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Wheels, Inc.'s Joe Birren Named World Class Technician by AAIA

Birren Receives ASE Certifications to Achieve World Class Level

DES PLAINES, Ill., July 21 -- Wheels, Inc., a leader in the multi-billion-dollar fleet-leasing industry, today announced that Maintenance Assistance Program (MAP) Advisor Joe Birren has been recognized as a World Class technician by the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA). The World Class designation is based on certifications from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).

A total of 22 certifications are needed to achieve recognition as a World Class technician and each ASE certification must be renewed every five years. Out of more than 400,000 ASE certified professionals, just 239 technicians worldwide -- less than a tenth of a percent -- are currently recognized with the World Class designation. With his certification, Birren joins Wheels MAP Manager Bob Clark and MAP Senior Advisors Joe Jarosz and Jose Martinez in attaining elite World Class technician standing.

"Achieving and maintaining this designation is extremely difficult and requires the highest level of dedication," said Vince Sommer, Wheels Director of Collision and Vendor Management. "We're very proud of Joe Birren's focus on reaching the World Class level. ASE certification provides concrete industry- recognized validation of his top-tier experience, knowledge and expertise.

"Wheels is committed to adding value for our customers in every area. The fact that out of a total population of 239 World Class technicians, four are members of our company reflects that philosophy," Sommer continued. "Joe Birren joins the top echelon of people in the Wheels organization who are World Class certified. They typify the best-of-the-best expertise that our customer base can draw on whenever needed."

About Wheels, Inc.

Wheels, Inc. (, which pioneered the concept of auto leasing in 1939, provides a full range of specialized services to help corporations manage their vehicle fleets. Wheels has 550 employees and manages more than 240,000 vehicles. Its holding company, Frank Consolidated Enterprises, currently ranks as one of the largest private companies in the United States, with nearly $2 billion in annual sales. For additional information, please contact

About ASE

Incorporated on June 12, 1972, the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence was established as a non-profit organization to help improve the quality of automotive service and repair through the voluntary testing and certification of automotive technicians and parts specialists. Today, there are more than 400,000 ASE-certified professionals who work in dealerships, independent shops, service stations, collision repair shops, auto parts stores, fleets, machine shops, schools and colleges throughout the country. For more information about ASE, visit