Meet Our “Squadron” of Instructors
We want you to know who we are! The following bios provide a peek at the diverse and talented group of individuals that make Teen Driving Solutions the very best place for your teen to acquire the skills and knowledge they need to handle a car safely, even in an emergency.
EVERY ONE OF US is a volunteer, and every one of us is committed to the singular goal of reducing motor vehicles crashes as the number one cause of death and injury among our nation’s teens and young adults.
Call Sign: 2Kruse
Brian is the consummate “car guy”. Some say he learned to drive a race car before he learned how to shave. He has participated in countless High-Performance Driver Events (HPDE) over the years, most recently graduating from Ron Fellows Corvette C7 Racing School.
Although Brian’s had just about everything with 4 wheels out on a racetrack, he says his new C7 Corvette Stingray is nothing short of amazing. When Brian retired from his day job as a Metallurgical Engineer in the power industry, he decided to contribute his considerable driver training and experience by joining our volunteer team of Teen Driving Solutions instructors. We are lucky to have him.
Chuck Hawks – CEO
Call Sign: Noiz
Chuck is the CEO of Teen Driving Solutions. In addition to his leadership role, he serves as the school’s primary classroom instructor and co-leads curriculum development with the school’s president, Dan Wagner.
Don’t let Chuck’s responsibilities fool you into thinking he is just a desk jockey! Chuck has over 30 years’ experience in motorsports as a pro driver, coach and trainer for all types of driving. Basically, if it’s got four contact patches he teaches, coaches, or drives it – from teens to race drivers and more. He tests prototype vehicles for automobile manufacturers and provides tactical driver training for governmental, military and private agencies. Chuck’s daily driver is a Volkswagen Golf R whose all wheel drive, prodigious power, and razor-sharp handling make it extremely safe and fun to drive.
Despite constant offers from around the world to contract his exceptional skills, Chuck faithfully makes time to volunteer his many talents for Teen Driving Solutions to provide the quality training teens need to “Arrive Alive Every Time They Drive™!”
Call Sign: Throttle Boy
Dan is the founder and president of the Teen Driving Solutions School. At one time or another, he has been a certified High-Performance Driving Education instructor for 8 different car clubs and racing associations. He is a graduate of the Bondurant School of High Performance Driving where he raced Corvettes, Formula Fords, and shifter karts. Until recently, he maintained an SCCA competition license. He once owned an automotive performance shop and is an expert “wrench” who custom built over two dozen engines for Bob Bondurant, including Mr. Bondurant’s personal school vehicle.
Nowadays, when not volunteering his time as president of the school, Dan markets specialty engineered materials for the bus and aviation industries. When on the road, he can be found behind the wheel of his Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT or his Cadillac CTS-V with the rare 6-speed manual option.
So, what compels someone to make the huge sacrifices he has to create and operate a school like Teen Driving Solutions? When Dan was 14 years old, a close teenage family friend died in a car crash. Over the ensuing years, Dan witnessed several young members of his own family get in serious wrecks shortly after getting their licenses. This combined with the realization that teen drivers were continuing to die in motor vehicle crashes at a disproportionately high rate spurred him to write a book on safe driving techniques. The book soon evolved into the G.R.I.P. on Life Teen Driving Seminar. From this seminar grew the Teen Driving Solutions School in 2010.
His goal was to create a program that provides teenagers the specific education and training necessary to reduce their risk for crashes. Based on feedback from our graduate families along the way, that goal has been met many times already. To this day, Dan remains the driving force behind achieving our vision that teens and their families everywhere, Arrive Alive Every Time They Drive!™ Oh yes, you better accept that no parent or teen leaves one of our classes without getting a hug from Dan! The man truly has a heart the size of Texas.
Call Sign: Marvin
If anybody knows how to safely squeeze the most performance out of an automobile, that would be Don. He is a National Instructor for the Porsche Club of America, and a Certified Instructor for the Motorsports Safety Foundation. For fun he races his friend’s race-prepared BMW, or he drives track days behind the wheel of his own Porsche Carrera.
On weekdays, he’s a mild-mannered IT wizard solving serious computer and network issues for customers of his IT business.
So, why would Don volunteer his weekends for our school as one of our instructors? He’ll tell you he truly enjoys coaching and instructing our teen students, and the satisfaction that comes from watching their eyes light up when they “get it” and everything starts to click.
Dr. Dar, Parent Coach & Administrator
Call Sign: Dr. Dar
Dr. Dar is one of the school’s board members, Parent Coach, Administrator and lead classroom instructor and presenter for our Parent Seminar. Her significant contribution to the school’s curriculum plays a key role in helping Teen Driving Solutions create safe teen drivers.
Car control skills are only half the equation in reducing teen vehicle crashes. Attitudes, emotions, and relationships with parents and peers also play a critical role in the judgment process teens demonstrate when behind the wheel. To this end, she is passionate about equipping parents with the relationship, coaching, and communication skills to deepen the parent-teen relationship and preparing their teenagers to become vibrant and successful young adults.
Her 20+ years of coaching, communication and relationship skills will continue to impact the lives of these families by strengthening the family bonds and parent-teen relationships long after they leave our seminar. Dr. Dar, a lifelong learner, has extensive education and training credentials include Bachelors in Business and Computer Science, Masters in eCommerce, Ph.D. in Human Behavior plus Life, Business, Relationship and Change Coaching certifications, Certified Singles, Couples, and Family Coach, Project Management Professional, and Agile ScrumMaster.
Dr. Julian Busby
Call Sign: Doc Throttle
Dr. Busby is a board-certified Ob-Gyn physician with 48 years’ experience in High Point, N.C. He raced competitively in the SCCA for 26 consecutive years, and has instructed at many high‑performance driving events for both Audi and Porsche Clubs, as well as track events at Charlotte, Rockingham, Carolina Motorsports Park, and VIR.”
As for hobbies, he says he has only one, watching Carolina beat Duke! When asked why he shares his time, skills, and experience as an instructor for our school, he replied “When I have a teen who comes to TDSS and is hesitant and uncomfortable on Saturday morning, and leaves Sunday afternoon a much more accomplished and safety conscious driver, then my volunteer hours have been well spent.
To say this is rewarding is an understatement.”
Clearly Dr. Busby’s “trackside manner” is above reproach.
Call Sign: Jet
Elizabeth may be our youngest instructor, but don’t think for a second she lacks the skill or experience to be an outstanding in-car coach for your teen. When she was just 14 years old, she was learning how to push her dad’s Corvette to the limit around the empty taxiways of a small airport in Eastern Kansas. Her love for driving hasn’t stopped since. Elizabeth completed the Teen Driving Solutions’ instructor training last year, and plans to earn her SCCA Competition License next year. Out on a race track her signature style is butter smooth, lightning fast, and most of all, safe.
As your teen’s instructor, her easy-going personality, and razor-sharp car control skills make her the perfect “big sister” to teach them how to maintain control of their vehicle, even if things get ugly. Although she lives in Orlando, Florida she makes the trip several times each year to Virginia to volunteer as one of our in-car instructors. So why does Elizabeth come all the way from Florida and volunteer her time? She says, “When I was growing up, so many of my high school classmates were hurt or killed in car crashes. It doesn't have to be like this, I can teach teen drivers to be better than that.” Elizabeth’s father is fellow TDSS Instructor, Merrill Quintrell.
Call Sign: Eagle
Jim has been participating in high performance driving events for the past nine years. In 2013 he was asked to become an in-car track instructor. He currently drives for three race teams fielding a Chevrolet Camaro, Toyota MR2, and a Ford Mustang. To date, Jim has conducted over 65 high performance driving classes, showing folks how to be fast, smooth, and most of all safe behind the wheel of a race car.
Currently his personal set of wheels is a Chevrolet Corvette ZR1, which makes even picking up the dry-cleaning fun! Besides driving race cars, Jim’s other hobby is woodworking. So, when he’s not making pieces of metal go fast, he’s making pieces of wood become beautiful. Jim retired from NC State University where he was in charge of all the machines that ate paper, including every printer and copy machine on campus.
So, given the choice of driving a race car, a Corvette ZR1, or making beautiful things out of wood, why does Jim give up his weekends to be an instructor for our school? Because he wants to make a difference in the lives of young adults. He hopes that students will remember TDSS for the rest of their driving “career” and pass on what they have learned to others. With all his track instructor experience, nothing phases him in a car, and his quiet and soft-spoken style immediately puts new and nervous drivers at ease.
Call Sign: Night Train
Jimmy is currently a high-performance driving instructor for the BMW, Ferrari, and Porsche Car Clubs of America, so clearly there is no beast he can’t tame. He literally has thousands of hours behind the wheel of some of the most powerful cars in the world. When not coaching students in exotic supercars, he spends his time as a top level cyber security consultant.
Jimmy realizes full well that when his 14-year-old son starts driving, if not properly trained, he will be in the greatest danger of his life. To him that’s not acceptable, for either his son or anyone else’s child. He knows the difference quality instruction can make. Jimmy may be one of our newest members of the instructor team, but you will not find a more qualified and dedicated individual to train your son or daughter.
Call Sign: Voodoo
Joe came to Teen Driving Solutions with an extensive portfolio of professional training, racing, and instructing experience. His credentials include a NASCAR Touring Series License, and a Grand Am Sports Car Series License. He has 275 race wins, and 8 national championship titles to his credit. Joe is also the published author of the book “You Wanna Race”, an Entry-Level Guide to Motorsports Racing. If his recreational activities weren’t exciting enough, his day job consists of being a tactical and performance driving instructor, motorsports consultant, and fleet manager for RFH Tactical Mobility.
So why would a man with Joe’s considerable talent and experience want to work for free as one of our instructors? He says being able to give his students the truly life-saving skills to stay alive in a motor vehicle is all the reward he’ll ever need.
Call Sign: Ninety-Three
John is an expert at holding high-performance motor vehicles precisely and safely right on the edge of their performance capabilities. So, it should come as no surprise he is a Porsche Certified HPDE Instructor with over 7 years of experience. When he’s not driving or teaching in someone else’s Porsche, you’ll find him behind the wheel of his own beautiful Porsche Cayman GT4. Besides high-performance driving, John enjoys road and mountain biking, hiking, and woodworking. His day job before retiring was owning a radio station. (Now that’s an instructor “first” for our school!)
Thankfully, John now volunteers his time for Teen Driving Solutions because he believes if he can share his knowledge and skills in handling a car in a critical situation he can save lives or prevent serious injury. What better way to leave your own small mark on the world?
Call Sign: Ice
Growing up in Upstate New York, which is notorious for its horrible icy winters, you either learned car control skills quickly, or you wound up dead shortly thereafter. After moving south, he discovered the 318 turns of the infamous “Tail of the Dragon” which he loves to carve in his sweet Audi A5. When not zipping through the kinks, he’s out on the links swinging a driver, iron, or putter. To pay for the fun times, John owns an engineering firm that builds custom factory automation systems for various manufacturing plants.
John initially became involved with Teen Driving Solutions as a parent when his daughter Colleen was ready for her driving permit. Two of her classmates had already been killed in car crashes, and he wasn’t about to let her suffer the same fate. After his daughter graduated from our school, he was so amazed at the skill and confidence she demonstrated behind the wheel, he felt compelled to join our team of instructors and help other teens acquire the car control skills his daughter had.
The following year, John’s son Jeffrey joined his older sister as an alum of Teen Driving Solutions. Both of John’s kids are now safe, highly skilled drivers. He would be happy to give your teen the same capabilities his kids have, and you, the parent, the same peace of mind he now enjoys.
Ken Frederick – Lead Instructor
Call Sign: Magnum
Ken’s position at Teen Driving Solutions is “Lead Instructor”. Prior to each event, he is responsible for overseeing all the logistics of assigning teens and parents with their instructors, and instructors with their vehicles.
Additionally, Ken teaches our amazing Maintenance Clinic where teens learn how to properly change a tire, check fluid levels, perform a pre-drive vehicle safety check and much more.
Ken is a retired police officer and as such, spent numerous hours examining the cause and effect of many motor vehicle crashes. He's seen a lot! In 1997 Ken launched a private investigation agency and in 2006 established Academy of Driving; a well‑regarded driving school in Lynchburg, Virginia.
Despite his busy schedule, he always finds the time to donate his outstanding organizational skills and teaching ability to our school. So why does he keep doing this? He says he won’t stop until police officers no longer must knock on parents' doors late at night to deliver the worst news they will ever hear.
Call Sign: Raider
Since childhood, Merrill has always had a passion for machines. It doesn’t matter if it rolls, floats, or flies. A graduate of the Bertil Roos Advanced Racing School, he holds an SCCA Full Competition Racing License, an FAA pilot’s license, and a North Carolina Class A CDL. Merrill works for the Electric Power Research Institute, and when he’s not solving engineering challenges for the power industry around the world, he can be found flying his single-engine Piper Cherokee, or driving one of his vintage Corvette Stingrays. His daily driver is a shadow black 2019 Dodge Charger RT Scat Pack.
Merrill volunteers as one of our instructors because he is passionate in his belief that good judgment, proficiency, and skill can only be achieved through quality training and hands-on practice. His calm demeanor, patience, and extensive knowledge of car control skills and driving techniques make him a natural for the Teen Driving Solutions School instructor team.
Call Sign: Major
Mike has been a police officer for 19 years. He is professionally EVOC trained, and has over 250,000 miles behind the wheel of the Ford Crown Victoria optioned with the P71 Police Package, the very same vehicles used in the Teen Driving Solutions vehicle fleet. Not surprisingly, the vast majority of car control skills taught to police officers are the very same ones taught in the Teen Driving Solutions curriculum.
With Mike, you will not find a more experienced professional driver to teach your son or daughter how to handle a car in an emergency. For his personal vehicle preference, Mike subscribes to the old school that there is “no replacement for displacement” so he’s a fan of the classic big pushrod V8 American muscle car. That said, he’s itching for a chance to drive the Arial Atom which is essentially an oversized street legal go-kart with 350 horsepower. Besides driving, Mike loves baseball. His bucket list includes attending a game played by EVERY Major League Baseball team.
So why would Mike give up a chance to attend a Major League Baseball game to teach teens how to safely handle a motor vehicle at the limit? As a first responder, he has seen the horrific results of motor vehicle crashes, and all too often the faces are young. He believes if he can save just ONE life, it’s worth every minute he volunteers as one of our instructors. Thank you, Mike, for being part of our team!
Call Sign: Bimmer
Paul has over 20 years of HPDE experience, and has been an in-car instructor for the past 10 years. Paul is a graduate of the Skip Barber Advanced Driving School. His daily driver is a BMW M3.
The retired manager of a Fortune 500 company, Paul is an eclectic kind of guy. When he’s not volunteering for Teen Driving Solutions, he can be found out on the golf course, working out, or tending to his garden. Paul tells us his reason for volunteering are the big smiles he gets from his students when they realize the amazing things they can do with a car they never before thought possible.
The icing on the cake are the proud looks he sees his students get from their parents when they realize just how much more skilled a driver their teen has become. We are extremely grateful that Paul is willing to share his knowledge and skills to make a true impact in saving teen lives.
Call Sign: Wolf
Tom is no stranger to teaching teens advanced car control skills. Before becoming one of our school’s very first instructors, he was an instructor for two other advanced driving schools. Tom’s taste in vehicles includes pretty much anything with four wheels, as long as it performs well for its designed function. He’s owned everything from a Datsun 1600 Roadster, and a classic 1955 Chevy, to a gorgeous 1967 Pontiac GTO. Now retired from being the senior IT manager at a major bank, Tom and his wife enjoy traveling, and spending time with family.
So why does a guy with classic cars and a great family continue to give up his weekends year after year to be one of our volunteer instructors? Tom sums it up like this; “Being an instructor for Teen Driving Solutions combines two of the things I enjoy most in this world, cars and people. I especially enjoy working with young people. But the most important reason is that it gives me the opportunity to perhaps save a young life or prevent a serious injury.” Well said, Tom. We are truly grateful for the dozens of weekends he has given up for us. Thank you for continuing to be a part of our team for all these years!