SEMA eNews Vol. 18, No. 27, July 2, 2015

Alex Xydias Center Celebrates New Facility

By John Stewart

The theme was gratitude and collaboration at an open-house event showcasing the new headquarters for the Alex Xydias Center for Automotive Arts (AXC), located at the Fairplex in Pomona, California. The event took place Saturday, June 20, and was attended by a broad group of enthusiasts, industry icons and AXC students.

The group came together to celebrate the new home for the Alex Xydias Center for Automotive Arts program, which has been developed in collaboration with automotive business owners and classic-car enthusiasts from the Inland Valley. The two-year automotive program allows students to gain the necessary confidence and hands-on experience to enter the automotive industry. The curriculum includes skills in basic mechanics, diagnosis and service, auto body, metal fabrication and restoration, and is designed to prepare students for continued study in college or the workplace.

The AXC has received donations and seed money from a wide cross-section of industry sources, including SEMA and notably, the Margie & Robert E. Petersen Foundation. Galeta “Gigi” Carleton, president of the Petersen Foundation, was on hand to help celebrate naming the new, larger facility, which will be known as Robert E. Petersen Garage, Home of the Alex Xydias Center for Automotive Arts at Fairplex.

Another highlight of the evening was the presentation of a donation for $10,000 to AXC from SEMA. The $10,000 was allocated based on a generous donation from Omix-ADA, which allowed the purchase of a Jeep that was modified and presented at the 2014 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. AXC students contributed to the build, which took place in the SEMA Garage. Mike Spagnola, SEMA vice president of OEM and product development programs, and Chris Kersting, SEMA president and CEO, were on hand to present the check.

Also on display was the LA Roadsters 50th Anniversary “Spirit of McGee” roadster, which will be completed through collaboration between industry sponsors and AXC students. Upon completion, the roadster will be auctioned at Barrett-Jackson 2016, with proceeds benefiting AXC.

To make a donation, visit www.tlcfairplex.com, click “donate now” and choose “CTEC Auto/AXC.”

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Galeta “Gigi” Carleton, president of the Petersen Foundation, was on hand to help celebrate naming the new, larger facility, which will be known as the Robert E. Petersen Garage, Home of the Alex Xydias Center for Automotive Arts at Fairplex. From left to right: Elin Dowd, vice president and executive director at TLC; Alex Xydias; Theresa Contreras, automotive program specialist; Gigi Carleton; Jon Blikenstaff, chair of the AXC Advisory Committee; Don Kendrick, chair of the CTEC Steering Committee.
 

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Another highlight of the evening was the presentation of a donation for $10,000 to AXC from SEMA. Mike Spagnola, (left) SEMA vice president of OEM and product development programs, and Chris Kersting, (right) SEMA president and CEO, were on hand to present the check to Jon Bilkenstaff of the AXC.

 

     
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The LA Roadsters 50th Anniversary “Spirit of McGee” roadster will be completed through collaboration between industry sponsors and AXC students. Upon completion, the roadster will be auctioned at Barrett-Jackson 2016, with proceeds benefiting AXC.
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The new home for the Alex Xydias Center for the Automotive Arts is the Robert E. Petersen Garage at Fairplex in Pomona, California.
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