Larry Witherspoon Jr. is a Co-Founder and the Executive Director of the Automotive Training Center. Larry has held multiple leadership positions in the U. S. Navy and with Frito-Lay, a Fortune 100 company. He also has 5+ years of sales experience with Cintas, a Fortune 500 company.
In addition to his business experience, Larry grew up watching his father mentor young men. His father was a high-school teacher, coached multiple sports, and worked part-time at a juvenile detention facility. Larry grew up understanding the difficulties all young men face becoming adults especially those that come from challenging circumstances. ATC is a place where both of his passions can thrive. He has taken those experiences growing up and combined them with his passion for vehicles to start the Automotive Training Center.
Shawn McHargue is ATC’s other Co-Founder and is the Lead Teaching Instructor. He started off working as a technician at a Pep-Boys, but his last position was as a technician at Anthem Automotive, the #1 Yelp rated auto-repair business in Atlanta. Shawn also received his ASE Certificate while he was there. He graduated from the University of Central Florida, receiving his bachelor’s degree in Public Administration. He also minored in Nonprofit Management and is certified as a Nonprofit Leadership and Management Professional. Shawn’s technical and business expertise, along with his non-profit background create a unique skill set that suits him well in teaching students and managing the business side of ATC.
Shawn has always had a knack for building and repairing things. He enjoyed learning to work on his motorcycle and his own car. Shawn loves to help people in general and enjoys educating people about regular maintenance on their vehicles. To this day he is most passionate about training up the young men for their bright futures.
Jody Gibson is joining ATC as an Entry-Level Technician Instructor and brings over fifteen years of experience in the automotive industry. She began her career as a cashier in an independent quick lube shop, and she quickly worked her up to technician and then manager. Jody’s management experience includes quick lube and repair facilities such as Jiffy Lube and Grease Monkey. Working alongside her husband, she has helped establish and maintain successful repair shops while mentoring and training the young employees who worked there.
Jody is enthusiastic about new learning opportunities at ATC. Although she has over a decade of experience, ATC is unlike other shops, and she’s excited about the challenge. Jody is eager to share her knowledge and expertise with ATC students and looks forward to mentoring them and pushing them to their full potential.
John Gibson is a proud new member of the ATC family. He serves as our Advanced Level Technician Instructor. The Advanced Level Technician (ALT) program is a new program that is launching at the end of 2020. John began working on his own cars at an early age out of necessity. However, he soon discovered that he had a passion for auto repair. He realized that his hobby could support his family and was an outlet for his thirst for knowledge and continued learning.
He’s spent eleven years as a technician, and together with his wife Jody, he has opened and managed several automotive repair facilities throughout the southeast. John prides himself most on passing his knowledge onto others to help them succeed in their careers and prosper within their communities. John is also passionate about gardening and landscaping in his free time.
Jasmine S. Jones is ATC’s Program Assistant. She handles administrative tasks, manages the organization’s social media, and assists with donor management, among other things. She is currently pursuing a B.S. in Public Policy with a concentration in Nonprofit Leadership at Georgia State University. Her previous experience includes being a research assistant in GSU’s Psychology department, as a Teaching Assistant for Morehouse College’s Regional Trio program, and a barista at Starbucks.
Jasmine uses her unique experience to connect with students and encourage them to put their best foot forward. Jasmine is from Riverdale, GA, and enjoys reading and trying new recipes in her free time.