From left: first-year apprentice Daniel Henrie, Beverly Kaltenbruner, third-year-apprentice Abe Banman, and Lethbridge College trades chairman Sheldon Anderson.
Alberta apprentices Abe Banman and Daniel Henrie are the inaugural recipients of the Brian Kaltenbruner Memorial Tool Award – established to help apprentices prepare for a career in the repair and service industry.
The apprentices – both students at Lethbridge College – received their prizes earlier this month at a special ceremony at Harold’s Auto Service in Lethbridge, Alta.
The awards, established by Beverly Kaltenbruner in memory of her late husband Brian, consist of a $2,500 tool certificate for the most deserving third-year student, and a $1,500 tool certificate for the most deserving first-year student.
“Investment in good quality tools is a huge stumbling block to many students,” said Beverly. “I’m excited about the Brian Kaltenbruner Memorial Tool Award. It’s my hope that we can plant seeds of possibility into the minds of business owners across the country to support the next generation of technicians.”
From left: Kyle and Gary Winters of Silver Automotive in Lethbridge, Alta., with Daniel Henrie, award founder Beverly Kaltenbruner, Abe Banman, and Kieran Comerford of Snap-on Industrial.
The award is funded by a personal donation from Kaltenbruner herself each year ($2,500) and a corporate donation from Harold’s Automotive ($1,000). Additional annual support from Snap-on Industrial ($500) and Silver Auto of Lethbridge ($500) are being invested so the fund will one day be self-sustaining.
Recipients are chosen by instructors, based on their demonstrated desire for excellence and commitment to the industry.
Beverly said she’d like to see other automotive service shops and supplier companies set up scholarship programs to encourage young aspiring technicians.
“We hope that auto service providers across the country will realize the value of investing in the best and brightest students,” she said. “It’s vitally important for auto service providers to play a major part in supporting and growing their own labour pool talent, rather than simply lamenting the lack of available qualified technicians in Canada.”
She encouraged the first recipients of the award to learn from Brian’s example of leadership and determination.
“Be strong and personally resilient,” she said. “Never allow anyone or anything to diminish your dreams or compromise your standards. Allow your personal and business ethics to carry you to unexpected success in your career and your life.”
In 2006, after having being part of Harold’s Auto since 1994, Brian and Beverly bought the business from Brian’s parents, Harold and Linda Kaltenbruner in 2006. Brian’s life was cut short in a motorcycle accident in June 2015.
“Brian believed the responsibility to attract the best and brightest applicants to automotive apprenticeship programs falls to business owners,” Beverly said.
Brian Kaltenbruner was well respected for his business acumen and commitment both to the community as a whole and the automotive industry. According to Beverly, he was a singularly unique and determined individual who not only had dreams, but the strength of character to turn those dreams to reality.