John Heist holding his SEMA Award. "My name is John Heist and I am a member of the graduating class of 1973 from Northeastern Junior College. While attending NJC, I was enrolled in the Automotive Technology program and would like to take this opportunity to recap my journey in the Automotive Industry since graduating from this very worthwhile program.
After graduating, I gained additional Dealership and Independent Repair Shop work experience, leading me to an opportunity to purchase an existing auto repair business in 1974. I worked in that shop as Owner/Operator and Technician and I quickly realized it was far more than one person could manage. I was fortunate to find another graduate from the program, Tom Oliver, who worked with me at the shop.
In 1976, another opportunity come along that sounded interesting. It was a position with Sun Electric Corporation as a sales representative. Sun was a very highly regarded company that manufactured premium automotive diagnostic equipment. The position entailed sales, service, and training; it also provided an opportunity to work with various industry professionals as well as State Officials involved with emerging emission control programs? all very interesting and educational.
I worked for Sun Electric until the company was purchased by Snap-on Tools in 1992. Since then, I have held similar positions working for, or in conjunction with, other highly visible automotive tool and equipment companies.
Today I work for a small engineering firm with its main offices and manufacturing plant in Southern California. We design, engineer, manufacture, and distribute fluid maintenance products for the transportation industry worldwide. Products are sold under our label, Advantage Engineering, and private labeled products from our company are sold under the Snap-on label as well as Robinair. My primary area of responsibility is the United States and Canada. It is interesting work, because I have working relationships with Automotive Technicians, Business Owners of Automotive Repair and Service facilities, and the various levels of representatives and management associated with large public corporations.
It is said that we are all products of our environment. The learning environment at NJC prepared me to be very productive in an industry that has proven to be one of rapidly advancing technologies and seemingly never ending product development."
NJC Graduating Class of 1973