A Tribute to the Maurseths

Smog Tech Institute assumed ownership of CIAT and High-Tech Auto in June 2018. At Smog Tech Institute, we hold a deep appreciation for the Maurseths' substantial contributions to the community, marked by their steadfast business ethics, compassion for others, and unwavering commitment to doing what is right. Their departure leaves a void, and the most fitting tribute to them is our steadfast adherence to their foundational business principles—maintaining unwavering integrity and delivering top-tier training. We are committed to upholding the legacy of the Maurseths by providing you with the high-quality training you deserve and treating you with the utmost respect.

Their remarkable journey.

Sherman Myron Maurseth, with his daughter Maria Worthen and son-in-law Wes Worthen Sr. by his side, departed from us on September 1, 2017. Myron, born on January 8, 1938, in Northwood, ND, had humble beginnings on a farm, served in the Air Force, and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of North Dakota. Though he initially aspired to become a doctor or dentist, fate led him to become an automotive expert instead.

Myron and his wife, Margaret Maurseth, relocated to San Marcos and established High Tech Auto. By day, they excelled in auto repairs, while by night, they conducted automotive training courses. In 1997, they founded CIAT (California Institute of Automotive Technology). Myron authored a significant portion of the mandatory training materials still in use statewide for the California Smog training program. His instructional materials became the gold standard for many educators, renowned for their accessibility and clarity. Myron also played a pivotal role in the Train-the-Trainer program, imparting his knowledge to prospective smog instructors in California.

Myron's dedication to his students was unwavering; he continually considered their needs when crafting training materials. Through his curriculum and in-classroom teaching, he directly or indirectly influenced thousands of automotive technicians. Outside of his professional pursuits, Myron was an avid pilot and shared his passion for gem mining with his family. In their community and the automotive industry, he and his wife were held in high regard, especially by students who passed through CIAT. Many of CIAT's students have since become instructors or opened successful automotive repair shops, all upholding their motto of conducting business with unwavering integrity and expertise.

Matt Bartlett, Myron, and Margaret's grandchild, currently manages High Tech Auto, while Maria and Wes Worthen Sr. have relocated to Washington, entrusting the responsibility of overseeing CIAT and High Tech Auto to Mark Keiser and Greg Ramirez of Smog Tech Institute.

As the new stewards of CIAT and High Tech Auto, Smog Tech Institute will strive to uphold the legacy of Myron and Margaret, an endeavor that comes with significant responsibility and profound respect.


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