Sherwin-Williams® Automotive Finishes & Larsen Motorsports Announce First Blazing Trails Scholarship Fund Recipient

CLEVELAND – June 1, 2020 – Sherwin-Williams® Automotive Finishes and Larsen Motorsports have named the first Blazing Trails Scholarship Fund recipient: Nicole Turner, a 28-year old certified motorcycle mechanic/technician now attending Lake Tech in Eustis, Florida for auto body finishes.

“Nicole is the definition of a trail blazer,” explained Elaine Larsen, owner, Larsen Motorsports. “She’s the reason we started Blazing Trails and why we established the scholarship fund with Sherwin-Williams. She’s fearless, she’s breaking boundaries and she’s setting a new standard. She is the perfect person to receive the first scholarship.”

After receiving her bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts and becoming a certified motorcycle mechanic/technician, Nicole decided to merge her two loves – paint and motorcycles – and continue her education in automotive refinishing.

Blazing Trails Scholarship Fund recipients receive a full-year of tuition with four paint guns provided by Anest Iwata to ensure students have the proper equipment to start their career in the automotive service and collision repair industry.

“Nicole was unanimously nominated by her instructors,” says Larsen. “They described her as an outstanding student in every way, intelligent, a quick study, always showing patience and a good attitude.

Larsen added, “With the support from Larson Motorsports, Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes, and Anest Iwata, Nicole has all the tools she will need to go straight into the workforce and have a successful career in automotive refinishing.”

Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes partnered with Larsen Motorsports (LMS) in 2019 to establish the Blazing Trails Scholarship Fund (Blazing Trails, a 501(c)3) to address the talent shortage facing the collision repair industry. “The scholarship program is aimed at vocational and/or technical training in STEAM - science, technology, engineering, arts, and math - careers,” says Larsen.

“Attracting career-minded students and skilled professionals to pursue an education in automotive service and collision repair is key,” says Rob Mowson, Vice President of Marketing, Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes. “Collision repair is becoming highly technical and there is a shortage of young talent entering the auto repair industry. Recruitment for the next generation of auto repair technicians is more important now than ever before.”

At The SEMA Show last year, Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes 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. 

The Blazing Trails Scholarship Fund is currently reviewing applications from students around the country and will announce additional recipients throughout the year.

For more information about Blazing Trails and to apply for the Blazing Trails Scholarship Fund, visit:  


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 Blazing 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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