SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A local mechanic has risen through the ranks to the point of national recognition.
Dennis Whited, a senior master technician at Saratoga Ford, has been working for the brand for 38 years. He’s adapted to changes in the industry, and how the cars work.
“Everything is controlled by electronics,” Whited told News10, “even your heating and air conditioning are electronic. we have a computer that hooks into it and it gives us codes, and then we go through the process of pinpointing the issue.”
Whited has become such an expert at pinpointing and resolving issues with vehicles, that he has reached what he considers the pinnacle of his career: serving on the Ford Technician Review Panel.
“I represent the New York region, and I represent the dealerships that are in the New York region,” Whited told News10, “and the employees that work for Ford. If they have any suggestions or ideas, when I go to my meeting every quarter in Detroit, we bring it up to them and we talk to them.”
The panel talks about everything from safety features, to customer service, to engineering details. Whited is one of 21 people in the country who were chosen based on their ability to provide expert input.
“I’m self-taught. I didn’t go to school for this,” Whited told News10, “I’ve enjoyed what I’ve done. I’ve been Ford loyal since the beginning. It gets emotional.”
Chris Mackey, managing member of Saratoga Ford and Saratoga Subaru, says it’s Whited’s loyalty and dedication to the brand that makes him a cut above the rest.
“Every day, Dennis goes out of his way to extend a helping hand beyond just fixing someone’s car in our shop. He’ll go on a road test, he will go to a customers place of business,” Mackey told News10.
Mackey says as soon as Whited came to him and told him about his dream to sit on the panel, he went on a crusade to help him achieve it.
“There’s over 4000 Ford dealers nationwide,” Mackey told News10, “and to have one person selected from a little Ford dealership in Saratoga Springs, New York…we are blessed to have Dennis Whited.”
In between those quarterly panel meetings, Whited will keep working on cars in the Saratoga Ford garage.
He says many of his fellow technicians there look up to him. If they want a chance to sit on the panel, he says they’ll be able to apply in 18 months.