Winners circle: Techs join Rush Truck Centers' elite family

SAN ANTONIO. It was Justin Euler of Rush Truck Center - St. Peters (MO) who won Rush Enterprises' Tech Skills Rodeo as overall grand champ this year, taking home $18,000 in cash and prizes. But all the finalists who make it to this competition become part of a family of sorts. 

Think of it as an elaborate, more than $1 million event that's the keystone of an employee appreciation program at the largest commercial vehicle dealer group in North America. There's the allure of the competition, prizes and winnings, and the timing right before the holidays sure doesn't hurt.

But the technicians that come here to Rush's corporate headquarters city for the event also spend time with the company's leadership and experience something else very unifying, and it's plain to see. About 70% of Rush's technician force tried out for the event this year, which is record participation.

"It's such a special night," said W.M. "Rusty" Rush, president, CEO and board chairman of Rush Enterprises, at the awards ceremony Tuesday evening. "We have a culture; we're a family."

Ask the company's leaders about it, and you'll hear that it's not just a perk but rather something integral and essential to the technician career at Rush. And if you come here in person, you'll be convinced — check out our full slideshow to see for yourself.

Here's the full list of the 2017 Tech Skills Rodeo winners:

OVERALL GRAND CHAMPION

Justin Euler, Rush Truck Center - St. Peters (MO)

GRAND CHAMPIONS

Aftermarket Sales: Tony Abbott, Rush Truck Center - Haines City (FL)
Parts: Michael Lyles, Rush Truck Center - Phoenix
Medium Duty: Justin Euler, Rush Truck Center - St. Peters (MO)
Heavy Duty:  Erick Lincoln, Rush Truck Center - Albuquerque

RESERVE GRAND CHAMPIONS

Aftermarket Sales: Gary Gates, Rush Truck Center - Houston
Parts: David Zainfeld, Rush Truck Center - Houston
Medium Duty: Travis Graham, Rush Truck Center - Orlando
Heavy Duty: Jason Swann, Rush Truck Center - Dallas

HEAVY DUTY

Navistar
1st place: Dylan Moser, Rush Truck Center - Richmond
2nd place: Maciej Gal, Rush Truck Center - Chicago
3rd place: Andrew Frieling, Rush Truck Center - Joliet (IL) 

Vocational
1st place: Carl Trevino, Custom Vehicle Solutions - Denton (TX)
2nd place: Travis Webster, Rush Truck Center - Houston Northwest

PACCAR MX
1st place: Glenn Boothe, Rush Truck Center - Nashville
2nd place: Johnny Mendez, Rush Truck Center - San Antonio
3rd place: Eduardo Gutierrez, Rush Truck Center - Phoenix

Cummins
1st place: Michael Jones, Rush Truck Center - Tucson
2nd place: Erick Lincoln, Rush Truck Center - Albuquerque
3rd place: Wesley Appleton, Rush Truck Center - Odessa (TX) 

Alternative Fuels
1st place: Matt Chilson, Rush Truck Center - Houston Northwest
2nd place: Gonzalo Uribe, Rush Truck Center - Fontana (CA) Vocational Services 

Eaton
1st place: Jason Swann, Rush Truck Center - Dallas
2nd place: Sylvester Chandler, Rush Truck Center - Dallas
3rd place: Pieter Dezwart, Rush Truck Center - Doraville (GA) 

MEDIUM DUTY

Bus
1st place: Derrick Kollin, Rush Truck Center - Cincinnati
2nd place: Barry Thompson, Rush Bus Center - Dallas 

Hino
1st place: Steven Brain, Rush Truck Center - Dallas Medium Duty
2nd place: Billy Stanley, Rush Truck Center - Houston

International
1st place: Justin Euler, Rush Truck Center - St. Peters (MO)
2nd place: Tom Hamilton, Rush Truck Center - Smyrna (GA)

Isuzu
1st place: Mark Smith, Rush Truck Center - Doraville (GA)
2nd place: Kory Sangster, Rush Truck Center - Dallas Light and Medium Duty

Peterbilt
1st place: Travis Graham, Rush Truck Center - Orlando
2nd place: Louis Fontano, Rush Truck Center - Fontana (CA)

PARTS

1st place, Ford: Timothy Howard, Rush Truck Center - Las Vegas
1st place, Peterbilt: Michael Lyles, Rush Truck Center - Phoenix
1st place, International: Tom Murray, Rush Truck Center - Gary (IN)
1st place, Isuzu: John O'Brien, Rush Truck Center - Orlando South
1st place, Hino: David Zainfeld, Rush Truck Center - Houston

RISING STARS
1st place: Peter Smith, Rush Truck Center - Lima (OH)
2nd place: Kyle Phaneuf, Rush Truck Center - Phoenix
3rd place: Todd Kunke, Rush Truck Center - Idaho Falls (ID) 

COLLISION

Body Repair
1st place: Larry Edwards, Rush Truck Center - Richmond
2nd place: Luis Gonzalez, Rush Truck Center - Dallas 

Paint
1st place: Matthew Hicks, Rush Truck Center - Oklahoma City
2nd place: Angel Gallegos Elizando, Rush Truck Center - Phoenix

 

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