|The largest group of graduates ever from the Automotive Management Institute proudly show off their diplomas after a moving ceremony at ASA's Celebration of Excellence at NACE. |
Graduates decked out in caps and gowns filed onto the stage to receive their diplomas from Toni Slaton, AMI executive director, and John Francis, Jr., chairman of the board.
About the AAM
The AAM recognizes industry professionals who successfully complete AMI course work and earn a minimum of 120 credits in five core education areas: financial management; marketing and sales; operations and service; management and administration; and personnel and human resource development.
Profile of a graduate
After three years of work, Marcos Hernandez, manager, A&C Paint and Body, Lemon Grove, California, picked up his diploma with much pride. Armed with his AAM, Hernandez hopes to reach out to other Hispanic shop owners and bring them into the system.
Hernandez plans to get involved with AMI - helping bring smaller shops into the fold. Many small shop owners feel intimidated by associations and shy away from joining. He would like to see AMI develop a multi-language manual, indicating that he would be a project he'd like to get involved in.
Hernandez is certainly a role model. He grew up in Mexico and came to the U.S. at age 17 to attend San Diego State University. He later returned to Tijuana to attend law school. He began working at local San Diego dealership Seaside Buick in 1977 and worked his way up to painter while attending college. He later became assistant manager at Colonial Ford in National City, acquired corporate traiing from the Corporate Auto Group and completed the circle by returning to Seaside Buick as manager.
He is the father of two teenage daughters, Veronica and Bridget, and one son Marcos, who were born and raised in Chula Vista, a San Diego suburb.
In his copious free time, Hernandez likes building hot rods and plays a little golf. All members of the Hernandez family are soccer fanatics.