Eighteen-year-old Riley Schlick-Trask will enter college this fall with as the Grand Prize Winner of the TechForce Foundation 2023 Techs Rock Awards.
As owner of a carburetor rebuilding business, Riley’s Rebuilds, Bradenton, Fla., Riley exhibits the passion and grit that will help drive successful, rewarding careers for the next generation of professional technicians. She is the first independent shop professional to win the top honor in the Techs Rock Awards program.
“I am very excited, very honored, and very grateful to be the Grand Prize Winner,” Riley said. “I’m fortunate to be blessed with the industry’s support and to have a platform thanks to that support. I’m super happy to be the Grand Prize Winner, and I’m in awe of my fellow Category Winners.”Read more: Meet Navistar’s International Truck 2023 Top Team technician
At age 13, Riley began restoring carburetors to earn money to eventually purchase her first car. Her business took off when she turned to social media to find parts to meet her clients’ needs. Since then, she has been featured in more than 50 publications, appeared on local and national television, and built an online following of like-minded young people. “Riley is using this opportunity and her brand…to inspire a host of other young women to see this industry as one of growing opportunity and incredible support,” wrote her Techs Rock Awards nominator.
Thousands of TechForce followers voted for Riley as the Grand Prize Winner from among five Category Winners in the June 12 – 16, 2023, People’s Choice public vote. Riley previously won the Awards’ Barrier Buster Category.
As Grand Prize Winner, she will receive over $10,000 in prizes from TechForce and their industry partners. Prize sponsors include Advance Auto Parts, AutoZone, Cengage Learning, CRC Industries, Ford Motor Company, Nissan, Snap-on Industrial, and WD-40 Company.
TechForce partners have awarded more than $18,500 in prizes to this year’s honorees:
Each Category Winner receives prizes valued at over $1,900 from TechForce partners Advance Auto Parts, AutoZone, Cengage Learning, CRC Industries, Ford Motor Company, Nissan, Snap-on Industrial, and WD-40 Company.
In addition to their Category Winner prizes, the Grand Prize Winner, chosen by popular vote, will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to STX 2024 in Nashville, Tenn., valued at $3,000, courtesy of Advance Auto Parts, and additional prizes valued at $6,000 from AutoZone, CRC Industries, Ford Motor Company, Nissan, Snap-on Industrial, and WD-40 Company.
The 2023 Category Winners include:
- Barrier Buster – Riley Schlick-Trask, Owner, Riley’s Rebuilds. The Barrier Buster category recognizes technicians for showing heart and passion in overcoming obstacles to succeed.
- Die Hard – Bryan Kuehni, World Class Technician, Advantage Chevrolet Bolingbrook. The Die Hard category recognizes industry superfans who live, breathe, sleep, and thrive in their career.
- Outstanding Mentor – James Jacobsen, Master Technician, Lake Motor Company. The Outstanding Mentor category recognizes technicians for supporting and guiding the industry’s future techs.
- Pay it Forward – Bradley Hindman, Owner, Mission Auto Repair. The Pay it Forward category recognizes technicians for being community advocates and inspiring the next generation of techs.
- Rookie of the Year – Jinelee Galindez, Technician, Mercedes-Benz of South Orlando. The Rookie of the Year category recognizes up-and-coming tech professionals with under two years of professional experience.