward Category Winner, and was chosen for the Grand Prize through an online people’s choice vote.

In addition to the more than $1,800 in prizes awarded to each Category Winner, Ranquist will also receive an all-expenses-paid trip to STX 2022 in Orlando, FL courtesy of Advance Auto Parts valued at $3,000, and a Grand Prize package valued at over $5,000 from TechForce partners CRC Industries, Ford Motor Company, Snap-on Tools, Advance Auto Parts, Shell, WD-40 Company, and AutoZone.

TRA 2021_Grand Prize Winner_Donald Ranquist@3x

Meet Donald

Donald's reaction to learning he is the 2021 Grand Prize Winner: “I won?! That’s awesome! ...I don’t usually brag about myself… This is really exciting. Thank you!”

He went on to praise his fellow Category Winners, “I read through [their profiles] and they’re all amazing technicians and people. I was impressed by what they have overcome… If I could say anything to the other [Winners] it would be ‘heck of a job… you’re amazing.”

Why Donald was nominated: Donald Ranquist makes it a priority to find ways he can positively impact those around him. From serving on the CarMax Cares committee to establishing his own non-profit to heal victims of bullying through Motorsports, Donald shows those new to the industry what can be achieved as a technician.

In his own words: “As an automotive technician I’ve developed skills that can help many people… I try and offer assistance in any way I can.”

Meet the 2021 Category Winners

Congratulations to the 2021 Techs Rock Awards Category Winners! Winners were selected by TechForce’s panel of industry judges including Bogi Lateiner, Bogi’s Garage; Charles Sanville, The Humble Mechanic; Emily Reeves, Flying Sparks Garage; Steve Ford, The Car Guy; and Julia Landauer, NASCAR Driver.

Each Category Winner will receive prizes valued at more than $1,800 from TechForce partners including Ford Motor Company, CRC Industries, Snap-on Tools, Advance Auto Parts, Cengage, WD-40, and AutoZone.

TRA 2021_Category Winner_Outstanding Mentor David May@3x

Meet David

Why David was nominated: Shop Foreman David May mentors both professional technicians and students in his shop. He is credited with guiding many technicians into successful careers affording them a high quality of life.

In his own words: “One of the most satisfying rewards is to… see trainees be successful in their work and know that I had a hand in their success.”

TRA 2021_Category Winner_Rookie of the Year Drew Harless@3x

Meet Drew

Why Drew was nominated: Drew Harless was hired as an apprentice tech while still in high school, and has been working in the shop full time since graduation. An Eagle Scout and SkillsUSA State Champion, Drew decided that college wasn’t for him once he discovered his love of cars in high school.

In his own words: “Everyday I go to work with my mind set on learning something new… I want to show that you don’t need to go to college to be successful.”

TRA 2021_Category Winner_Die Hard Jess Anderson@3x

Meet Jess

Why Jess was nominated: World Class certified tech and die-hard Chevy fan Jess Anderson strives to be the best technician in the industry. She specializes in vehicle electrical systems and has a keen knack for explaining her work to fellow technicians and customers alike.

In her own words: “There is ALWAYS something new to learn or a new way to perform a repair… with all the new electric vehicle platforms coming… I’m ready for that challenge.”

TRA 2021_Category Winner_Barrier Buster Gabriel Gaumer@3x

Meet Gabriel

Why Gabriel was nominated: Gabriel Gaumer’s colleagues describe him as a leader, one of the hardest working techs in his shop, and someone always willing to go the extra mile.

In his own words: “I went to tech school, but also have experience in the agricultural [and] construction... industries. I am a left arm amputee and can usually perform any task given to me [but] prefer the weird electrical gremlin jobs.”

Join TechForce's Social Network

TechForce has created the first and only social network for professional technicians and tech students to connect with each other, employers and schools (JoinTechForce.org). Current and future technicians can join the network to find events and free e-learning, connect with the industry, and explore job opportunities while competing for prizes and leaderboard status.


Accelerate your career. Do what you love. Join TechForce. Unlock your full potential with the only peer-network 100% dedicated to future and working technicians. JoinTechForce.org

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