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Department of Licensing

2002 Awards Announced

Each Fall the Washington State Department of Licensing awards instructors and businesses and local organizations for their outstanding work during the year. 

This year the DOL recognized an instructor, a business and an organization.

The first award went to Bruce Thomas as the winner of the 2002 Washington Motorcycle Safety Program Instructor of the Year Award.

Thomas was certified in April of 1997 in California. He transferred to Washington in November of 2000 and very quickly attained his WMSP certification. The folks at the Evergreen Safety Council, where he teaches, are impressed with Thomas’ ability to relate to his students and ensure their learning. "His skill as a WMSP instructor has been consistently outstanding in the two years he has worked in Washington. Bruce goes well beyond what is normally expected of a WMSP instructor in all of his classes. His students learn the necessary skills due to the clarity and thoroughness of his classroom presentation and his ability to effectively coach each exercise on the range. His demonstrations are always flawless, and his patience in dealing with students who are having problems seems to be boundless" said a spokesperson for ESC.

Above from left to right: Monty Lish - President of ESC, Bruce Thomas - Instructor,  and Carl Spurgeon - Washington Motorcycle Safety Program Manager.

Thomas rarely counsels students out of his classes, preferring to take the extra time to work with them to assist their learning and help them complete the course. He is also said to work extremely well with new instructors, and is currently participating in the Mentor Instructor training program at Evergreen Motorcycle Safety Training.

When not teaching motorcycle skills, Thomas also serves as the U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Northwest liaison to the WMSP ensuring close cooperation and coordination between the two agencies.

Next in line for an award this year was Gervasi’s Cycle Repair of Everett, receiving this year’s WMSP Outstanding Dealer of the Year Award.

The staff at Gervasi’s is a consistent supporter of the Washington Motorcycle Safety Program, and encourages all of their customers to take a rider training course.

Although not strictly a dealer, Gervasi’s is an independent service shop for most brands of motorcycles. The owner, Rick Gervasi, likes to personally ensure that the customer service in his business is second to none. "Rick’s concern for doing the best work possible, and his unique approach to motorcycle maintenance allowed him to achieve something that no other mechanic to our knowledge has ever been able to do. He personally conducted extensive research into the problems experienced by the CB125TT training bikes. These bikes have a nationwide reputation for not responding immediately when the throttle is opened," commented one state motorcycle safety contractor. Using his vast knowledge and experience Rick Gervasi managed to correct the problem. Word of this has spread throughout the country, and Evergreen Safety Council regularly receives phone calls inquiring as to how the problem was rectified on the training bikes.

Above: Spurgeon awards Rick Gervasi shopside

Gervasi’s likes to go beyond what is normally expected of any motorcycle service facility. When one of ESC’s CB125TTs engines destroyed itself, the Gervasi staff went to work and found a way to modify the necessary components and install a CB250 engine in place of the original. This "can do" attitude is rare at most shops and requires people to think outside the box.

For the second year in a row the WA Roadriders Association has received an award from the DOL for Outstanding Support to the Washington State Motorcycle Safety Program. 

Spurgeon emphasizes the role of the WRRA Membership in passing vital Rider Education legislation this past session which helped speed up the time it takes for a rider to get into an instruction class.  Where it used to be five months of waiting, it has been significantly streamlined without additional cost to the state.  He credited the WRRA's work as the key to passage. He defined the WRRA's contribution as "above and beyond the call" in reference to Rider Education issues.

Karen Bolin of the WRRA gives credit to their membership and riders statewide for the award and passage of last year's legislation. "Without the phone calls, e-mails and letters going to Olympia, no legislation moves," Bolin notes. 

At Right:  Karen Bolin of the WRRA aside her airhead BMW

This marks the second year this particular DOL Award has ever been given. The WRRA received this award in 2001 for its leadership in protecting the MC Rider Education Account within the new transportation budget structure.


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