Partner Showcase

ASE Technician Profile - Devin Conne

Devin Conne
Acura/ASE Master Automobile Technician of the Year

Devin Conne’s first love was motorcycles; he started his career as a motorcycle mechanic (working for Yamaha) and loved racing Motocross locally in Illinois, “But there was more of a need for auto repair technicians,” Devin recalls, so he switched plans accordingly.

Listening to Conne reflect on his long career, one is struck by his discipline and dedication from early on, and how those same qualities have helped sustain him. By the time he was 16, Conne was “working at a small independent shop and going to a two-year trade school program while attending high school. One week after graduation I started working at a local Nissan dealership.” Talk about a young man launching fast.

And Conne has stayed the course: “I worked for Nissan for 10 years, Hyundai for three, and have been with Acura for 19 years for a total of 32 years.” Along the way, he always availed himself of professional training, accumulating honors and accolades: ASE Master Technician, Master Nissan Technician, Master Hyundai Technician, and Master Acura Technician. He notes he was “an original member of the Acura Supertech program” and “currently holds platinum status.” He has been Tech of the Year “for 12 years in a row” at McGrath Acura of Westmont (Illinois), where he’s served as foreman for 19 years. And of course, he was recently named national Acura/ASE Master Automobile Technician of the Year.

This same drive for excellence is evident in Conne’s view of ASE Certification: “ASE testing and certification shows employers and customers your dedication to continued learning and professionalism.” And he adds that “ASE certification is the best way to show you are knowledgeable in your field. My customers are assured I have all the knowledge necessary to perform job duties at a higher level of professionalism.”

In addition to technical skills, Conne says there are three important traits essential for new and experienced technicians alike: “Honesty, Professionalism, and Verbal Communication.”

As serious minded as he is Devin has found light moments in the shop. He relishes one episode in particular: “Years ago I brought a car in my stall with a seized engine that broke a rod. I replaced the engine and took it for a test drive. The engine sounded good so I opened it up a bit-- only one problem, the engine was at 6000 RPM and I was only going 50 MPH. The transmission would not shift out of first gear. I called the customer and they said, ‘I wondered what that revving sound was.’ I asked how long it was making this sound and they said it started a few weeks ago but got much worse when they were driving on the expressway above 65 MPH. I now know why the engine went bad.”

When asked to give advice to young people just starting out, Devin does so by relating a brief personal example: “At my first dealership job when reviews came around, I was offered a raise and instead asked to go to factory training and become factory certified.” His other advice is down-to-earth but perhaps needs repeating in this era of ‘ghosting’ in personal and professional relationships: “Avoid being late and not showing up.”

Thirty-two years on, Devin Conne is still showing up. He has been married for 18 years, with four children. “Special thanks to my wife, Dawn, for dealing with the dirty hands and the late nights in the garage,” he adds.

In his spare time, Devin enjoys coaching baseball and playing guitar. And while that first job fixing motorcycles may be a distant memory, he manages to ride motorcycles in his spare time to this day.