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Our Auto Check Team

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Ron and Karen Hovestad are the captain and first mate of this enterprise. Ron began his automotive career as an autobody technician, retrained as a radiator repairman and enjoys the challenge of solving an air conditioning mystery. Karen has always had a keen interest in cars, has worked in auto sales and service, and has a Master's degree in Organizational Leadership. Together, they work to continually improve their business. They have been married for 35 years and encourage a culture of collaboration and family-style camaraderie with their staff.

 

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Stefan Kennett moved from Saskatoon to Nanaimo in 1994. ​Because of his interest in cars, he got his first job in a tire shop which eventually led him to be a ticketed automotive technician. He's carried on in the industry ever since. In his spare time, Stefan enjoys playing hockey, mountain biking, dirt biking, and doing anything outdoors. Additionally, he is interested in the history of the world and has put together a slide show for the waiting area at Auto Check for customers to remember, ponder, and converse about times gone by in the city of Nanaimo. Stefan joined Auto Check in 2012 and is currently the service supervisor, coordinating the front office with the work being done in the shop.

 

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Jayne Hartwich joined our service team in 2016. She has been in the automotive industry for 14 years beginning in parts and equipment sales. Jayne excels at problem solving and has found her niche as a service advisor. In addition to being super mom to Jimi, she has been seen on stage singing, playing guitar, and more recently took up watercolour painting.

 

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New at the front desk is Chris Binks. After 20 years in sales and operations management, Chris made the switch to an automotive focus 5 years ago becoming assistant manager with a national tire chain. Motorcycle enthusiast, Karaoke king, and keen listener, Chris is an entertaining addition to our service team. He's most easily persuaded with artisan (donuts) or any baking, and chicken wings are most appreciated...

 

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Mike Bremner began his job in 2005 by coming to Auto Check from the Fraser Valley and has enjoyed working here every day since. He has been a licensed technician for 37 years and thrives on continually learning. He is a master of pretty much everything mechanical and is fascinated by the technology of our ever-changing world. When the heat is on, Mike and Ron may be found solving air conditioning problems in heavy equipment almost anywhere on the Island. When Mike isn’t grappling with what’s new in the automotive world, he is on the river fishing, fashioning something unique from exotic woods, and is a meat-eating BBQ master.

 

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Paul Walton joined the Auto Check team in the spring of 2013. Paul never shirks the tough stuff. He is a detail-oriented, meticulous technician who loves a challenge. No job is too big or too dirty; head gaskets, timing chain and water pumps, engine rebuilds or replacements--Paul does it all. After work, he applies himself just as enthusiastically to life as he is focused on the job. He is a total “Island guy,” taking his family camping, fishing, boating, or skiing, doing any activity outdoors.

 

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Thomas Lindenau grew up in Courtenay and has been at Auto Check since early 2015. He is in his second year as an apprentice technician and is a whiz at diagnosing electrical problems. Working on vehicles is so much more than a job; it is Thomas' passion. When he isn't working on cars or trucks, he is driving, racing, or talking about them. We are VERY happy to be the place Thomas has chosen to work, learn, and complete his certification.

 

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Our most recent addition to the mechanical team is Stefan Marschner. Stefan originally trained as an automotive technician in Germany. His focus is on efficiency and precision. He worked on heavy equipment in South Korea and is versatile in his repertoire, able to work on any type of car but (oddly) fond of Subaru. He now loves living in Nanaimo for the opportunity to get outdoors with his wife and daughter. His serious demeanor hides a quirky sense of humour. Bacon Friday is the plus that makes Stefan really happy to be working at Auto Check.