Certified Talent: James Chapman’s Road to Gold at Auto Glass Week

January 30, 2024

James Chapman competes for the gold medal at Auto Glass Week 2023.

For James Chapman, the key to success is all about knowledge. Chapman, the gold medalist in the 2023 Auto Glass Technician Competition, received the top honor during Auto Glass Week™ (AGW) 2023, which took place Sept. 20-22 in Virginia Beach, Va.

44-year-old Chapman is an Auto Glass Safety Council (AGSC) certified master replacement technician, who works at Richardson Glass Service in Newark, Ohio. He’s not new to AGW competitions, having competed three times before, taking third place in 2021. 2023, however, was finally the year he took gold.

Sporting a head-turning, pink suit, Chapman was hard to miss during the awards celebration.

“I enjoy turning heads,” he said after the awards ceremony of the suit he purchased four months prior in preparation for the event. But the suit did more than make a fashion statement. Chapman says he wore the suit to show respect and to honor his fellow competitors.

“And I just love the color pink,” he says.

Chapman has since kept in touch with many of those same competitors. He’s even gone out of his way to help others prepare for AGW competitions by sharing his own practice tool: a spreadsheet rubric listing what you could win points for in the competition.

Chapman credits his AGW 2023 success partly to the knowledge and parameters he learned from his AGSC certification, something he also takes very seriously in his everyday job.

“The reason why I wanted to keep getting certified and then master certified is because of the a sense of pride it gives me when I speak to my customer, I [approach them] with 100% integrity,” Chapman says.

He adds that certification provides a wealth of guidelines he can lean on.

“Knowledge is your ability to retain or have resources to re-access information you need to make sure you’re doing something correctly,” Chapman says. “So with that backing, I’m able to perform my job daily.”

When he has a question about something, he’s able to turn to the AGSC Standards or ask someone at AGSC for help. Being AGSC-certified also helped his competition prowess, as he was well aware of the standards he needed to meet to win points in the competition.

Despite his success, Chapman says his days as an AGW competitor are over. He prefers to enjoy the event without the stress of competing. Instead, he wants to coach those who are competing.

“I had my moment. I want to help others achieve their moment,” Chapman says.

Chapman spreads knowledge and encouragement to other auto glass technicians beyond just AGW with his podcast “Put them on the glass” full of educational material and shout-outs to businesses.

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