Bill Bender was one of the first 100 certified Nissan Master Technicians in the US. After working in garages from Key West to San Diego he started Independent Motors in 1983. Bill loves to travel and enjoys talking to almost anyone, including aliens.
Mark Steele is our Parts Manager. He got the car bug from his grandfather who was a stock car racer, wrecker driver, and mechanic. Mark enjoys time with his family and likes to camp, hike, and golf. Mark has been known to go fishing on his lunch break.
Jason Gibney has worked on Jeeps for 25 years. He has designed, fabricated, and raced 4×4 vehicles as a pro. Many of his custom rigs are still being copied. He enjoys pushing the envelope on long scenic trails and learns by “going out and breaking them.”
James Mings developed an interest in cars during his childhood in Japan. He has been a parts specialist since 1989 and is widely known by many local independent garages. James enjoys music and traveling.
Jason’s love of automobiles began early. After high school, he enrolled in the Integrated Technology department at Front Range Community College in Colorado, focusing on the applied science of automotive technology. During his time in the program, he specialized in studying import vehicles, and completed an apprenticeship at Import Specialists under master technician Bill Rowell. On completing his education, he continued to work at Import Specialists for eight years. Jason brings his thorough background in modern automotive technology and substantial experience in the shop to his role at Independent Motors, where he began as a service writer. Today, he works at Independent as a Service Writer with a dedication to finding the right solution to customer’s automotive repair and maintenance issues.
Greg is a long time resident of Boulder County, having worked and lived in the area for more than two decades. He graduated from Denver Automotive and Diesel College in 2003. Now known as the Lincoln School of Technology, the private technical college operates a high tech facility in Denver. It was there that Greg received a thorough grounding in automotive mechanics and the auto business. Since graduating, he has held a number of positions in the automotive industry. He brings that extensive background to his role as Service Writer at Independent. When he’s not working, Greg enjoys spending time with his daughter in the beautiful Colorado Mountains. He can also often be found wandering upstream with a fly rod in his hand, in search of the perfect spot to fish.
Ian Neumann grew up in a small town in Illinois, but caught the travel bug and left shortly after high school for Northern California, where he met the love of his life. Fun fact: he worked at the oldest running movie theater in the United States, where he unfortunately was robbed at gunpoint. From California, he headed to Seattle and chef school, finally settling down in Colorado after graduating. A stint driving for Uber let him find his niche, where his naturally sociable personality and easygoing manner made him a success and popular with his clients. Ian enjoys meeting our customers and making their shuttle drive an enjoyable experience. While he works at Independent, he’s also studying video game art and design online, working towards a Bachelor’s degree.
Brian Wearne’s experience repairing cars goes back to the age of eight, when he helped his father and older brother work on vehicles on a ranch in a remote region of Arizona near the Mexican border. He studied Automotive Technology at a community college for several years, and completed a two-year apprenticeship program. Brian’s work experience is substantial, including working with chassis dynamo-meters similar to those used at state emissions facilities to diagnose and repair emissions failures. He has worked with cars, diesel trucks, and custom vehicles, including 1/4-mile dragsters, and has built custom 4-wheel drive trucks. Brian worked previously for Ford Motor Company, where he obtained a tenured Master Technician certification through Ford’s Stars program. Brian is currently ASE Master certified, and an L1 Advanced Gasoline Engine Certification. Brian has re-certified, through ASE testing facilities, every five years since his first certifications in 2001.
Chi’s road to becoming an auto technician took a circuitous and colorful route that included three brief stints at college, and a couple of years working in a bicycle shop. His first experience working on cars in an auto shop included speaking in hand gestures with his Italian boss, daily screaming, and breaking expensive components, all while learning about European imports along the way. In 2002, he moved to Arizona to attend a technical college, graduating with an associate’s degree, and six month’s experience working on Audis. From Arizona, he moved to Washington, DC, where he worked at an Audi dealership for a year, then in an independent Euro shop for several years. He made the move to Colorado in 2014, and landed at Independent Motors in 2015. Chi has been ASE Master certified, with an L1 Advanced Gasoline Engine Certification since 2005, and is still driven by a passion for getting the job done right.
Drew was born in Boulder, Colorado and has lived in the area his whole life. He entered Boulder Import Motors, a family business, and ran it with his father Jerry until 2017. After Jerry passed away unexpectedly, Drew took stock of the business and, in August 2017, made the decision to merge Boulder Import Motors with Independent Motors to better serve his customers. Drew has extensive experience working on all makes and models of cars, with 15 years in the automotive industry, and is happiest working in the shop or catching up with old customers. In his spare time, Drew loves snowboarding in the scenic Colorado Mountains, or fishing in one of the area’s many pristine rivers and lakes, continuing his father’s legacy.
Karl’s job is really a labor of love. He’s worked with BMW vehicles for 22 years, and enjoys repairing them almost as much as he does driving them. Karl has had the pleasure of owning a few BMWs, meaning he knows the car as a driver as well as in the role of Master Technician. Karl is also a Mini Cooper expert, having worked on them for about the past 13 years. To stay current, Karl participates in continuing education and professional training on an ongoing basis, including the Manufacturer Based Technical Training for BMW/Mini and Audi Vehicles. He has attained the designation of BMW Master Technician from 1997 to 2012, and Mini Certified Technician from 2005 to 2012. In 2014 he added Audi Certified Technician to the list. He prides himself on providing expert service, and his ability to explain complex technical issues to his BMW, Audi, and Mini Cooper clients. A BMW is a high performance vehicle that handles beautifully and will be a reliable vehicle for many years when it’s maintained by someone like Karl who knows them inside out.