ANEST IWATA Joins Sherwin-Williams® Automotive Finishes & Larsen Motorsports Partnership in Support of the Blazing Trails Scholarship Program

CLEVELAND (July 7, 2020) – Sherwin-Williams® Automotive Finishes partnered with Larsen Motorsports (LMS) in 2019 and established the Blazing Trails Scholarship Fund (Blazing Trails, a 501(c)3) addressing the talent shortage facing the collision repair industry by providing financial aid to prospective automotive technicians. Anest Iwata now joins the partnership to support the scholarship fund and build on its outreach effort to post-secondary education institutions with automotive service and collision repair and refinish programs.

Anest Iwata, a leading manufacturer of engineered solutions for air compressors, vacuum pumps, spray and finishing equipment headquartered in Cincinnati, will provide scholarship recipients with spray guns to use while in school and after graduation when employed in the shop.

“We’re thrilled to be a part of the Blazing Trails Scholarship Fund and not only support the industry’s effort to recruit talent, but be able to work directly with the schools and the educators, and help train future techs and painters on how to properly use our equipment and perfect their craft,” says Nicolle LouAllen, Director of Marketing, Anest Iwata.

Anest Iwata’s partnership began just in time to award the first Blazing Trails Scholarship Fund winner this year – Nicole Turner. Turner, 28 years old, is attending Florida Tech in Eustis, Florida for auto body finishes. A Blazing Trails Scholarship Fund winner, she not only received a scholarship including a full year of tuition, but also four Anest Iwata spray guns.

“Ensuring students have the proper equipment and tools required to start their career is imperative to their success,” says LouAllen. “Nowadays students need access to state-of-the-art tools and professional instruction found in a college or vocational school, as well as the additional support and assistance from the industry in companies like us, and Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes and Larsen Motorsports.”

Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes and Larsen Motorsports announced the scholarship fund at last year’s SEMA Show and auctioned off 33 one-of-a-kind art panels custom airbrushed and pinstriped by some of the industry’s most well-known painters including: Steve Gibson, Joe Martin, Ryan Templeton, and Darren Wenzel. The auction raised more than $25,000 for the Blazing Trails Scholarship Fund.

“We will be selecting three more trail blazers from now through the end of the year,” says Elaine Larsen, owner, Larsen Motorsports. “These students must be pursuing a postsecondary degree in automotive collision repair and refinishing and exemplify intelligence and leadership while demonstrating a passion a commitment to the industry.”

“It’s no secret, our industry needs qualified talent to fill the gaps we’re seeing now in automotive services and collision repair and refinish,” says Rob Mowson, Vice President of Marketing, Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes. “Our goal, and especially now with the partnership with Anest Iwata, is to work directly with technical schools and colleges, and educators to build on their program with must-have equipment and products to prepare students for entry-level positions.”

The Blazing Trails Scholarship Fund is currently reviewing applications from students around the country. Click here for more information about Blazing Trails and to apply for the Blazing Trails Scholarship Fund.


Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes manufactures and distributes a complete line of advanced technology paint and coating systems for automotive, aerospace and fleet refinishing industries. The Automotive Finishes division, includes Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes® and Valspar® Automotive brands—Valspar® Refinish, DeBeer Refinish®, Prospray® Finishes, Matrix Automotive Finishes®, U.S. Chemical & Plastics® and House of Kolor®. Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes is a part of the Sherwin-Williams Performance Coatings Group, which supplies a broad range of highly-engineered solutions in more than 120 countries around the world. Founded in 1866, The Sherwin-Williams Company is a global leader in the manufacture, development, distribution, and sale of paints, coatings and related products to professional, industrial, commercial, and retail customers. For more information about Sherwin-Williams, visit


About Larsen Motorsports:  Palm Bay Florida-based Larsen Motorsports is a leading high-performance vehicles research and development company specializing in turbine powered drag racing vehicles. Among the primary focuses of the company is the development of the next generation of high-performance vehicles professionals. For additional information contact

About Blazine Trails:  Palm Bay Florida-based Blazing Trails is focused on helping the next generation achieve their dreams. Our facility is in the Larsen Motorsports High Performance Vehicles facility. Our organization will sponsor and assist students who have goals they want to achieve but are unable to due to lack of money and/or guidance. Through our charity, we hope to impact students, inspiring the next generation of trail blazers. For additional information contact  

About ANEST IWATA USA, Inc.:  Anest Iwata USA, Inc. is the North American Spray Equipment & Systems Headquarters of Anest Iwata Corporation based in Yokohama, Japan. Our high-end finishing solutions include manual and automatic spray guns, airbrushes, robotic systems, pressure pots, fluid delivery systems, and mold release applicators.  Anest Iwata spray equipment is used around the world for precise coating applications such as automotive refinish, woodworking, fine art, transportation, military, firearms, textiles, electronics, furniture, novelty goods, and much more.

We are the coating experts. From automotive paint to industrial adhesives, Anest Iwata's technology and innovative design help you create the most reliable and consistent finish in the industry.

To learn more about Anest Iwata and its community of painters, applicators, and artists join the conversation using #TeamIwata on Facebook (@AnestIwataUSA), Instagram (@anest_iwata), or Twitter (@anestiwatausa).


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