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February 4, 2023

Local mechanic receives national award

WATSONVILLE—Chevrolet of Watsonville took a giant step up in the world of auto mechanics last week as one of their mechanics, Richard Shephard, was awarded a World Class Technician status award by officials from General Motors and Chevrolet.

“There’s a lot of time, a lot of experience and a lot of travel to reach this level,” said Eric Fiske, district service manager of GM and Chevrolet. “This is the gold standard.”

Shephard, who was joined by his family at the company-wide catered lunch, said he was “touched and honored.”

Vic Hasstedt, field service engineer, noted: “After they are 100% and totally trained, you have to go to a training center where you take an assessment for engineering where instructors grade you. It’s all very rigorous and strenuous to pass and get to this level.”

Melvin Cooper, general manager at Chevrolet of Watsonville, said he was “tremendously pleased” with the announcement.

“It’s taken everyone in this room to make this happen,” Cooper said.

Tarmo Hannula
Tarmo Hannula has been the lead photographer with The Pajaronian newspaper in Watsonville since 1997. He also reports on a wide range of topics, including police, fire, environment, schools, the arts and events. A fifth generation Californian, Tarmo was born in the Mother Lode of the Sierra (Columbia) and has lived in Santa Cruz County since the late 1970s. He earned a BA from UC Santa Cruz and has traveled to 33 countries.



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